The common mistake of overestimating your own relevance

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As an admirer of design and poetry, I feel ashamed for reading and (occasionally) agreeing with these cheesy pictures.
The quotes have the poetic quality of fortune cookies, are poorly designed and popular on Tumblr. No matter how blatantly trivial the statement is: Sometimes they fit very well.

When taken for granted people often experience a lack of appreciation. Their kindness and care have become a standard while the work and effort behind are left without credit. Obviously, this imbalance is problematic and will lead to conflict sooner or later. Whether this is reminding on an ex-partner, a former friends or even family member: The motivation to support people shrinks drastically in the face of ungratefulness.

It’s weird. With autumn being around the corner and the weather growing colder I found myself becoming harsher as well. As if trying to compete with the trees shedding their leaves, I am eagerly cutting people out of my life. The last weeks have been undoubtedly tough but the stress helped me to open my eyes. Some people are straight up shit. Like so shit that I have really no reason for keeping them in my life.
The story in short: While I made an effort to support these people as good as I can, I did not have the impression of gaining much of the friendship apart from disappointment, weak excuses and empty promises. I am currently struggling with many things at once and I do not have any energy to spare. Especially not for people who are hardly trying to be useful. Fuck them.
This time the overall conclusion was very very simple: Bye.
It is a practice I do on a regular basis since keeping my environment healthy is just too important. Moreover, it is a question of efficiency as well.

How dare I?

To make this perfectly clear: these cuts never come suddenly. I give warning shots on different occasions. The final decision of letting people go is always a conclusion of incidents in the past.
On good days I try to give people a fair and useful description of why I am tired of them.
On bad days I keep it very short.
On very bad days I tell them to fuck off.

Do you know that is very funny though? Sometimes people have the damn audacity to try convincing me that I do a grave mistake. As if I am about to lose something precious.

“You can always text me if you change your mind.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“It would be a shame to end things like this.”

Ok, so first of all, no. Just a big NO.

Why on fucking earth should I want to endure this attitude much longer? It is obviously god damn easy saying this from their position. You had no disadvantage from the friendship and are in fact losing a useful toy here.
It’s pretty much asking: “Yo dude, you sure you don’t want to do some emotional labour for absolutely nothing in return?” (Surprise the answer is still no.)
I fail to see what I gain from changing my mind. Where is the value of this relationship? What makes it worth all the shit?

To me, it feels as if we have two different judgements colliding here. While one party feels unappreciated, the other sees hardly a problem in the current dynamic. For them, the friendship has been functioning before and still is. Reading this choice as a mistake is oddly logical.
It does not change anything about my feelings though. No matter how much fun and laughter I have shared with people: In the end, it has little meaning to me if strangers can easily replace them. How am I supposed to make the world a better place when my well-being comes too short? It is not my job to teach people about being a good friend to me.

Why are you not into me?

I will put it very straight and very short: My crush is not into me and that sucks.

Apart from the regular bitter taste of rejection I can not help but wonder what the fuck is wrong him (it’s a male person in this case). After several failed attempts to meet each other and the overall lack of engagement from his side I had to embrace the fact that my interest and affection is probably one-sided and did the one thing, I could do to avoid more frustration: I accepted it. Again: My crush is not into me.

I accepted his busy schedule, his priorities and plans that didn’t involve me at all. In moments like these, I try to look beyond my hurt ego and force myself to put myself in his situation. How would I like to be treated if I was him? Being rejected might hurt but rejecting people is equally hard- especially if you care for the other person. I thought back on all the friends I have lost because I did not return their feelings and I also remember how much it hurt me to justify it.

Why am I not good enough for you?

The question is lingering in the room and was probably also in my friends’ minds back then. If I would have been more mindful back then I might have found better words and ways to handle it. Instead, I was solely focusing on myself and felt so terribly betrayed by them for not accepting my feelings. I did not understand why or even how I was supposed to explain the lack of romantic feelings. The entire situation was hard for all of us but all we saw was the subjective unfairness in front of us. In our anger and frustration, we hurt each other so badly that we stopped talking and avoid each other since then.

If I could turn back time, what are the things I want to be different? What could we change to avoid more stress and pain?

Acknowledge each other’s feelings

Knowing that somebody has feelings for you might seem very flattering but truly acknowledging it is a bit different. Taking their emotions seriously and acting mindfully is important to treat them with respect. It is already a huge step to confess your feelings to somebody so  it’s the least I can do in response.
The same does go to rejection as well. The lack of feelings is just as valid as a confession of love and should not need to be justified or explained. Affection is nothing you can claim. Not by insulting, not by screaming, not by arguing. It is not there.

In both cases, it is important to mention that both feelings will probably linger for a while. I will probably have that crush for a little while longer, even if they stay unanswered. At the same time, the lack of affection will last as well.

Acknowledging your own needs

Back then I wanted to continue whatever we had as if nothing had happen. I wanted my friends to chill at my place as we used to did and spend the entire night talking about silly stuff while listening to our favourite songs. That was stupid.

No matter how nice and easy that would be: when expectations are differing, everyone should re-adjust to the new situation and take their time to reflect on what they need in order to feel better. Sometimes that means you need some distance in order to find out. Sometimes it also means that you start stalking their new partner and (please don’t) to curse the world and scream. Whatever it is, keep in mind that all this is temporary. Don’t force yourself to continue something that is not making you happy. Don’t pretend you never got rejected and play along this happy friendship game. Don’t pretend you would return the feelings and start a relationship.

Last but not least: Move on.

All this has nothing to do with anyone not being good enough. It is about the different kinds of happiness each and every one of us is looking for and sometimes it won’t work out. I can try and be the best version of myself but that doesn’t mean everyone will love it. To put it very drastically: People have their own taste and you have to accept that some have a poor different one. It sucks, yes but you have no right to change it. Your own taste is subjective and nothing more.

With all that in mind, I swallowed the fact that my pretty face does not save me from rejection. After another failed attempt to meet I told the my crush that I respect his busy schedule, wished him the best of luck in Berlin, hoped that we will bump into each other at some point but apologized that I won’t compete with his timetable anymore.

He was confused by this … finality. After explaining me the full dimension of his busy lifestyle (which was unnecessary because I got it by then) I phrased it very simple:

– I just have the impression that you are not into me as much as I am into you.
– Yeah… that might be true.
– That’s ok. I’m not upset but I hope you respect my decision.
– sure.

Obviously, I was not madly and deeply in love since I never had the chance to properly date him (which was good in the end, I guess), but I was sad after all. The fact that he didn’t even want to find out who I was is really … sobering. He probably didn’t feel the chemistry between us at all and his knees probably didn’t get weak when he saw me. It was just me but that’s no reason to hurt or insult him.