My favorite bloggers, podcasters, etc. are people that aren't afraid to talk about their life experiences. I enjoy feeling like I can relate to someone, even if I may not know them personally. There's something very human about being able to talk about things you've gone through, your opinion on them, and how you deal with them.
I've gone back and forth with myself about how personal I wanted to get on my website (and online in general) and even though I still haven't completely decided yet, I wanted to do a blog post today about something that I know all too well. The whole "who should reach out first"/"who should speak first" argument.
I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about. Maybe you haven't heard from a friend in a while and you're thinking of reaching out, but you're wondering whether you should reach out first because after all, they haven't done that for you. Or maybe you see someone in passing every day that you consider yourself to be cool with, but for some reason, they never bother saying hi?
I remember one time, there was a friend I hadn't heard from in a while and I mentioned how we hadn't talked in some time and she said, "the phone works both ways". At that time, I should've realized that someone who's a true friend wouldn't talk to me that way, but it did bring up something that I had never really thought of before. If you haven't heard from someone in a while, who's obligated to reach out first? How do you determine that?
Recently, I've experienced a situation where someone I know was speaking to me whenever we'd pass one another (I'd speak to them as well). Sometimes they'd speak first, most of the time, it would be me, if we're being honest here. Then it suddenly stopped. I noticed it especially on one day in particular when I tried to reach out to them and they seemed as if they weren't trying to make eye contact with me and was purposely avoiding me. They did it multiple times after this incident too. That showed me that they didn't want to speak to me, so I stopped going out of my way to say hi to them, because it was beginning to feel forced and I'm not chasing after anybody. Especially when I know for a fact I didn't do anything wrong. Sorry not sorry.
I also felt in my heart that if I stopped going out of my way to say hi to this person...the "hellos" would stop altogether. I honestly wanted to see what would happen. Word of advice: stop going out of your way to do things for people that they clearly have a problem doing for you and watch it not happen anymore. Of course, I was right. Now we don't speak at all.
Ever since, we walk past one another without speaking. However, I have noticed that they speak to me if they run into me in a hallway or something -- basically instances where they have no choice but to say hi to avoid it being extremely awkward. When other people are around to cushion the awkwardness, they deliberately make sure they don't make eye contact or talk to me.
Later, it was revealed that the person doesn't feel the need to say hello because I don't say it to them. Huh? When were these strange rules established? The person woke up one day and decided that they weren't going to say hello to me because I don't say it first...but we had both been speaking to each other mutually for years? 💀 It wasn't even necessarily mutual though, it was mostly always me. But following that logic -- considering said person hasn't said hi in months, why say hi now whenever you run into me and its just us and there's nobody else around? I don't speak first in those instances either, but they still say hi. I'm assuming because they know it's rude and gives off a stuck up vibe in the first place.
The issue was never that I just stopped speaking to them. The issue was that they expected me to break my neck saying it first all the time regardless of if they cared to and that just wasn't going to fly anymore.
Acknowledging other people has always been a natural thing for me. I always say hello to people, or at the very least smile and make eye contact. Texting/calling people first has never been something I felt the need to think twice about when it comes to someone I have no problem with. I believe that reaching out to people, saying hi to people, whatever the case may be -- it should always feel natural. Those that genuinely have no problem with you and/or want you in their lives will have no problem texting you first, calling you first, saying hi to you first.
If you feel like you're always saying hi to someone first or you feel like they're purposely basing whether or not to be friendly and say hi to you on whether you do it first...then they do in fact have an issue with you. This is not including people that are naturally shy and don't speak to anyone/reach out first to begin with. Nobody that's a decent person who genuinely has no problem with you is going to act this way. There's always a method to the madness. It's childish to staple rules on being nice to someone you claim to not have a problem with who hasn't done anything to you.
I've experienced this in school too. Girls that would be outgoing and pick and choose who to say hi to. If that's how you roll, then that's fine. But don't pick and choose when to talk to me when it's convenient for you. I've been practicing keeping the same energy wherever I go. I'm not going to speak to anyone that chooses when to acknowledge me. Especially when I know I haven't done anything to them. And that's on what? PERIODT.
To end this, if any of you reading take anything away from this...just know that if talking to someone ever feels forced or if you know in your heart that you're not going to hear from someone or be acknowledged by them unless you do something first, stop tap dancing for people that simply don't care and start not caring about them as well. Those of us that are genuinely nice people that treat others the way we want to be treated need to realize that not everyone is like us, and that's completely okay. We don't owe ANYTHING to people we haven't done anything to! Just act accordingly and stop wasting energy on people that don't deserve it. 💛
If you've experienced that in your own life, tell me all about it down below! Thank you all so much for reading. I definitely will be doing more posts like this in the future.
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