I usually like to go out running to get away from the stress and whatever might be bothering me. It’s at that time I would rather be listening uplifting and positive topics. Recently A, someone whom I used to run with decided she needed to get back into running and asked me if I would like to go with her. I had my doubts because as before it’s a start stop thing and she is never in it for long or doesn’t take it seriously. A doesn’t run, she walks, gossips, all conversations are basically what others are doing to her, complains about everything and everyone and maybe a two-minute jog in between. I don’t enjoy it, which is why I limit myself on how many times I would go walking with her. I usually go with the flow and just listen (or try to ignore it). I recognize that relationships are active and therefore require tending from both sides.

After a few disappointments and let downs by friends I have learnt that there are certain relationships which you can have a lively exchange of views and others which are one way, this one is one way. This time I reached the point where I had enough and decided to challenge her views and talk to her about my experiences. There was a time (and sometimes I still do) when I had her way of thinking and that just held me back with a lot of things I wanted to do in my life. I suggested to her that maybe it was time to change her outlook on life and try to see things in a more positive way. It may be difficult because it means a change and doing something differently, which can be scary and to stop blaming circumstance or justifying why things are the way they are.

Don’t express yourself

Living in Britain you are conditioned to live a life to which you don’t express yourself and your feelings openly. I feel Brits (not everyone) are far too reserved and showing emotion is seen as some sort of failure rather than a celebration of our personalities. If you do, people get offended with you and being honest and direct turns out that you are rude, even crazy and a few other labels are put on you. Of course you get the growling looks from the neighbours or colleagues who don’t approve of your actions or you are too loud. Despite being brought up in a British society I still have very much my southern European outlook and behaviour and the British sometimes find me ‘dramatic’ or ‘fiesty’ for the reason I express what I think in a passionate way. I know that nothing of my life is immune to disappointment. I  have always known with A, if I spoke my mind and wasn’t in her line of thinking, she wouldn’t like it and would stop talking to me …until the next time she wanted something from me.

With A not getting in touch again doesn’t bother me. Perhaps what has been nagging at me is why am I putting up with all this. I like to think I am a kind, generous and considerate person. I always make the effort to help people who I can but I also have my limits. There is a disadvantage of being kind and considerate to others, they get used to it and that is what they expect from you all the time. It’s the more selfish ones that start labeling you and think there is something wrong with you.

An experiment

Following A’s reaction, I decided to try out a simple experiment and stop being helpful and expressing myself to people. Not to my family and friends or acts of kindness to strangers, but towards the people I’m surrounded on a daily basis that don’t really offer anything. I hope it doesn’t make me more miserable but it might give me a better understanding of what I want in my life and my pursuit for happiness…

Watch this space!