Here in Trinidad (Caribbean), there is a slang term for forcing friendship. It’s not as popular as it was when I was in secondary school, but it’s still fresh in my mind. It’s “fallin’ – pronounced fah-lin not fall-in”.

Fallin’ is when you are desperately trying to become a friend to someone that is not especially interested in you. They are rejecting your efforts and yet you continue to offer your friendship.

Have you ever found yourself on either end of this?

There is a memory I have about the first time that I can recall trying to make friends. It didn’t go well and I see now how many ways the experience has stuck with me. It’s lodged in there, like the dancer who practices and rehearses early in their career, until some moves become stuck in their very bones. It had become an ingrained part of me..an eagerness to engage, a childlike tendency to be overly forgiving of obvious red flags, fallin’ – pursuing people in to places that I haven’t been invited.

It’s the type of thing that can also freeze you at the age you were at when this rejection took place. Childlikeness does not traverse my entire adult experience but it shows itself in specific ways..in those ways that I still recoil inside, like the hurt child that first experienced the rejection.

I see it and can give that version of me a hug..for trying..failing’ became fallin’..

Now I can submit myself to a process of growing up in that area.

Pasting again, the question that I asked earlier..
Have you ever found yourself on either end of this?

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