shared goals

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    I’ve always been asking how people pick someone from among their friends who would become special, long-lasting, and very significant in their lives.

    And they would say, “Oh, we didn’t do it consciously. It just happened.”

    I have a hard time sustaining most conversations because of how restricted my interests were since I was young. It has only started getting broader now. I am a late bloomer.

    But then people would say, “You can be friends with someone even if they have different interests.”

    I know that it will happen in time, but the fact that I can’t rationalize it in my head is nagging at me. I want to feel “assured”, because I’m not sure if I should really just sit back and let the universe surprise me, or if I should actively use strategies because duh, I have a brain. And I should probably use it.

    So now I am just wondering if this makes more sense: shared goals have more to say about how compatible you are with someone, rather than shared interests. Interests are easy to exchange with other people. Goals are not. They are more part of your core.

    That’s my hypothesis that I just thought of this morning.

    Now, I am not a scientist, so obviously I wouldn’t be able to test that except through experience. Long years of experience.

    But I wonder if my goals actually restrict me.

    My goal is to become very, very confident in expressing my personality.

    Except, my personality is still forming and unstable.

    What has been stable, is that I have always been shy and unconfident. I have been for so long that it has become part of my identity.

    Another goal of mine is to find my niche.

    I have an idea where I lean towards, but I don’t fit in with “them” (insert ideal group here) yet.

    Then people, again, would say, “Don’t try to fit in anywhere.”

    Oh, I understand that some outliers are very happy to be who they are. They love standing out.

    But why don’t I?



    So I really think the reason I can’t find those special friends is because of my goal. It’s like I have the same goals as a young teenager. I’m 21.

    Hana L

    Hi Helleia,

    You’re not alone in your thought process about shared goals vs shared interests.

    In my opinion, it’s probably more important being able to find those special, significant friends with shared goals. I think the relationship lasts longer, and I guess you use those shared goals to motivate you to reaching your goals. People can change interests easily.

    Have you tried out any personality quizzes to identify the type of person you are like? I did those a few years back to identify with who I was, mainly because while I generally got on well with people and I have good friends, I don’t have the ‘special friend’ that you’ve questioned in your post. I’d like to find a friend like that too, and I guess the search may be like finding a diamond amidst the glass, so my focus right now is continuously working on improving myself. And your special friend could just be yourself.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your goals – we all want to be comfortable in our own skins, wanting to be accepted for who we are (you may notice this when friends say,”Don’t judge, but I did X.”). Finding your niche, to me, is like finding a job you love that isn’t considered work. (I’m trying to find my niche too.)

    The people who stand out could be extroverts. You may be more introverted (?), and that’s okay too.




    Dear helleia:

    You wrote: “I’m not sure if I should really just sit back and let the universe surprise me, or if I should actively use strategies because duh, I have a brain. And I should probably use it.”

    I vote for you actively using strategies, and agree, you should use your brain! And you used it well on this thread: shared goals make way more sense than shared interests to predict compatibility.

    Regarding your goal: “to become very, very confident in expressing (yourself)”- while in reality, you wrote, “I have always been shy and unconfident”

    May I offer a possible correction for you to consider in the above stated goal:

    “To become more confident”- a bit more confident today than yesterday; more confident tomorrow than today, one step at a time, patiently.

    This very thread is your expression of yourself, reading quite confident to me!



    Its funny that personality tests came up because when I read the OP the first thing I thought was that those sound like very INTP problems. That is because I am an INTP personality type and I identify with everything said and have heard other INTPs online complain about the same things. That doesnt mean the OP is INTP of course but looking into personality types can be very valuable to help understand why you are the way you are and how different people see the world differently.

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