i am not a good friend. I admit this.
Staying in touch, reaching out, returning phone calls & texts & tweets?
Not my strong suit.
And when I’m in a social situation, will I ghost?
Call me Casper…
It’s something I actually do try to work on, but it’s definitely work. The people in my life who are long-time friends are pretty much saints. They are definitely long-suffering. When I say my friends put up with me, it’s more than just me being pseudo-clever.
Once, way back in the day, there was a presidential candidate named Linden Larouche. I was driving while listening to a campaign speech he was giving. He was trying to get across that he was a “man of the people”, so he was lambasting the “pseudo-intellectuals”. But he wasn’t pronouncing pseudo as “pseudo”. He was pronouncing it like “suede-o”. After the 4th time I had to pull off to the side of the road so I could laugh.
Isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think?…
…but I digress.
In spite of the random, devil may care attitude I seem to have towards the concept, I do treasure the people who brave the perils of dealing with me on a regular basis. It means a lot to me. And I think that friendship has a direct bearing on wellness. Recently I have been in a situation where I regularly interact with a group of people. Most of them are friendly. There is a group who, from the get-go, have simply not acknowledged my existence. I don’t know why. I literally haven’t had a chance to offend them. Early on in the process, I would compliment them, as I did with most of my co-workers, about some aspect of what they are doing.
Sort of an ice-breaker, ya know?
The responses? Monosyllabic responses, or none at all. And another charming aspect of my personality is that after an attempt or two is met with that kind of metaphorical stone wall, I stop trying. I write it off as not wanting to waste good energy after bad. I don’t try to sit down & have a heart to heart.
No “ why aren’t we friends? I hope I didn’t offend you.”
None of that.
Through they exist around me, I don’t acknowledge their existence. I’m simply waiting for the association to be over. That’s what I do, keep moving forward, like some sort of social shark.
But it hurt.
Not “ I’m questioning my validity as a person, why me, why me?” hurt. More like a social wasp sting. An “Ouch, dammit! Oh by the way, what’s for lunch?” type hurt.
Now, why did I over-share all of that?
Because it’s the holidays, that’s why.
Because historically, people tend to get reflective during these times. they get more emotional & sentimental. They think about family & friends. Most of the time it’s with love or joy or laughter. But sometimes things take a darker turn. People’s thought’s can turn negative, dark & self-destructive. And for some of those people, a card or a call or an invitation can do a world of good.
So maybe take a minute. Say “hello” or “how ya doing” or “how about lunch / dinner / karaoke” (depending on the musical talent involved. You have to consider your own wellbeing too you know). What might be a small thing to you could mean the world to someone else.
One more digression.
I was running my 2nd full marathon in San Diego , circa 2008. I, in my wisdom, had decided to run a competitive half marathon the week before. I was at mile 20 & I was done. Trashed, exhausted, physically & emotionally. Ready to quit.
Then I heard this voice.
“You go Bob Tully!”
I look over and see this guy. He’s a local running coach / guru who I worked with through my day job. Didn’t know he was going to be there and I have no idea how he picked me out among all those runners . But those 4 words, at that exact moment in time, saved my proverbial backside. 4 words of encouragement, at the right time & place, got me through the last 6 miles of that race.
So maybe your 4 words will be that lifeline for someone this Holiday season.
What does it cost you? Not a thing.
What could it mean to them. Maybe everything.
Love & Peace to all.