Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Forming good relationships is so hard and scary.

There. I said it. This has been on my mind for the past few weeks. It's something I've struggled with for my whole life. I'm just not very good at making friends. I don't approach people very often, and once I had made a friend or an acquaintance I find it really difficult to deepen and strengthen the relationship, even just to the sort of level where we could hang out outside of school or alone.

I'm constantly worrying that I'm not good enough, that people don't like me, or don't truly want to be around me. I don't know if these feelings are normal... I've grown up thinking that they were but perhaps not. We always think our realities are the right ones. It just makes it hard to form friendships. If I feel hurt by a friendship I'm always wondering if I even have that right, that maybe that person doesn't think of me or consider me a big part of their life. That if I ask someone to hang out they'll think I'm weird. I spent all of high school with only one or two friends. I know that's more than some people and that I'm lucky to have friends in my life... Once I have formed a good friendship I'm pretty loyal. (Though I also have pretty high standards of how I'm treated in a friendship which has caused me to let go of quite a few of them.) It's the new ones I have trouble with.

I'm young, I know that, and I know this takes time and that I will learn and get better at this as I grow older. But I am in an environment with older people already, the peers I'm surrounded with are in their twenties or older, and they've gotten the hang of this. I'm constantly comparing myself to them. To a point it's unavoidable and it's not as bad as this dramatic blog makes it out to be, but it's there. I can't help but compare myself to these little groups of friends and wonder what I'm doing wrong and why I don't have that. There are reasons, there are ways to explain this. I like to be alone, I do. I don't do much to put myself out there. I can't bitch and complain about this too much. I have Steele, which also limits the amount of time I spend with other people, and I spend time on my work, and I can't go out and drink with all these older acquaintances of mine. But I can't shake the feeling that I'm just doing something wrong.


  1. I agree! I've been going through almost the exact same sort of thing. I like to be alone, but I also like the excitement of new friendships. There's a balance to be struck. But don't get caught up in being so afraid of putting yourself out there because then you might miss out on a really awesome experience.

  2. I find I relate to you more than many of our peers. I am not outgoing and it is difficult for me to even feel close to the friends I may have because of the transient nature of being a student. Mostly I just avoid people because, in truth, I feel they are just disinterested. Based on the introspection that being an art student demands, when all focus is on YOU and your original and meaningful creation... it is hard to find time to foster new relationships or even to not feel overwhelmed. It is especially difficult to be "competing" with students who have had years of previous art school and world experience. Not that I am discrediting your personal experiences, but I have found that time often outweighs capacity when it comes to developing thoughts and ideas- in further defining one's voice. And our older peers do express that it is amazing for us to be here and to be so dedicated at our age. I think of these four years as being a tool for future experiences. When we do get out in the world- which I hope we do- we will already have some credibility to our name. We will have strengthened the lens through which to view our life experiences. We will know how to best translate our thoughts and feelings into objects and images because of the experiences we are gaining in this intense environment. It's exciting and exhausting, though rarely ever concurrently. It is normal to feel sad and inadequate sometimes, but it is unhealthy for those feelings to impede on your daily life. Confidence (or at least apathy) has been known to come with age but there is nothing wrong with being shy or being choosy about your friends. I think approachability is key, though, especially for an artist. Even if it just takes the form of excitement about your work, people tend to respond much better to a happy, impassioned face. (Cynics 4 lyfe!) Anyway. One more year, B, and we should go get a beer together.



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