A Basic Guide to Socializing

Opinion

By Kevin Chen —

The Seven Hills School — John Elliot, a Puritan missionary, once said, “Genuine confidence is a way of thinking about yourself and your abilities. Confidence is your perception of your own potential; it’s a kind of long-term thinking that powers you through the obstacles and tough times.” Accordingly, this is a lesson that I wholeheartedly believe should be integrated into the Seven Hills mindset. 

 Sometimes when we meet new people or friends, we naturally want to get along with them. Whether by kind gestures or gift-giving, people attempt to establish solid and firm friendships every day. However, sometimes people still get hurt emotionally regardless of their kindness or positive qualities. If one strives to be the best person he/she can be, how in the world can he/she still be hurt by another person? 

The remedy to this issue is self-confidence. When one meets another person who displays signs of unfriendliness or manipulative behavior, he/she must be confident enough to determine what relationships are worthy of pursuit and which ones are not. Indeed, being nice to everyone and having others reciprocate this kindness is ideal and terrific. However, this situation is far too idealistic. 

Some people are meanies. I would know because I have experienced both genuine and false friendships throughout my high school career. Overall, I want people to recognize that self-respect is a form of genuine confidence that must be cultivated throughout interpersonal relationships.

Self-respect is the ability to hold oneself to a higher standard in which he/she always maintains a dignified and honorable approach to social interactions. Of the many lessons to friendships is that one should never contribute excessively to another. Doing favors is permissible, but doing too much at the expense of time, money, and effort is counter-productive. Thus, if you feel that a friendship is not mutually beneficial and that you are constantly at the short end of the stick, have the confidence to politely yet firmly deny another person and move on to pursue better relationships. Junior Josh Rising says, “If another person does not reciprocate your kindness and ignores you, that’s a red flag that the friendship is not worth pursuing.” 

Most importantly, never idealize another person and place him/her on a pedestal. No matter how good first impressions are, always assume a person has his/her unique flaws and confidently determine whether or not you should continue interactions. Never feel obligated to talk to another person after a first meeting. 

Self-respect is definitely a concept that needs to be cultivated. Trust me, this will save you frustration, heartbreak, and tears. I cannot guarantee for sure that you will not experience bad friendships, but do not be afraid of the uncertain future. Junior Jacky Hou says, “Time is your medicine. You will be sad for a period after a failed friendship. Take care of yourself, talk to your friends, and let out your emotions. You will be healed eventually.” 

If you would like more information on my previous road bumps and insights, feel free to send an email to chenkev22@7hills.org.