The more I interact with people the more I want to go and live in a Himalayan cave with only my dog for company. I’m a very straight forward person and admit I often find people’s behaviour utterly baffling.
There’s a lady at my Camera Club who I’ve always gotten along fine with. She added me to her Facebook page, we used to occasionally chat at coffee break and then all of a sudden last year something changed. She no longer liked any of my Facebook posts, didn’t congratulate me on any of my achievements and is about as warm towards me as the iceberg which sank the Titanic. I have racked my brains to try and work out what I could possible have said or done to offend her and have come up with a big fat zero. Part of me is mortified if I’ve upset her in any way and thinks I should ask her about it, but a bigger part knows I can’t possibly have done anything to warrant being frozen out like this and thinks I have enough stress in my life without her adding to it and I just want to tell her to fucking get over herself.
About 3 years ago I was out taking photographs one gorgeous Autumn day when I met another lady also taking pictures. We started chatting and hit it off immediately. We would meet now and again for lunch, added each other to Facebook and I thought we had the start of a really close friendship. Last summer we met for lunch and she told me about some very serious problems she was having with her marriage. I didn’t make any judgements, simply supported her and said whatever she decided to do I just wanted her to be happy. And then she simply dropped off the planet. Knowing what I did about her situation I was worried sick and so tried to contact her and she simply ignored me. She’d done the same thing to a mutual friend we had, so I knew it wasn’t something I’d done, but as the months went by I went from being worried about her to being angry with her. I could see she was still active on Messenger but was choosing to ignore my messages. If someone cares about you, and is clearly worried about you, all it takes is a 2 second text message to say “I’m fine but appreciate your concern” and you’d be able to stop worrying. To leave a friend hanging, when they know you’ve recently been in a potentially harmful situation, simply isn’t on. I have not heard a word from her from that day to this and neither has our mutual friend.
A similar thing happened with an M.E. friend I’ve had for decades. She was having a rough time and simply fell off the edge of the world. Many of her friends were worried sick, we all tried messaging her, and she ignored us all. For over a year there was no word, then I get a fucking Christmas card! Is it just me who finds that absolutely bizarre? As with the friend above I’ve gone from being worried about her to being angry with her for ignoring all her caring friends, who have enough sodding problems of their own as we’re all ill, and putting us through months of worry. I’ve butt dialled people by mistake for heavens sake, so it’s not like it takes a huge amount of effort to write one line to say you are fine but are just taking time out and appreciate everyone’s good wishes. Manners, it seems, are no longer considered necessary.
Having been isolated for many years I value my friends hugely. I think it’s hard to find others with whom you feel a strong affinity, who make you laugh or who share your interests or view of the world and it amazes me that people value their relationships so little.
The people who I find most baffling, however, are those folk that think “being honest” and “being real” isn’t actually just being rude and insensitive. I have a friend who just says everything that comes into his head. He wraps this up in a parcel of ‘humour’ or ‘sarcasm’ thinking that makes his comments acceptable but I have news for him………..it doesn’t. For example, he told me he was sick of seeing me in a particular jumper, literally 10 minutes after a conversation we’d had where I talked about how hard it was to live on a limited income and how I struggle these days for essentials let alone luxuries. He is absolutely minted so I’m sure has no concept of trying to live for decades on very little money but that being the case I would have thought he should be more thoughtful of what he says in conversations with me not less. I would never dream in a million years of commenting negatively on anyone’s appearance, possessions, home or anything else. The only intention behind these kind of “observations” is to make the other person feel bad and why would anyone want to make their friend feel like crap? The words “tact”, “diplomacy” and “empathy” seem to be disappearing from our vocabulary. We all have negative thoughts about other people at times, I know I often do, but I don’t say them out loud because it’s hurtful and because the last time I looked no-one died and made me perfect and in any position to judge.
I simply don’t have the energy to be dealing with crap like this. I struggle just to get through each and every day – I haven’t got the physical resources to waste on other people’s mind games, insensitivity, thoughtlessness and rudeness. I really should tackle the lady at my Camera club to find out why she’s pissed with me but, honestly, I have better things to do with my energy. So I choose to simply walk away from these types of situations and focus on people who are less draining and complicated to be around.