What About Your Friends? (Throwback to TLC)

There are some days that it really hits that I don’t have that many friends. I definitely have a few good friends but I’m not getting 800 invites per weekend to do things. People aren’t throwing parties in my honor, I’m not getting a ton of texts a day, and my weekends aren’t crammed with random events.

To be fair, having kids also limits your social life a little bit but I don’t want to blame them since this has spilled over from my life pre-kids.

My friends have now evolved into people who will come running any time of the day if I need them, people who will be there to the best of their ability between their busy lives, people who I can be completely open to about what I feel and think.

And while I love that I do have some really good friends, sometimes, it does hit me that I’m never going to be the popular girl.

I guess I never was. From the second I was in school, I have never been the center of anyone’s crowd. I’ve never been the person that everyone needed at a party. I’m not the person that would up anyone’s social standing (if there is still such a thing). Even my “groups” from college or different dance teams have moved in a different direction. And while I was there though, I was always on the periphery. I was the one person who was good friends with one of the people in the group which is how I was a part of it.

Honestly, I suck at making small talk with people. And to be completely blunt, sometimes, I’d rather be home with a good book or watching tv than be in a social setting full of people I don’t know.

For example, a few years ago I went to a party without my kid for the first time since becoming a mom. I was so excited to be able to be in the party scene again. But when I was there, I spent all my time hanging out with a good friend who I still saw on a monthly basis and talked to all the time anyways. I did small talk with a bunch of other people who I knew but wasn’t really friends with and then just hung out with the person I was most comfortable with and liked being around. It made me wonder what the point was of being at this party.

Recently, I watched someone who has a lot of friends at their social events. I kept trying to figure out if she was just more extroverted than I or maybe nicer than I am. Maybe she is just easy-going enough to be able to accumulate a lot more friends. Maybe she just has more time since she isn’t raising 2 smalls kids. (Although again, I don’t think that is a fair assessment because these personality traits of mine were there before I had kids.)

I also started wondering if sometimes, people just hang out with each other so they have “friends”. Do some of them in the group really even like each other? Or do they just tolerate it because it’s their group?

I don’t really have a conclusion to this. All I know is that this is where I am in life. At this point, I don’t really expect it to change. Maybe between the time I was a teenager to my 20s. Or my 20s to my 30s. But now, on the downside to 40, I doubt that I can change this part of my personality. I don’t even know if I’d want to. I’ve made the effort this far in my life and maybe it’s time for me to just be.

This might just be who I am.

Can A Self-Centered Person Really Be My Friend?

This thought has occurred to me before but I haven’t written about it until now. Well, at least I don’t think I have.

Throughout my life, I’ve run across different groups of girls. The story would always go something like this. We would hang out all the time but I would always feel like an outsider. It would always feel like they didn’t care whether or not I was there or not. If you have been through this at any point, you know it’s a sucky feeling to have. I would then start wondering why I didn’t fit in with them. It wasn’t because I wasn’t as pretty or smart or successful (at least, not in my eyes). Eventually, I figured out it was because they couldn’t see past themselves. I was never going to be as important to them as they were to themselves. It was a great day when I realized that it was them and not me. I knew that trying to impress them was useless and for my sanity, it was better for me to walk away.

Occasionally,  I still have to be around some of these people. And it is reminder of how truly self-centered they are. I really wish I could see into their minds and how they worked. It might help me to understand why they are the way they are.

Most people are self-centered. It is definitely a challenge to find someone who will put others ahead of themselves. I fully realize that I am also in this group of people. I like attention as much as the next person. But I am trying to be aware of these selfish tendencies and hopefully, be a better person that I am instinctively.

So why are these people like this? Is it that they think they are better than everyone else? Why do they feel as if their needs are more important than others? I see people go out of their way for them but that same action doesn’t seem to be reciprocated. It makes me sad for the people that get taken advantage of, especially when the person getting taken advantage of is someone I love.

I’ve ended up walking away from several groups of people at several different points in my life. I am glad I can finally recognize when a friendship is toxic for me. It’s hard because when these types of people bestow attention on you, you feel so special. You feel worthy and like you are important. The problem becomes when they take that attention away. All of a sudden, you feel like nothing. You try to impress them with everything you do over and over again. But why should you have to? In a friendship, shouldn’t your friend be accepting of how you are and never make you feel like less? Shouldn’t it be a 50/50 relationship?

I finally figured out that I wanted to be around people who are real and loving and caring. I wanted to be around people who would be there for me when I really needed them. I know we all need to put ourselves and our families first but what good is a friend if they aren’t there when you need them? Friends are supposed to be the family we choose. I didn’t want to hear fake compliments and shallow conversations anymore.

I honestly would rather be friendless than be friends with a self-centered person.

Why Do Indians Try To Change The Way Our Babies Look?

I’ve mentioned that I’m a part of a few different mommy groups on Facebook, one of them being an Indian mommy group. There are so many great things about being a part of that group because you get to share ideas and things you’ve done and get help from others when you have questions.

But there is one big thing that drives me crazy every time I see it posted. There are Indian moms who ask how they can change the appearance of their child.

Here are examples of what I’m talking about (my version of examples since I don’t want to copy and paste things that are confidential to the group):

–My child was born with curly hair. If I shave it, will it come back straight? How can I      make it look better?

–My child in a month old and has hair on her face. How can I get rid of it?

–Will an oil massage help lighten my child’s skin?

And this goes on and on and on.

Why? Why are we trying to change the way our babies look? We criticize and try to change these children that are born after everything we go through to have them. We go through so much to get pregnant and then the stress of the pregnancy itself. These child are born perfect. Every single one of them. How can we judge the looks of someone so small and innocent?

And why do we think certain qualities are bad? Why is darker skin bad? Why is curly hair bad? I have curly hair and I love it. I know a girl who has darker skin than I do and she is one of the most beautiful, talented, and smarter girls I know.

Our goal in raising our child is so they grow up with great values and culture and become amazing adults. And yet, as newborns, we sit and criticize how they look. How are these kids supposed to develop good self-esteem and confidence with this type of parental attitude?

We are trying to get our babies to fit society’s standards of beauty. But here’s the problem. Society’s standards of beauty are wrong. Beauty shouldn’t be judged on one or two different physical characteristics. So if we try to change our children, what are we telling them? The only way to change what society considers beautiful is to believe that our children are beautiful just the way they are and teach them that.

I know I want my child to be confident in who she is as a person. I personally went through an ugly duckling phase when I was in school but I made it through. I think it actually made me a more grounded person because I haven’t relied on my looks at any point in my life. I had to learn to be social and to be able to relate to people around me.

I hope mothers will start appreciating their children for who they are and not what they look like. I hope they will start focusing more on how to raise their children and not how to improve their looks. I hope that these children will learn that your physical appearance has nothing to do with how beautiful you really are.