By Kenneth Stepp
I’ve done it… You probably have as well. You meet someone interesting, you spend some time getting to know one another, a call, text, or message every day. Then nothing. I’ve done this in the past. Up until recently, I had not experienced it in reverse. When I did it in the past it was usually because of where I was emotionally. If I hit a “slump”, odds are I pull away. But I tend to pull away from everyone, not just one person. I wonder I was pulled away from. Maybe she experienced depression or found someone. Perhaps she decided I was wrong for her. I’m not for everyone, so I would understand. I’m a mess, I have severe ADD, so I can really be all over the place. Or maybe it was something I said, posted, or even didn’t say or do. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I experienced it so I know how it feels to be pulled away from. I needed that. People reach out to me all the time when things like this happen. Knowing what it feels like will help me help them.
The pull away, as I call it, actually has a term placed on it. It’s called ghosting. So if you make a new friend and everything seems to be going great, then one day they simply vanish. It’s called ghosting. It can leave you very confused. It did me. Not so much hurt. I just wondered what happened. I hope it’s that way for everyone because it happens so much. I suppose it’s why we are always on guard when meeting new people. Trust these days must be earned. And once trust is broken, it’s tough to get back. I’ve forgiven and forgotten a few times in my life. It usually ends the same way the next time around too. I tend to forgive quickly and truly forget. That has cost me dearly in the past, but not many people I know offer anyone second chances. Fewer as I age actually.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – Mahatma Gandhi
Because I write about relationships, dating, and the single’s journey, others constantly ask me questions about the subjects I write about. Honestly, I’m certainly no expert. I write because it helps me process experiences. I began because I was hurting. That was so many years ago. Writing also helps me process pain and confusion. Someone told me that writing was my therapy and publishing it was purging it. I’m not sure that’s true, but I am compelled to do it for some reason. Today my mind is on the pull away. I’d never adequately processed it. So, today is the day for that. What I’ve learned is when someone does something to us, or we perceive it was to us. We need to stop and think of what might have happened in their life to make them do something like that. Work to understand them, not judge them.
“I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge” – Gerald Jampolsky
When I hear someone talk about another in a negative light, I take it with a grain of salt. Your experience with someone will always be different that another’s experience. Talking behind someone’s back only makes you look bad, not the person you are talking about. Or at least that’s the way my brain works. I have a dear friend who lives about 5 hours from me. We were in a group together a long time ago, more of a gossip mill really. We commented on one another’s posts a lot. There was another member who was so bitter towards everyone that I had to block her because of the negative things she would say. One day the negative person messaged my friend and said some very bad things about me and told her she should stay clear of me. Like me, she made her mind up herself. It’s been a couple of years and we are still friends, real friends. So when someone hurts you, understand them, don’t rush to judgement. Give others a chance to show you who they are. The payoff could be a real friendship with value. Maybe even more.
“Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself” – Henry James