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Many important lessons come in your twenties, especially when you’re open to learning new things, but one thing I can certainly say I am not wiser about, is figuring out how to connect with “things” people.

Allow me to explain.

I think humans are inherently good, and I’m not questioning the overall values or morals of “things” people, but I can’t figure out for the life of me how to communicate with them. Their personalities remain a huge mystery to me.

Some people show affection by spending time with others, helping others, physical affection, verbal encouragement, or by gifting them things. One of my previous coworkers (Thanks, Jim!) showed me the Love Languages Quiz. I like for people to help me with tasks or spend time with me. Things were low on my list. I value open and honest communication over things. Without words, I do not know how to communicate.

Largely, I have been unable to reciprocate things because I don’t really even buy things for myself. I have only had a part-time income since September of 2015 (which means yes, I am going to be spending less time writing, but more time for writing quality work in the near future),  so I didn’t have a lot of money to throw around then, though I am not complaining. With a budget, all is possible, but it wasn’t exactly in my means to buy people a bunch of things just to show my affection.

In my early twenties, I used to have “things” friends, and a few, in particular, that would always pick up “things that reminded them of me,” kind of like it was a competition. I spent a lot of time with them and the gesture was unnecessary, but the takeaway point is that they drifted away and I have no idea where they are to this day. I am under the assumption , from my own experiences, that “things” people aren’t willing to build lasting friendships.

What I have noticed is that

  • Things people keep close few friends.
  • Thing people don’t ask you how you’re doing when they see you, and often hold side conversations about important life events with others, though you are right next to them.
  • Things people ignore your texts, but post all over social media in the meantime.
  • Things people will give you a gift if they have been ignoring you.
  • Things people tend to argue online just for the sake of arguing.

I’ve tried to get to know them, VERY HARD, to the point of sending them the 16 personalities quiz and stating that I am trying to get to know them. They blew me off.

I’ve tried to get them presents, but nothing seems to be good enough, and they don’t really appreciate them–and sometimes, they don’t use the gift you get them. They flat out reject your gesture. They like expensive things, and without a budget for that, I don’t think I can truly show them my affection.

My grandmother was largely a things person, and now that my family (including me) has some of her possessions, I think it would make her happy. It’s what she wanted to leave to everyone to live on, and that is one thing I understand.

When you are in close physical proximity to “Things People” you are reminded that 1. They are never proud of you. 2. They don’t want to take time to ask who you are. 3. They don’t want to hug you when they see you.

My question is: How can I truly show these people that I love them when I don’t have a budget for expensive things? How can I display affection if things are the only method they accept? Is it just that they don’t know how to communicate with me, or do they not love me back?

To me, materialistic people who are into themselves draw a very thin line that makes the rest of us not like humanity all that much. They may do things with a moral compass at the end of the day and know right from wrong, but their inability to cultivate meaningful interpersonal relationships outside of “things” reminds us how dark humanity can be. The indifference is such a grey line, and it’s hurting everyone around them.

What I have realized as I set this entry down and came back to it later, is that the only thing you can do to not have their behaviors and attitudes rub off on you is to not be around them. Surprise, after my “things people” disregard or ignore me, sometimes my subconscious dreams up a scenario of confrontation. I think I’m totally cool in real life, but I am repressing their rejection time and time again and I dream about it. And why do I care so much? Family. If they can’t get to you, who else can?

In summary, it’s probably best to set “things people” free, when they absolutely refuse to communicate. There’s not much else you can do. Sometimes, you have to face the fact you’ve been permanently rejected, and even if you think you’re feeling okay about it, distancing yourself is the best way to make sure you can get on with enjoying your life.

Enjoy time with your “people people”, and let your “things people” go free.

Do I understand them after all this reflecting, though?

Never will.