A while ago now, I spent some time with someone, and thought we’d get along famously.
We were quite different, but had a similar sense of humour and a similar outlook on life. There was much fun and frivolity to be had.
But as the time went on, I got the sneaking suspicion they were not feeling the same way.
And, unexpectedly for me, I began to feel a little bit insecure.
no friends+lolcat pics on Sodahead
Suddenly I was wondering it it was something I had done. Was I not funny enough? Not smart enough? Did I go too far with a joke? Did I unknowingly overstep some kind of personal line? Why was this not working out as I had expected?
Then I wondered what on earth it was that I had expected.
After mulling that over for a while (at 3am mind you, excellent insomnia fodder), I came to the conclusion I hadn’t expected anything. It was more that my feelings were a little hurt that someone didn’t like me. It was as simple as that. And seemingly, as immature as that.
Then of course, I started the spiral of wondering if I was reading too much into the whole situation, and in fact there was absolutely nothing wrong and I was making it all up. That I had misread some signals and was turning this molehill into a mountain. But my gut was still nagging that there was something amiss.
And then I wondered why I even cared. I am a successful, happy, secure woman with a career and a family and plenty of friends and a charmed life. Why was the (possibly imagined) rejection from a veritable stranger leading me to question who I am and the behaviour I exhibit?
The point of the story is, that in the grand scheme of things, I don’t care. Sure it would have been nice to make a new friend, but the truth is, my life is still awesome without them. We can go back to our original aquaintance, which was pleasant enough.
But I’m not going to pretend that at the time, I didn’t care. Because apparently, that’s normal. Rejection, however slight, stings a little. Sometimes it leads us to re-examine ourselves and that is only ever a good thing. And if I’m to make some changes for the better based on this examination, then I can only be grateful for the opportunity to see them.
But boy, does it suck in the moment.
I don’t know whether it’s because it brings up schoolyard feelings of being left out and being ignored, or just that navigating interpersonal exchanges can be tricky and filled with opportunities to be confused, but that gnawing, slightly ashamed feeling of being “not enough” is universal.
I am sure this is not the last time I’ll ever feel this way. And I know that nobody can make you feel anything without your permission, but feelings are feelings because you can’t help them. If we were all rational all the time, there’d be no passion, no creativity, no art. Rationality is the lifejacket that helps you through those irrepressible feelings so at some point you surface from them having learned something.
It’s only now that it happened so long ago that I can look back and see with an objective eye the journey I took.
And if it means I can be a better friend to someone else in the future, then it was meant to be.
Wow. that was deep. Back to spinach roll and tea parties tomorrow xx