“Do we need to be hurt more to remove someone from our life?” – This title maybe bit weird for someone but it is the one which plays hugely with one’s emotional content. Always February 19 every year is a bit deadly for me and by the chance or other I lose someone either Physically or Emotionally. In 2010, it was missing someone physically from this world, and in 2013 I lost someone emotionally; repeated the same in 2016 and now again in 2019. Is this is the problem with the date, or I am expecting everyone more than anything. Maybe a bit long post (around 18 – 22 minutes and 3000+ words) with real-life incidents.
I regret that the time and energy which I spent towards maintaining this friendship has been wasted all these times. I have been continuously attempting to build a bridge, but he has been converting it to be as a Wall. Now the maximum tolerance point is achieved, and it seems I have lost my self-respect heavily in this engagement. When there are numerous friends for a reason, a bunch of friends for a season, I presumed that this guy would be a friend for life.
In General, I have a thumb rule which says “Not everyone can easily enter and exit my life! If you are into it, sustain it!”. I consider this one of the most powerful statements of mine all the time and adhere.
I believe in change is inevitable over a span, but total avoidance in a good friendship or any relationship isn’t suitable and advisable. The sparks of any such connection isn’t a big one, instead very small things. Getting my social posts liked, seeing & reacting for our WhatsApp status, replying for our any text messages in first order, answering the calls in 3 rings or if missed calling back, making home visits, inviting for lunch/dinner/coffee/ice-cream, a crazy bike ride are some of the so-called sparks. Even in one of my posts earlier I have mentioned about this guy, and here it is. I experienced all these with him, and he was also quite comfortable in executing it without demands.
Initial days, he used to invite me for a morning walk, which I was a bit hesitant to move with new people and later after several instances I agreed and went. The Bay of Bengal has seen us at various locations across its surface. His health was not co-operating sometime, and I asked him to stay behind for a few days.
Even a stupid message of mine would be acknowledged with a smiley since inception. I was one among the few people greeted by him with Good Morning texts in the morning, and I would be the last guy to get a Good Night before he shuts his phone off every day mutually. These correspondences initiated the conversations for the rest of the day. Even I remember of his acknowledgement of a minor error in his publicly displayed picture and resulting in changing it immediately.
I always want to mutually respect people and value their intentions. Though I may not be able to deliver this to all but at least to those who are really close with me. While he was experiencing some turbulence in his career, I dropped my next busy International engagement and wanted to stand by his side so that he is little bit comfortable with the situation normalising. Though I did my maximum possibilities, I was able to delay the shift after a few months. It was still a remarkable move when considering the severity of the situation. Than money, time, energy and the powers vested within me, I called off all my meetings and stood with him for the whole 2 days just to support him.
Though he wasn’t satisfied with that position even for a short time, I was one among the guys apart from his family to convenience for that short tenure. He was going below a gross performance, and I was able to see from his character change, time non-availability and various other swings. To surprise him, we planned for his Birthday Celebration in mid-air and did some paper works. After his cake cut, he served the cake even to flight crew but forgot to give me until he was alerted by a couple of people who were in the celebrations. Even though I was not fond of those cake fantasies, considering him in a stumbled and shocked state I ignored it giving him a present.
Usually, gratitude does a few things: it establishes trust and emotional intimacy, creates higher relationship satisfaction, and encourages my friend and me to give even more be it time or energy in any form. When I do something for my friend I expect him to be bit grateful for, it creates a norm of reciprocity, and inspires to do something nice in return. With this chain reaction, we will feel even more gratitude towards each other, which will make the relationship even stronger and lifelong. Speaking of gratitude, reminiscing on past events is a sure way to inspire feelings of appreciation.
When your friend isn’t exhibiting extramural gratitude for a serious work done by you after putting an extra effort, then you should view the sequences and decide. When they start a trip alone without you, they know how to come back, but still small things like asking if they are comfortable, they got their water while trekking, they charged their mobile or they had lunch, or dinner could annoy them, but sometime that will guide them and help them. And more likely a simple question “How was your day?” is expected from anyone calling you at the end of the day or texting at the dusk is a form of gratitude.
Many instances we feel ownership of our related people. The level of ownership may differ on how we are being associated with them. We may treat them as equal as our family and in some cases even more than our family without barriers. In this case, I took him just like my family member. Pulled him over on all the occasions and treated him with higher priority and preference. A few days ago, he testified about the privacy invasion accusing me of bugging. I felt awful when the false accusation comes from a very trusted person we possess. I was a bit angry and asked for an explanation, but he managed by saying some reasons which weren’t apt.
In fact, he continued saying that I would also react and testify others character when such situation arises. I wasn’t aware why one should falsely accuse someone by their character when we don’t even know if it is true.
A similar thing happened 3 years ago after the new year party when I dropped home my closest friend. He called me the next day from his landline after his hangover and asked for his mobile phone. I asked him to wait so that I can check with the place where he was drunk, he proceeded and accused of using the situation and stealing his 50$ worth of china phone, when more than 8 to 10 branded phones lie in my table.
After the Birthday party and ignoring the hard moment of him testifying my character, I happened to meet him. Printed the photos of his Birthday and took it to him as a surprise. I always love seeing his blushing face on during these types of surprise things. As we were speaking, I forgot to hand him over that. I realised it after dropping him home, and I came around 500 mts from his home, so called him immediately, but it wasn’t reachable. So went back to his home and stood precisely in front of his house and tried again. The call was connected and asked him to come out and collect it, he blatantly scolded me and refused to come out. He said he will wake up in the morning and receive it from me as first order priority.
There was some mistake at my end too, I should have been more cautious and handed over while we were talking itself. When I travelled around 200 KMS leaving aside all sensitive works to meet him and give those pictures, I should have had the presence of mind. So, I thought he would call me around 6 AM or 7 AM to meet for a walk and left back home. I literally had a very worst night due to external situations, but still managed to stay and start immediately to work after handing over these photos.
It was 4.30 AM, when all the security personnel arrived at my home, 4.45 when my 5 colleagues (of a very senior bureaucracy) came as we scheduled to start at 5.30 AM. I informed them that I need to sign something very urgent and the person would wake up around 6.30 and delayed the trip. It dawned, I was holding my phone and was expecting for his phone call. Was eagerly watching for his call or at least opening of his WhatsApp to learn if he has woke up. Coffees were being served for my colleagues and others every 30 minutes and discussions were going on very heatedly as times were getting delayed.
I lost all the patience, texted him around 8.15 AM and that too a typical “Good Morning” text to check his status. There was no response, and we were into a considerable pressure. I informed the team to prepare everything including protocol and security at 9 AM if no answer arrives. They were all preparing the route and others as usual. Around 8.55 AM, I got a call from him, and he mentioned he was in some public place as his car was stranded near his office. I usually offer him a drop if it was my car, but now that was not the case now.
He added that he cannot wait even a minute for me as his co-working staffs were waiting 30 minutes for his arrival and he was already late. He failed to weigh the importance which I gave him around to meet him and my waiting for almost 4.5 hours since morning along with my colleagues. When I attempted explaining this to him, he refused to understand and confronted me that he didn’t want to abandon them for me as they were waiting 30 minutes for him.
Failure of Keeping up
With mutual regrets and sorries, I accepted his come back. I was backed up my former boss on this swing, and he stood beside me. He advised in detail and ensured that I spoke with him again after a week. I invited him to my home. Initially, he refused that he was busy, later he agreed. (Agreed because he wanted to get my signature for some compliance). I reiterated certain things from him which I was missing in the past few days.
I called him and didn’t respond, later got a text he slept off. I returned to him to call after 9 PM as I called him to alert on something. He missed it purposefully. I know he would come up with an excuse that “I forgot to call you back” or “If it is important for me, I would have called you back!”. I again felt that I am being ignored.
Sorry doesn’t works out without Change or Correction in Behaviour
Initiation of Plans
While leaving the compromise meeting he promised me that he will keep things up straight and will satisfy those small stupid requirements which I needed. From my end to make the conversation bit usual, I asked him to offer me a treat dinner during the weekday in some of the local restaurants. He agreed and left, after 3 days there was no initiation of the plan, so I initiated again from my end asking if he was free. He was held up with some office works, so I responded to him that we can meet on Friday or at the weekend. As usual, he refused to reply to my text. So, I presumed he was busy and texted him again on Saturday for something else, he responded and went without response.
Again, the next week I was way around his office for some other work. So, again I initiated the conversation and asked him if he is there for a coffee which is on the way back to both of our homes. He avoided the coffee meeting by saying he had some official work and will be with someone else. I respected and asked him when he was free, he quoted the subsequent day he was going to his Regional Office and Friday would be fine. I responded saying Friday or Saturday at your convenience is fine. I didn’t get any course of action from him, and it seems he would have felt that spending a coffee or a meal for isn’t his worth. Stripped all these further plans.
Loss of Support
Getting pieces of advice is a key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship which is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure of vulnerability. Giving and Getting advice is one of the most powerful forms of engagement between two people, according to Professor Julia Glazer. And I strongly believe in this with highly emotionally attached people of my life.
With all things apart, I badly wanted his advise or suggestions and support on a life-changing decision-making task which suddenly arose around 7 PM on a beautiful evening. I knew he would be driving his car back home, so dropped him a text to call me back for 5 minutes as the deadline was 9 PM and he should arrive by that time. He was online a few times but didn’t respond to my text, and it didn’t matter me as I thought he would call me back. I kept my phone line free and wanted his call to be a priority as he would be able to guide me appropriately and my decision can be positively influenced by his support.
Around 9 PM, he was online in the WhatsApp, and I pinged him with a “?”. A few seconds later he responded to me “I ‘ll call you back tomorrow. Bye”. I was handicapped in that situation, unable to make the simple decision, which I am usually a Master. I called him immediately, and at the 2nd ring, he made his phone busy for me. I was ignored effectively and received a call subsequent day after 9 AM like an official call which was exactly after 12 hours and 7 minutes. Though I was experiencing high temperature managed to attend the call and asked him to call me later. Till the moment I drafted this article, I didn’t get the call. I was kept as an option without any doubt. Just my mind went around beyond the imagination capacity and felt his support if I was incapacitated.
To have a degree of comparison I felt it like someone (ordinary villager) visiting the stupidest bank at closing time in India and the peon closing the doors embarrassing the customer.
My total trust and interest over him was beheaded entirely without any strings. He has crossed all the last straw moments in the past 60 days without any gap.
Insecurity Won Over
When someone comforts us and pleasing in the way, we expect there is always a heartache. My suspicious mind suspected about this a long ago, but his dedication and the respect he showed me all the time really won my heart. I remember getting his texts even on the day of his wedding and his interest in exploring my gift for his marriage on first order the consecutive day. His preparedness to even cancel his coffee meeting with his fiance made me feel much delighted and how important I was for him. Always, I have the gut to respond and react with people of such a friendly attitude with the same gesture.
I usually have severe insecurity whenever I speak/meet people where my intuition says about the length of the association and the further ruling of anxiety. Finally, this Game is over and my insecurity won this game.
When there was an informal discussion with a few state high-level bureaucrats in October 2018, I was asked to whom I will be introducing my better half in Pondicherry after my parents. I remember of replying:
When I bring her to Puducherry before or after marriage, it will be definitely to my very closest and best friend before to anyone!
But now, I fear if I would be able to keep up the words given to them. My commitment has always been applauded, but this time, I fear of standing along with. When we ignore that subtle actions rendered by their better halves or their family members it never means we should ignore those actions from our friends or related persons too. For some time, it would be OK, but when it continues, it means we are losing our self-respect.
Finally, I have resolved not to establish any contact until he feels my loss from his life. And if someone is perfectly fine is missing you, it is always better in staying away. It is quite painful and tiresome to ignore or forget a living person than a dead person. But in most of the situations, we are forced to do such to withhold our Respect and Pride.
Invest Time & Energy only on people who Reciprocate equally!!!
Disclaimer: If any part or entire incident matches with your life, I am not responsible.