August 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm #40138
Hi, I’m having a problem that I don’t know how to move on from. I have a friend who is probably the sweetest, nicest, most caring and understanding person I’ve ever met. I enjoy talking to her and sometimes just want to talk to her all the time. I’d also developed a crush on her, so I think that’s part of why I enjoy talking to her so much. There’s just one thing I don’t understand; sometimes she doesn’t respond when I call, text, Facebook message or email her (not all at once). Many times I didn’t say anything but I grew resentful towards her. And I think it’s because when she doesn’t respond I get confused and don’t know how to interpret her lack of response, or respond in return. I told her this about a month ago and she gave me a reasonable explanation, and even assured me that she wasn’t intentionally ignoring me. Since then, our communication has been pretty consistent. But in the last few days when I’d text her, either she didn’t respond for some time or not at all (and some of those times she’s the one who wanted to talk to me). So I don’t understand why she wouldn’t respond if she’s open to conversation or just hearing from me. I know she can be pretty busy at times, and I keep reminding myself of what she told me a month ago, but the fact that I told her how I felt and it happened again leaves me wondering whether there’s any more I could do to express how uncomfortable I feel and hope the situation changes. What’s more, she and are two out of three officers in one of the clubs at our college, and just yesterday I emailed her on club business. I texted her to let her know that I sent the email, because we’re going back to school soon and I felt it was pretty urgent. So far she has not responded to neither the text nor the email, and that bothers me, both in general and in different ways. Regarding the text(s) I feel rejected personally when she doesn’t respond. But in the case of emails about the club, I feel like she could be ignoring it and potentially not taking it seriously (especially considering I told her I’d send her an email the day before I sent it, to which she said “okay”). She’s also done the same with emails about the club, and just recently she’d told me that she would try to work on her commitment issues, but this was before she didn’t respond to yesterday’s email. I don’t know if I should say anything more, and I’m afraid of getting into serious conflict, or making her feel bad. If anyone can please respond, and help me figure out what to do about her lack of response and my resentment I would really appreciate it.
P.S. Aside from what I told her a month ago, she doesn’t know how I really feel about her lack of response. Also, she’ll probably be very busy when classes start, so at first I thought I would just spend some time away from her if this continues (especially considering that I still kinda like her). But I’m not sure that’s the best way to deal with the situation. For one, I’m not sure if that’ll help me let go of my resentment, and I don’t want to risk hurting her feelings either.August 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm #40141
I responded to you on your other thread. I hope you find my advice helpful.
As I said in your other thread, Facebook, texts and emails are a relatively new technology and people respond to them differently.
I have to be a little blunt here. I have no intention of distressing you, what I am about to say I do with good intentions and the hope of helping you. Now please understand that my opinion, is just my opinion and we all know that opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one. I am not a professional therapist or a professional anything. I am a flawed human being with my own prejudices and ignorance – so if you think I am wrong just ignore what I have said and don’t take it to heart.
From what you told us here, in this particular situation, I actually think you might be the one who is being a little unreasonable.
When you discussed your feelings about text messages etc in the past with this women, she explained why she didn’t always respond straight away or at all. She explained that it wasn’t to do with you personally.
I think that is a perfectly reasonable explanation. I also think her time frame has been reasonable too. You say you only sent the email yesterday, I don’t think it is fair to upset about not getting a response by now. I know people who take weeks to respond to emails, myself included. She possibly sees the situation the same way.
When I was working in the professional world it was common to wait days for responses to emails, particularly from higher up people. You are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration if you get upset over people not responding quickly.
I would let this go and wait for her to respond to you. If you haven’t heard from her regarding the issue about the club in a couple of weeks, you could send her a quick, very polite and non resentful email asking her if she has had chance to take any action on the issue you wrote to her about.
I worry that you are being too demanding of her and that you will drive her away if you keep this up.
You maybe have to decide if you want to pursue a relationship with this women, because it seems that issue is muddying the waters of what is going on between the two of you.
I hope you take this post in the gentle spirit in which it was intended, and I wish you health and happiness.August 11, 2013 at 10:55 am #40185
Hi there Buddhist Wife.
To be honest I agree with you. I think I am being unreasonable to a certain extent. And I guess that’s my flaw. But I know that it’s something I intend to work on and I think it’s something she should know if we are going to continue working together (or just in general). I am usually very afraid of conflict and I when I get scared of how someone will react to my honesty, I can’t really be honest with them or myself and then resentment and frustration sets in. I understand what you are saying and I thought the same things plenty of times, but what good is my relationship with her if I can’t be honest with her? It feels like I’m walking on eggshells because I’m scared that every time I do or say something I’ll get a negative reaction. But then I always feel relieved afterward because she wasn’t upset or annoyed. That’s not a healthy relationship and I don’t think that’s fair to me or her. She is a very nice and understanding person and I admit that many times I don’t know how to respond to that kindness. But I’m not a mean person myself and I can’t risk holding myself back any longer because I might push her away from me. I want to trust that she’ll respond in an understanding and hopefully positive way, and if can’t trust people, then I don’t see myself going any further in my life.August 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm #40196
There is a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh who says that when you are having trouble attaching a certain emotion to a certain object to simply “remove the object”. There is the resentment, there is the fear – and then there is the object of that resentment and fear. These are two COMPLETELY separate things but your mind links them. I would suggest, for your own sake, to completely let go of this particular someone in order to go back to yourself and find out what this resentment means – without her being a part of the equation – without the “object”. There is nothing unreasonable about her time frame. She is establishing boundaries, and everyone’s boundaries are going to be different and even if they are not the same as your boundaries the boundaries of others must be respected in order for healthy relationships to proceed. Please, for your own sake, recognize your own obsession on this situation and with kindness release yourself from it. You do not need to rely on a particular response from someone to bring you peace of mind – to do so would be to control something that is COMPLETELY outside of your control. It is madness. But you can control how you respond to it – with work. And it may be a lot of work. It requires you to honestly look at yourself and take stock of what it is that you are looking to get from this relationship and to ask yourself if these are reasonable things to expect getting from someone. People need space and freedom in order to feel safe in a relationship and if you do not give this to them then it is you they will begin to resent. I have been on both sides of this situation many times – as I think most people have. And what I have found is that it is better, always better, to recognize obsession (that is, strong attachment to an outcome) and to relieve yourself the stress and burden of having to hang onto it. Let go, friend. Detach from this and experience your own freedom and give her the space and freedom. If you don’t – she will pull away – as she should – in order to give herself the space and freedom to exist within her own boundaries. I hear your own suffering in this situation. You are suffering because you are attached to a particular outcome. Let go, friend! Let go for your own sake and be a friend to yourself. You deserve it.
Be well – and be wary of excessive thinking. Inject some space into your mind – “breathing in, I know I am resentful – breathing out, I let go of the need to feel resentful” To continue this thread of thinking and attachment is to only cause yourself to suffer – and her possibly, more.
-J.D.August 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm #40201
In addition to the other heartfelt advice, a few things came to heart as I read your words. Consider that there is a difference between being honest, and the inner craving to be heard. It would be one thing if she was asking you to tell her your feelings for her, and quite another to blert and insist she help you settle your uncomfortable feelings. Those don’t belong to her… she is not the cause of your suffering.
Sometimes when we have a crush on another, and it is not returned, when we give them something we wish for it to be returned in the same way. For instance, you place great value and interest into the messages you give her. She perhaps does not return that enthusiasm right now. She said she is busy and its not personal, and so her not taking the time to respond to you is not because she has an aversion.
You are playing it like it is about the club, but it seems to be more about your crush, your desire to communicate with her. This is normal and usual. Perhaps as you look deeply into your side of the exchange, and how much investment you and your mind have placed on the communication, you can see why it is so painful for you.
Said differently, a farmer is bound to relentlessly suffer if he frets every time a seed takes time to grow. If he claws at the dirt, he disrupts the space and time the seed needs to grow. The same is true of connections with others. We give seeds, and let go, keep seeding. If something grows, fantastic! If not, well, one of them will… where the seeds connect with fertile soil. For instance, how many dates could you have gone with the time and energy you’ve invested in your obsessive thinking?
Consider taking some time to self-nurture. Go on walks alone, take a bath, meditate, embrace your creative side. Step away from trying and waiting to get responses from people, that is an empty place to look. When we don’t take the time we need to self nurture, the lack of response becomes all about us. “How could they not respond to ME”. When we do take the time to self nurture, the lack of response is about them. “They did not respond, that is interesting, I wonder why?”
For example, when I respond to your message, it has very little to do with me. Its about you. When I finish, I move on, and if and when my words connect with you, you’ll respond if you want to. And never is it otherwise. Therefore I can move on and give loving kindness to another without worry, without obsession, without distraction.