Communication is layered with our own meaning....our own needs or yearnings. It's easier to assess where the relationship seems to be hovering when you're face to face. You can hear, see, feel, smell, touch, and perceive it. The person is right there in front of you....and even then, we can still walk away with misguided interpretations. However, any other form of communication between two human beings brings with it many more complicated blips. Some are relatively new forms......email, texting, facebooking, twittering....
There is a discomfort felt in the gut when waiting for a response, a reply. You send out a message, a story, a question. You ask for clarification, or reassurance, maybe information. Then, you wait.... and wonder..... and fret. Even when you cognitively and intuitively KNOW that the person you are trying to connect with is dealing with their own set of issues, life conflicts, busyness, there is niggling poke at the fret button. At least there is for me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive? Impatient? Needy? I'd say all three.....
I begin to question myself, my actions, my own frame of mind when there is a long gap between putting yourself out there through your words and receiving some kind of acknowledgement or interpretive response. If I've REALLY pried open my flesh to spill something emotionally intimate and I get nothing back, I begin to feel anxious, wondering if I have done something wrong, or if I've worded something in a way that may have been misinterpreted. Depending on how I'm feeling and where I am at emotionally and confidently, this type of "stinking thinking" can sink my boat. I may have started off in a free flying craft with the sails up catching the gusts and skipping right along, but if I'm ignored, put aside, dismissed the boat all of a sudden starts taking in water. The wind dies down and I begin to sink into the stinking thinking mode of travel like a castaway alone and bobbing in unfriendly waters.
Irrational thoughts lead to irrational emotions ..... which in turn leads to irrational actions/reactions. Actually, I think it is more a vicious circle which can begin at any point. My mood could be despondent and it will in turn lead to an impulsive action to satisfy me temporarily which then leads to feeling guilt and shame from the thoughts that follow the action. If I happen to be caught in that dog chasing performance, it's difficult to pull out of it before it's too late.
Maybe its because I have a big problem with rejection. I guess its happened one too many times and as much as I try not to let it shade my thinking and feeling, I'm not often competent at that. It seems like it's always there, hovering in the foreground. When I find myself in the middle of another possible situation where this may be occuring, I try to see it as an opportunity to reflect on the refreshed irritation in order to learn how effectively let go of the stupid thoughts and hurt feelings. That way, I can try to step aside from my vantage point to read my own flushed and feather ruffled feelings. Then, I try to explore my own behaviour and actions that seems illicit a non response (and a strong desire to receive one).
It's a value thing too....I try not to do this to others because I find it so disrespectful, so when it happens to me, it rubs against this value button.
Rejection and that sickly sense of abandonment....the fear of being left out or left behind has a strong pull on many of us. It's an ingrained schema we have to fight tooth and nail to overcome. It kicks the gut until it empties, leaving you feel hollow and unloved. Where it comes from is unique to the individual it wants to strangle. But, I have grown to believe that we ALL experience it, some more intensely than others, at some point in our lives.
Have you felt the hollow??? How have you dealt with it??
I have a tendancy to stick my neck out more often than many I think. I do take risks and connect with many people, whether its a brief conversation with the muffin lady at the local convenience store, or someone in my life whom I consider a close friend. Consequently there are more chances for me to be in a position of being rejected....dismissed.... ignored.
For the most part I can walk away and move on. But not when I'm feeling it within a relationship which has deep meaning in my life. Then, if I'm not careful, it can pierce me deeply. This is something I've learned about myself only this year, and when the realization hit me....when those light bulbs went off, I literally doubled over. Why? Because once I knew that the trigger was a fear of rejection, all the times it had happened, particularly over the course of the last 10 years, went flooding through my system and knocked the wind out of me.
Viktor Frankl wrote.....“When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.” I read this quote the other day and just shook my head. So often, I have tried to change a situation through my actions, thinking that if I kept trying to connect, maybe the situation would right itself. When I read this Frankl quote, my initial reaction was a realization that this is where I am stalled in the challenge of changing myself. Knowing that my behaviour....my need to connect with a few people whom I seem to be slipping away from may be perceived differently than my intention tells me I need to change me. I need to recognize my own triggers, my own emotions, thinking, actions and then perhaps let it be.
I tend to read things into things......I get paid for my intuition and assessment skills. They come naturally to me. But, sometimes they go into overdrive. I read too much into things and then get too emotionally incensed. A lot of times, I'm right. I'm kind of like one of those sniffer dogs at an accident scene. I usually smell it right. Sometimes I'm wrong however, usually when I'm overly anxious to make a friendship work, or overly needy of reassurance.
Right now, that's me. Perhaps in the future it won't be? I won't feel the need to seek out affirmation? I hope so. It would be nice to relax a bit more about the lack of response.
In the meantime..... bear with me. I'm doing the best that I can to pry myself away from stinking thinking......
ps. Ironically, this was not written with the intentions of seeking out empathy. I have found the whole process of learning how to be more confidently patient, to trust a Higher Power when it comes to realizing I can only control my own actions, thoughts and emotions and HOW I react to others' behaviour....interesting and eye opening. It's a universal process I believe .... one which has become more complicated as we have allowed technology and different means of communication into our daily interactions.