And how do I get my friends to want to hang out with me?
If filling up your diary is a struggle it could be because you’re spending a lot of your time unconsciously taking from your friends. And I don’t mean literally taking stuff (although that does happen). I mean unconsciously seeking their approval or validation or connection to compensate for the emptiness you feel inside.
This happens on a very subtle level, and it does not mean you’re a ‘bad person’.
So, if this is the case how does one start to truly give to their friends? Well, firstly in order to give you need something to give. And what is the most valuable gift you can give someone?
You can give yourself fully.
And by that, I mean your complete self.
And in order to be able to give this to someone else you have to give it to yourself first. If you don’t give it to yourself then you cannot receive it. If you don’t receive it you cannot give it to others.
Once you give it to yourself and go through this process of healing you will find yourself more ‘available’ with more space in your inner world. This allows room for others.
Then you’ll be able to give the gift of yourself to the world.
Once you can give to others, you’ll receive. Love has a free-flowing quality to it. Fundamentally you’ll have the capacity to co-regulate* (see glossary) with others, share joy, and be spontaneous. You’ll be extremely pleasant to be around, people will get so much from your energy and vitality, and it will be exciting to be friends with you. When this happens, you will not struggle to fill your diary up. As you will be receiving inquiries for connection from those whom you’ve connected with on this level. This will give you the energy to then send out inquiries of your own for connection with others. It’s a positive feedback loop. This will create a thriving social life. You will also discover who has the capacity to give in your life which will undoubtedly mean that you stop being drawn to certain people you were once drawn to.
You will no longer reach out to others wondering why you don’t get a reply as you will be drawn to people who have space for you.
* Co-regulation is what happens when two people are present with one another, and both feel heard and seen. Have you ever had a conversation where time just flies by? You find yourself so engaged and you feel the other is truly listening. Some people find it a lot easier to have these types of conversations on the phone. The effect isn’t nearly as powerful as being in the presence of someone else, but it gives you an idea. This empathic connection between two people is what we call attunement. When two people are attuned it means they both have space for the other. If a person is preoccupied with something, then it’s very hard to become attuned and co-regulate.