A letter to (one of) my limiting beliefs.
It’s time to move on and change the record.
I’ll address you with a capital ‘B’ as it feels a little more respectful. After all, I am effectively here to dump you. I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me. You see, I’m now a long way from the Victoria who was told that because I liked my own company and didn’t always want to socialise with people that I was “a bit of a loner” and “I didn’t make friends easily”. You, dear Belief, were not born with me, but ‘gifted’ to me. I trusted and believed this person when they said it and while it might once have been true, it isn’t true anymore.
When we met I was young and naive. I didn’t know any better. You’ve had a huge impact on my life to date. I’ve spent so much time and energy concerned that I don’t have enough friends or making sure I’m friendly or worrying about social interactions and quite frankly, I’m sick of it! …I’m sorry for shouting, it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. I allowed myself to become deeply attached to you without considering what evidence I had to validate your existence. I let you live rent free in my head without getting all the usual references…and I have to take responsibility for that.
When I think about I’ve always had friends. Maybe a fairly small number, but always good people. You know that it wasn’t easy for me to keep friends when I was growing up and I lost touch with a lot of them. When you move every two years it throws your whole life into disarray and you have to continually start again at each new place. This put so much pressure on me to keep making new friends and it was tough. I just wanted to hide away in my room most of the time.
I don’t think growing up with extroverted parents helped. I am convinced that they mistook my introversion for being shy or not being sociable (although I’m sure every child feels misunderstood in some way or another). I was perfectly happy in my room reading books or watching TV or playing with my toys…until those two forced me to go out and play with the other children. It made me feel that there must be something wrong with me for wanting to be on my own. That this was a character flaw that must be corrected. Now in fairness I can understand why they were pushing me to be sociable and I am grateful for the tough love approach to make sure that I was interacting with others and learning the necessary social skills that would serve me well later in the life.
Anyway, I’ve had look at the evidence to see if there is any substance to the claims and look, I’m not going to list everyone out here (that would be insane) but let me assure you that it’s a good list! Past and present. It’s a list full of lovely, very funny, caring people. Most of my friends don’t know each other, so I interact with each person separately. I think there are plenty of advantages to this wider circle, but you made me think that because I have never had one these girl ‘squads’, that I’ve never been falling out of bars with a group of girls or going on spa weekends with my girlfriends that somehow I wasn’t doing it right. But that’s only your perception!
I don’t wish to hurt your feelings, but I can’t go on like this. I don’t need you holding me back anymore. You’ve clearly been under the impression that you’ve been doing me a favour, protecting me in some way, and for that I thank you, but I think our relationship has run its course. It just wasn’t meant to be. I want to go forward without being dogged by this feeling, this needless worry and concern. I’ve decided, based upon a review of the facts, to believe that I’m good at making friends and that there is, in fact, nothing wrong with me. I want to be able to walk into a room and feel free to make connections with others, to deepen the connections with those I already count as my friends and who knows, perhaps expand my circle even further.
Please don’t hate me.