Erasing Loneliness Week 2 | Everyone’s Not For You

Erasing Loneliness is a 6 week challenge to help you move past loneliness and foster more meaningful connections. Get the scoop HERE.

If you haven’t done so already CLICK HERE to download the Erasing Loneliness JORNAL. It’ll help you track your thoughts and transformation towards authentic friendships throughout the challenge.
(We’ll work through the other 4 pages over the next 4 weeks).

Week 2 Challenge Activity: Everyone’s not for you.

Some people just aren’t meant for you. Isn’t that freeing? It may be hard to take in but the sooner we realize this the more meaningful our friendships can be.

That’s what this week’s challenge is all about — releasing the acquaintances or friendships that aren’t meant for us.

Have You Ever Felt Like This Before?

When I moved to a new town I met some women in a book club and we had a few adequate get togethers. For a while my mind was clouded with guilt, ‘They’re about my age and nice enough. We like some of the same things. On paper it looks like a perfect match-up. I shouldn’t be picky in a town this small but why do I dread spending time with them?’

Have you been there? Forcing friendships with people not meant for you?

The dread was my key to move on. Of course I wasn’t rude or mean and we still see each other once or twice a year, but I don’t feel obligated by guilt to force friendships where the ground wasn’t fruitful.

All people won’t be your people and that’s okay.

But What Does This Look Like?

It’s time to set aside the idea that friendship will form with every new person you’ve occasionally hung out with. Or that ALL friendships last with longtime comrades. When we’re desperate for real relationships we often try to coerce ourselves into thinking we enjoy the people we’re around when we just might not.

I’m not suggesting you ditch a friendship just because it’s hit a rough patch — but that you evaluate who you’re meant to share camaraderie with.

Take some time this week to meditate and pray over which friendships or people you’ll stop chasing. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic “You’re dead to me…” moment — just a deep knowing that there are other LOVELY people out there waiting to know you.

How to Participate

Ponder who in your life you’ll stop forcing a friendship with. If this brings up fear and frustration, tell me in the comments below. Let’s work through it together.

– Need to reflect on your thoughts about certain relationships in your life? Write about it in this Erasing Loneliness JOURNAL that I’ve made just for you!

– Know of someone else who could benefit from the #erasingloneliness challenge? Share it with them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Erasing Loneliness In Review

– Pre-Challenge Question
– Wise Advice for Your Biggest Hospitality Fears
– Week 1 Erasing Loneliness Challenge Activity: Embrace Alone Time 

10 comments… add one

  • Katy May 1, 2014, 7:38 pm

    This is FANTASTIC. I have felt this way in both places I’ve moved!! And it’s a little sad: you put yourself out there, you make yourself meet others, and then for some reason, the friendship chemistry isn’t there. You put it perfectly:

    “we had a few adequate get togethers. For a while my mind was clouded with guilt, ‘They’re about my age and nice enough. We like some of the same things. On paper it looks like a perfect match-up. I shouldn’t be picky in a town this small but why do I dread spending time with them?”

    So true! My question is, what do you do when you’ve begun a friendship with someone and you realize that they are not a person with whom you want to spend a lot of your time, but they don’t feel the same way? How do you gracefully bow out of all of their invitations? Especially in situations where you see them frequently (work colleagues or neighbors)?

    One more thought – I had the opportunity this month to visit with old friends for several days. I know these visits, even though they may only be once per year, were incredibly fulfilling and restorative. For me, it’s sometimes tough to remember to maintain those lifetime friendships because I’m so involved in the present and future. These visits reminded me to be grateful for these people, and to value the time we have together, even if it’s few and far between.

    • Alysa May 1, 2014, 9:13 pm

      Thanks Katy!

      Whew…that’s a tough question. I think there’s a difference between ending a relationship and letting it dissolve naturally. When turning down invitations it’s important not to give these acquaintances or ‘friends’ false hope that you really ARE digging the friendship. I wouldn’t say, “Oh that sounds AWESOME, so sorry I can’t make it this week, but maybe next time!” I’d be polite but unapologetic, “Thanks for the invite, but I have plans that night.” After they’ve been kindly turned down several times, maybe they won’t ask as much?

      Remember to keep giving yourself to things you love doing. I’m not saying to purposely fill up your schedule but if you’re consistently ‘doing other things’ (even if that means staying home and spending some ‘me-time’) perhaps the invitations will slowly fade. If you know you’ll be seeing them a lot at neighborhood parties, try bringing along a different close friend. It makes those interactions a little less dreadful and still allows your heart to be respectful and gracious towards these so-so acquaintances.

      Of course some people appreciate direct (gentle) feedback — if your acquaintances are the type that do, perhaps an honest conversation would work the best. Scary, I know!

      Anyone else have other ideas? Feel free to post them below — we’d love to hear them.

      YES!! I adore meeting up with old friends even if it’s been YEARS since we last hung out. This makes me want to hop on a plane right now and visit some dear sweet souls! :)

      • Deborah May 12, 2014, 2:14 pm

        Alysa, this is so helpful … and sometimes I have to remind myself that the plan for the night may be to hang out with myself, to write , to watch Dancing With the Stars (my very favorite guilty pleasure … it wins out over playoff basketball 😉 ) and those are just as much plans as leaving my apartment and “doing something with someone” or going to an event.

        • Alysa May 12, 2014, 4:20 pm

          Yes! Yes! Staying in and spending alone time are quite valid and beautiful plans!

  • Kristi Lynn May 1, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Thank you for putting this in words. I’ve experienced this too, and it’s tempting to think “better than nothing” when you feel like you’ll never find “your people.” Also, do you ever find yourself thinking “what’s wrong with ME?” when you just don’t click with someone?

    I laughed out loud at the thought of sweet you ever saying, “You’re dead to me!” to anyone. Ever. So funny! Really, who would say that? Well, it happened to me…not those exact words, but it was harsh and horrible and high school! Yikes!

    • Alysa May 1, 2014, 8:49 pm

      Oh Kristi! It IS tempting to think ‘better than nothing’ – glad you brought that up. I wasted a lot of time with ‘better than nothing’ people when I could have enjoyed my alone time and held space for ‘my people’ yet to come.

      I’ve totally wondered if something was ‘wrong’ with me when friendships just don’t click with certain people. Thanks for putting voice to that. I’ll be touching on that a little in other parts of the challenge.

      Exactly! There’s really no need to spread hurt around and have the, “we can’t be friends anymore…” conversation with people. Especially if they’re just acquaintances. Poor relationship connections usually dissolve naturally, which I’m kind of grateful for. I CAN’T believe someone would say that to you! I’m wondering how many of us have actually had traumatizing ends to friendships? Probably more than we think.

  • Deborah May 12, 2014, 2:31 pm

    I am finding that sometimes it is wise to take temporary breaks even from family as I reconstruct how I do relationship and who I really deeply connect with … sometimes my sis is a default go-to because she sort of gets me but not really and I’m pretty sure the reverse is true. I actually said “No” to an upcoming family get together in the mountains that didn’t feel right for me … there are dynamics that I want to shift in me before I expose myself to that level of family togetherness … Interesting. And a simple “No … this isn’t going to work for me right now” is truly sufficient! Who knew!!

    • Alysa May 12, 2014, 4:22 pm

      That’s truly beautiful Deborah. Glad you don’t feel the need to throw an excuse in with your ‘No’. :)

      Love your observation that you hope to make a heart-shift before engaging deeply with certain people. That’s a good reminder for me too.

  • Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life August 5, 2014, 6:38 pm

    So much of this series is very timely for me in the season I am in. We moved to our city three years ago. The town we previously lived is where we started our married life, made our first “couple” friendships, and had our first child. We made some beautiful friendships. A lot of laughing. A lot of learning. A lot of being in each others’ homes– eating, playing games, sharing, loving on our children, etc. Part of me knew that when we moved building new relationships would take time. We were starting in a different place in life and would be in a larger city.

    Over the last three years, though, friendships have been slooow to develop and several that have started have just fizzled out. Despite trying to consistently orchestrate times to get together and hang out, relationships do not seem to progress much. I have a few friends that I see somewhat regularly, but not really any close friends who go beyond the “let’s get together for a play date” category.

    Your post makes me think of one girl in particular who moved here several months ago. Admittedly, I probably put too much hope in a great friendship developing. I knew her a little before, I knew we had a lot in common, and I knew she would be starting fresh here. It’s been a rather rocky road, though, with me extending invitations but her declining them or pursuing other options instead. After noticing a change in how she acted around me (we go to the same small church), I spoke to her just to be sure I had not offended her or done something to make her upset. We are on the same page now and any grievance has been addressed. I am coming to terms with the fact that friendship there is not likely to happen. Now I am trying to find the line of being friendly but not pursuing a great friendship. Make sense?

    I am still in the midst of being a very social person in hopes of developing some strong friendships where I live. (Thankfully, I have the blessing of a handful of older friendships who are just a phone call away).

    Thank you for writing this series. It is giving me new ideas and fresh motivation to continue on.

    • Alysa August 5, 2014, 8:27 pm

      Grateful for your thoughts here, Lisa. I’m smiling right now because of the title of your blog — ‘This Pilgrim Life’. Sounds like you’re a beautifully seasoned traveler with the courage to continue the journey [especially in reaching out to make new friends]. I’m sorry to hear the connection with the one woman from your small church didn’t quite work out but I’m glad this frees you up to meet the people who are just around the corner, longing to know you.

      Love the undaunted, strong hope that you have for making friendships where you live. I’m right there with you!

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