Building quality and authentic relationships

There are many articles on Medium in which fellow writers share their learning points in life, like things you have learnt or realised when you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s etc. I initially thought I’d write one as well when I hit the big 30. But being an amateur 30s, I feel that there are still many things are beyond my knowledge, things to improve on and I may not have enough life experiences to come up with a list of learning points as yet.

And so, in this case, I’ll focus on one guiding principle on how I approach the 30s life — building quality and authentic relationships.

I’m sure many would have realised by now that as one grows older, it gets harder to make real friends. With evolving technology, we are much more connected now compared to any other era. However, the quality of human-to-human interactions seems to have dropped instead, and we feel further away from each other. In restaurants and on public transportation, people are glued to their smart devices every moment, even when they are sitting right next to their loved ones and friends. Do we blame such social norms on the FOMO syndrome or perhaps, people really prefer to be alone these days?

In recent weeks, I came to realise that building quality and authentic relationships is something that is increasingly becoming essential in my life. Though I can be quite an introvert and need some moments to recharge, I like making new friends and am interested in knowing people. The only difference now is, I want to be able to connect to people in my life on a deeper scale and to know them better. To go beyond the surface level, and understand their inner thoughts and feelings. I’m tired of moving through life and through people, doing superficial chit chats, and at the end of the day, we are all strangers and we walk away feeling empty.

I enjoy having deep conversations with people whom I care about. We share our thoughts and feelings on things that matter to us, and we help each other broaden our perspectives and knowledge. Through a nurturing and fulfilling relationship, we become better and wiser people. We understand ourselves better, and the importance of being honest and open with our views.

And of course, no matter how zealous you are, there are bound to be people who really do not want to connect with you or perhaps, they have a hard time coming out of their shell. But yup, it really takes two hands to clap. Earlier this week, a good friend told me, “Sometimes if you feel that you are putting in too much into a friendship and feel disappointed many times, then walk away slowly, and things will be ok”.

I am very thankful to have friends whom I know we are glad that we have each other. These are the people whom we want to share our milestones in life with, the happy, silly and sad moments. Friends who are going through a rough patch in life, and they will come by and confide in you. Friends who would tell you way in advance that they want you to be at their wedding, and it is not one of those last minute arrangement to fill up seats at Chinese weddings so that they don’t make a loss. Or if the couple prefer to have a cosy family-and-close-friends only wedding, they put you on the invitation list and make an effort to ensure that you are well taken care of amidst being busy entertaining their other guests. Friends who are excited that they going to have a new addition in the family, and they can’t wait to share the news with you. To the extent of sending you a photo of a pregnancy test kit which indicated “positive”.

Thank you, my friends. For being my friends and accepting me as a part of your lives. For willing to engage in my many deep conversations, as well as silly nonsense. For the many love and support.

If you are still whizzing through life and busy climbing up that corporate ladder, I hope you too can take a moment to stop and look around you. Are you missing out on life? Is there anyone whom you would like to connect with? What’s stopping you?

And yes, if you are reading this and would like to connect as a friend, I’d love to know you better. Age, race, gender, religion and sexual orientation does not matter. So do leave a note okay =)

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