I think my biggest issue is I place too much importance on people.
I'm going to acknowledge the fact that this is not just a curse and actually lends to the key factors about my personality and that I would not be who I claim to be without it, but every virtue has its vice.
The trouble is that I don't know exactly where this stigma stems from. At first it always seemed to be a genuine love for people, but as the years have gone on I've started to notice it comes more and more from a narcissistic place that I seldom draw attention to and try to mask with genuine love for people, because I know I had that once.
I was just scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a post written by the mother of a missionary friend of mine using the missionary's account, obviously. The status closed with this: "Everyone who truly knows her knows she has such a sensitive heart and deeply cares for others. Relationships matter to her..."
I thought back to how I met this girl and the friendship we had. I sat by her in a mission prep class on campus. She was still undecided, like myself, and taking the class to see if it was something she should be considering doing, like me. She told me several weeks later when she'd decided, and left me with a bit of information that stuck with me throughout the process of making my own decisions, both about missions and nearly everything else: deciding was the hardest part. She said once she made a choice everything was so much easier.
I read this post and thought, for a nano-second, about her coming home in a few short weeks and us talking like we did in that class. Over 18 months ago.
And it brought this question to mind, this issue about the importance I place on people that cross my way in my life. She'll probably never think twice on me, honestly, unless one day I comment on her page or she sees some photo from a major life event. Most likely it'll be that moment of scrolling through friends' names and thinking "Wait, who is this person?"
My computer wants to restart so I'll be quick.
I like to think I matter to people, and this is where the narcissistic part comes into play, because people matter to me. I do scroll through my news feed and ponder on people from the past, I do think about those I help at the bank and how things are going for them. I'm just too lazy half the time to bridge any gap to find out. But it makes me wonder if it's a strange anomaly in myself or part of the existence of mankind. I wonder if I project my own images of self-worth onto the blank slate that are acquaintances as a way of fostering my own belief that I am excellent and others feel the same, or if it's a matter of truly caring about people, not the potential they have to care about me.