If you have been following the #BrokenSeries, this is post number 3 in the series.
In the last two post, I highlighted how brokenness can make you feel, how to identify if you are broken but unaware of it, and how the acts of parents and lovers can lead to brokenness. In this post, I want to focus on the second set of breakers – friends and society. It might be immediately glaring that society can break you, but friends? How do they do that?
The truth is many people are yet to fully understand what friendship is; hence even though they are currently being broken by their friends, they fail to recognise it. Instead of them to fight the seed of brokenness being planted, they try to play up to the expectations of friends who will never be satisfied. How do friends break you?
#1 They compare you with themselves or others: Be it in a positive or a negative way, this can have really adverse effects on your psyche. Your friends might continually highlight the fact that you are more talented than they are and that is not the problem. The problem is that you may start to feel guilty for being prettier, more talented, more intelligent… that it causes you to begin to withdraw, and not perform as well as you should for fear of losing your friends. Sometimes the comparisons are downright or subtly negative. For example, a friend might constantly talk about you being overweight, and that will make you feel self-conscious around other people, or your friend subtly points out how dark-skinned you are, and proceeds to admire people who are light skinned, and that suddenly starts to make you feel ugly, or even makes you feel the need to bleach your skin. These are simply examples but I hope you get the gist.
#2 They betray you: Ever told a friend something in confidence and it was the headline for the gossip magazine the next day? Or told a friend something because of the bond you share only for them to turn around and use it against you? That betrayal of your trust can make it difficult to open up to other people.
So enough about friends, what about society?
The new wave in society encourages comparison, and that alone is enough to make you feel like you are doing enough, not winning enough, not succeeding enough, not good enough period. Society looks at you funny when you reach a certain age, and are not married; when you are married and you don’t have children; when you have children but both genders are not represented; when they are both represented but not brought up to act the way society would like. Society looks at you funny when you rock up in a new car that is not in the luxury range; when your girlfriend is not an Instagram badass; when your wife does not have gloriously clear skin or an exotic accent. Society looks at you funny for being yourself, and not adhering to unwritten rules of engagement. Society looks at you funny for being that clumsy girl with a deep throaty laugh that is so not feminine. Society looks at you funny for being that gentleman with a soft voice. Society judges you for not being able to get the girl, or keep a man, for being a single parent, for not getting to the pinnacle of your career fast enough… for basically not complying with society’s impossible standards. And as times goes on, the daggers from society’s eyes start to hit you and you begin to feel less and less. You withdraw and derive no joy from the things that once excited you because you have subconsciously been made to believe that those things, and even you, are not enough.
And the sad thing about this is that you don’t even feel yourself doing it, until one day, you burst at the seams, crying a river you cannot attribute to anything in particular. But every time before that, when someone had asked you how you were doing, you had beamed at them with the perfect smile and said: “I’m fine”.
Look out for my next post on this #BrokenSeries