Are you sitting by the phone waiting for someone to call? Is there someone who owes you a call? Someone who you love and care about but haven’t heard from for a while? Actually, has it in fact been ages since they called you? How very remiss of them.
Do you sometimes see people at events or in the street that you know but they don’t come over and say hello, even though you used to be quite close? Does that make you feel sad? Do you wish they wouldn’t be so odd? They can see you standing over by the bandstand but they make no attempt to come over and chat. How can they behave like that? It’s really quite hurtful isn’t it?
Are you owed an apology? Has someone upset you? Have you just had a bit of a falling out over something quite trivial? Have you been waiting quite some time now for them to offer an olive branch? Would that make you really happy to have them back in your life again?
Have you cottoned on yet?
I find I am hearing these sort of comments quite regularly from people around me and it always astounds me that people can’t hear themselves.
So you haven’t heard from someone lately. Why has it never occurred to you that maybe they are sitting thinking the same about you? What stops either of you from picking up the phone and saying ‘Hi’? Why do we assume some sort of intended insult in their lack of communication when we don’t intend anything of the sort by ours? Unless of course we do – but that’s a whole different blog post!
Maybe they are experiencing some challenges in their life that leave them with little time to think of picking up the phone. Maybe they are rushed off their feet and when the idea of calling you occurs to them it’s always far too late at night or right at dinner time. I know this is often what happens to me. You can go several days meaning to phone someone only to find the day’s activities take over and when you have a free moment it just doesn’t seem like a good time. Nobody calls after 9pm unless someone has died, right? So to avoid panicking anyone we wait and then go through the same cycle the next day.
But why do we feel that really they should be calling us rather than us calling them? I think on the whole it comes down to fear of rejection. Most things in life boil down to love or fear. It won’t take you long to work out which is the more life supporting emotion!
So we don’t walk over to that bandstand where our erstwhile friend is standing to say ‘Hi’ in case they turn their back or are rude to us in some way. But a warm approach is one of the most disarming things in the world. Even if there has been some imagined reason for their aloofness that can all be swept away with a cheery hello or warm embrace. Then maybe we find that they were wondering why we hadn’t been in touch either.
So blink first. Take the first step. Plunge right in. Remove that cloud that has been hovering over your relationship, but don’t say, ‘Well I haven’t heard from you in a while,’ in an accusative tone unless you are prepared for them to say the same back to you.
If you are in two minds about this sage advice (my grandmother always told me that self-praise was no recommendation) just remember this lovely quote, which goes something like this;
‘If you can’t decide whether to be kind or right, be kind and you will always be right.’