I spoke to a friend I’ve had since my teens the other day. We have our ups and downs but every so often we catch up, agree to make amends and put in the effort to see each other. It was on one of these occasions, with a plan was in place for an in-real-life meeting, that we carried on chatting. I was excited to see them at first, but I soon realised that we had actually evolved to be different. The next morning I cancelled the plan.
In part I cancelled because of my health- fibroids, but also I’d had some time to think. On our call, they had bitched about a dear close friend of ours, and overshared extremely personal information on another close friend before commenting on the appearance of yet another. They had let their ugly show, but not only that, it had got me thinking about all of our past interactions. You see, this person is so fun to be around and it’s always an adventure whatever we end up doing. They continually make questionable decisions but because they’re charismatic, it’s easily ignored for the sake of fun. I too make questionable decisions but I try to learn from my actions & I can’t remember the last time I broke a person’s trust or slagged off someone I care about.
Cancelling our hangout highlighted to me the growth I’ve had over the past few years. It was about reinforcing healthy boundaries and only spending my personal time with people who I respect and trust. If they could divulge such personal detail about someone who’d be devasted that it’d been talked about, they would do the same about everyone. What this also showed me was that I no longer care for negative gossip. We each have a lot going on, I want to know what’s happening in your life, not discuss other people. I want to celebrate my friends for their wins or commiserate where needed. I love this person and so I imagine we will reconnect in a few years’ time, but for now, I shall accept our difference and enjoy the space.
Not just the other day, but for a few weeks now, types of people have been playing on my mind. Where I’ve been with those who value creativity, challenges and development as part of their own growth, it’s strange to encounter the opposite. I’m talking about the idea stealers, the insecure gatekeepers of nada, those that grandiose themselves and the non-listeners. It’s amazing that a person might have just one of those traits or multiple.
I’ll start with the idea thief. In this particular instance, I don’t know if they realised they were doing it since it came so naturally to them. We were on a group pitch, and I disagreed and came up with a different solution. A few days later that solution was theirs and they; in front of the team, declared how graciously they had come up with an answer which included my perspective as part of the project. I think they honestly felt I should have been happy for the minutiae of recognition. I honestly wasn’t upset by this instance as it taught me a lot about the person and how I would react to them moving forward. I was upset though when I was assisting a creative writer, giving them pointers on how to improve, and rather than do the hard work, they blatantly stole my work, changing character names; as if I wouldn’t notice!
The other person that was bugging me, but since I’ve chosen acceptance, I’ve moved on, was the faux helper. They would publically proclaim how they were helping, in meetings give me pointers but in the background would ignore or at times I suspect sabotage my efforts. I was confused at first, but I soon realised that their public show was just that, an act of theatre.
In the past, I would have believed that these people acted the way they did because of me, because of something I had done. I would go out of my way to please them as I believed I was broken and hadn’t grown enough to be critical of how others behaved. I was filled with shame at merely existing and so would have internalised their toxic traits and tried to change my behaviour to please them. Not anymore. Life is so much simpler when you move on from blaming yourself for all the ills of the world to being your own champion. I’m now too long in the tooth and have learnt to trust myself.
I can see why so many prefer animals to humans, their agendas are extremely clear!