I’ve often wondered why some people ignore me. Or at least appear to. Perhaps the fact that I genuinely do take an interest in what people are going through scares them.
There are certain people in my life in whom I have a very genuine interest in. These are people who I would love to spend every waking moment with, and I would never get bored. But that will never happen. Why? A couple reasons,
1. They are scared of the fact that someone cares.
The simple fact that someone actually cares is scary. Often times people say that they care. And they generally do, but only at a surface level. So when you run into someone who really truly cares for you, you get scared really quick. I know I do. Thoughts like They must be in love with me, and They’re just plain creepy, tend to sneak in. Suddenly they aren’t someone who cares about me, they’re my creepy stalker, they’re the person who loves me even though I don’t love them.
I submit that they’re probably not. Chances are, they just care really deeply for you. They want to see you succeed. They want to help you succeed. That is a very rare person. To have someone who wants to help you succeed in an age when everyone is generally out for themselves…I’d become very good friends with them. Because the moment someone tries to succeed, there are a dozen people who will press in and try to quash your efforts. I’ve learned this, because I’ve gone through this. And, sadly, I’ve been a part of the quashing effort.
I know my thoughts have dwelt more than once on If I can’t __________ this, then neither can they. Fill in that blank however you want (do, get, and have are the most common choices). I still do it. But I’m learning more and more to stop myself when I recognize it. I’ll catch myself thinking this, and stop, change it. You know what, I actually want them to __________ that.
It’s important that we recognize this and change our thinking. The more we do that, the more real we can be. The more we can show someone that we want them to succeed. Then they just might become less afraid…
2. They don’t want someone to know their story.
I have my secrets. Only a few people know some things about me, and even then I can assure you that there is no one person who knows absolutely everything about me. Call me paranoid, call me secretive, label me as wanting to be mysterious. It’s okay, sometimes I am paranoid. Sometimes I want to act or seem mysterious. I don’t want people to know the real me. Why? Because I’m afraid that if they did, they wouldn’t like me.
I wear masks, I put up false fronts, we all do….
Very generally, I don’t want people to know my story. But I can say it should be the other way around. I should be perfectly happy sharing my story with others. It’s what makes me who I am, it’s why I’m the way I am. But it’s always that nerve-racking question, Will they still accept me? So I understand. I sympathize. I know what it’s like to have secrets.
When we run into someone who legitimately cares, it’s scary. Because they probe. They ask questions. They want to get personal. One thing though, they won’t do it right away. They’ll spend time with you, hang out with you…then with those people, it’s okay to do that. When they care that much to never ask, and then they start, they’re generally there for the long haul; those are the people I would tell. The one’s I wouldn’t necessarily tell are the people who ask about your life story within five minutes of meeting you for the first time. I’ve met those people. I’ve been that person. I’ve decided I don’t like them, and don’t like being one.
When you meet someone who is constantly asking “How’re you doing?” in the most sincere sense possible, I’d tell them. As long as it’s not the seemingly obligatory “checking in” chances are, they truly care. After all, someone who “checks in” does so maybe once a month. Any more than that, and *gasp* they probably care. But they may not want to seem like they do. But when you meet someone who constantly texts you asking about various aspects of your life, from “How’s that show that you watch?” to “How’d the game go?” to “What was your favorite food again?” to “Anything happening in your love life?” tell them. They care. If they bother to ask those questions time and time again, chances are they want to ask bigger questions. I know I have.
I think it’s important to have someone, at least one person in your whole life, who really cares. The only issue then is finding that person. And that is the challenge. But sometimes they find you. I know I have. I found two people, two people that I love very much. I would give anything to see them succeed. I truly care about them. I only hope that they will someday realize that…because once they do, then we can really get to work.
When you find that person, or persons, don’t ever let them go. Try and tell them over and over that you really, truly care. At the very least show it to them somehow. Shower them with gifts. Load them up with confidence. Let them know consistently how much they mean to you, how much they’ve helped you, how much you want to help them. Learn about their goals and their dreams. Take them on marvelous adventures. Let them lead you on marvelous adventures. After all, I can truthfully say that the best friendships I have ever had are still budding, and they’re the best because we’re helping each other to grow.
That’s what real friendship is. Helping each other to grow. When you have real friendship, you no longer have ignorance, and you know their story as intimately as your own. And when you find them, never let them go.