As a new teacher I was excited to get to know other teachers on my grade level team. So many of them had taught children for several years and I was just beginning. I was anxious to tap into their wealth of knowledge. By making myself approachable, helpful, and inquisitive I easily got along with all of my co-workers, except for one teacher.
No matter what I did she wouldn’t warm up to me. She never said “good morning” or “hello”. I always had to greet her first. If I walked past her in the hallway she didn’t acknowledge me. When I came into the teachers lounge she pretended I wasn’t there. At first I didn’t give it much thought, but as school year advanced, it began to eat away at me.
Had I done something to offend her?
Had I unknowingly said something to cause her to dislike me?
How could I fix it? How could I get her to like me?
While this was happening, a new couple moved into our congregation. I was eager to be friends with them and was quick to show hospitality. However, much to my dismay, the same personal interest that I showed to them was not returned. The often wife invited other families to her home, but she never invited my family.
I was heartbroken. I was sure I was responsible. What had I done now? Was I such a terrible person? What was it about me that was such a big turn off? I cried myself to sleep in frustration.
The next morning I felt foolish. I’m a married woman, not a teenager! I was being irrational and oversensitive. I decided to chin up. It took a lot of will power to ignore my insecurities and the nagging voice that ate away at my heart. I said a prayer and slowly gained peace of mind. Before leaving my home that morning, I decided to continue showing friendliness to everyone even if they didn’t like me back.
Time passed. Weeks became months and months became years. During that time, I came to know both ladies so much better. Friendships cannot be rushed. They bloom in their own time. Now my family and the new family in our congregation have become good friends. Our daughters love playing together too! She never had a problem with me, she just prefeered smaller groups of friends at her home, and didnt have the space for more people. As for school, my co-worker now greets me on occassion. We are not close friends, but we enjoy a respectful work relationship. Here I was thinking she didn’t like me, but she was consumed with her own issues. She has nothing against me and I have nothing against her. We are just two different people from two different backgrounds. We have very little in common. We don’t click, and that’s okay.
From these two experiences I’ve learned a very important lesson. I tried to put it in words, but couldn’t say it just right. When I came across this post on social media it struck a cord in my heart, and I knew I just had to share.
My friends, be the best person you can be everyday. Show love to everyone, not because they’ve shown love to you, but because that’s the type of person you are. It’s the right thing to do. (Romans 12:10) It isn’t immature to feel disappointed when others don’t care for our friendship. It’s merely human. However, we need to look at things in a balanced way. I’ve gradually learned not to wear my heart on my sleeve. Remember, not everyone is going to like you. You’re not everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone will be your cup of tea either. In the end that’s perfectly okay.