Often, I find myself faced with a question of what to believe—someone’s words, or someone’s actions? The old saying, “actions speak louder than words,” didn’t become popular because it was funny. It’s true. When faced with conflicting evidence, humans tend to believe what they can touch and see and prove. I’m guilty of that myself.
What’s much harder for me is to trust what I can’t touch; can’t see; can’t prove. I don’t trust people easily—and for good reason. I’ve been lied to more than enough for a lifetime. I’ve spent years being set aside and ignored by those who told me they cared.
It’s difficult for me to believe that someone cares without showing the outward signs of friendship—communicating, spending time together, trusting each other, keeping up with each other. And these days, there are so many ways to keep in touch that it’s really not a huge request. I do have a few friends that I may go months or even years without speaking to, but I don’t doubt their friendship, because they have spent years demonstrating it, and they’ve earned my faith in them.
I have a much harder time believing in people who haven’t taken the time to build that trust with me. People who always have an excuse or something better to do. People who treat me as if my feelings aren’t important, and who don’t seem to care if they hurt me. People who act like it’s too much effort to put my needs first for just a little while. People who don’t seem to look forward to spending time with me; or who don’t miss my company when we’ve been apart for a while.
I know that it’s my issue, and not theirs, but it’s something that anyone who chooses to be my friend will have to understand. When I make friends, I keep them, so the time invested would not be lost; but the investment is necessary. And I don’t ask anything I’m not willing to do in return.