When you spend any decent period of time around other people - like family, school, work, church, clubs etc - who you are leaves an impression on that group. The longer you are in that group, the deeper the impression that you leave. If you’ve been there for a long time and then suddenly, you’re not ... the people in that group sense your presence missing.
That impression is the idea of you that you leave other people with. It may not be who you are, it may not be who you think you are - and it’s likely to be slightly different for each person. When who you actually are is inconsistent with the impression you seek to leave (think cool instead of authentic) the people that click with your impression, as they are drawn to you, will reach a point on that journey where they feel the clash between real and the impression and check out.
If you want genuine relationships, it’s important to pursue a life where...
We live in a society that wants us to fit into nice, neat categories. Categories make life simpler for controlling people. Set up a category, claim your adherents, throw stones at the other categories! Just look at the Mummy wars that rage online … Breast vs Bottle-fed, Organic vs leftover Maccas chips on the floor of the mini-van! Or, more broadly, Normal vs Weird, Left vs Right, Conservative vs Progressive, Male vs Female.
Life is so much “simpler” when you can manufacture an identity that is made up of a set of dogmatic ideas. Same vs Different. Us vs Them. As a society, we don’t know how (or whether) to deal with people until we’ve got them pegged into their categories. Once we do though, we very quickly (and permanently) write them off or accept them into the fold.
This is not how life is meant to be!
In our family, we’ve tried not to allow ourselves to be defined by these polarising...