When You’re Asking Something Of Them, You Must Be Gentle

When You Asking Something Of Them, You Must Be Gentle
Ian Dooley

You aren’t asking too much, but be gentle.

Why can’t they text back in a reasonable time? Why can’t they figure out what they want? Why didn’t they call back? Why won’t they open up to me? There are so many questions that I’ve run repetitively through my head, and by other people, trying to figure out whether or not I’m being reasonable. I’ve always thought that I ask too much from people. I expect too much. I expect them to behave in a healthy, adult way; handling things as well as one can expect. But often times, that’s too much. The problem is, not what you’re asking, but who you are asking from.

The people we find ourselves in friendships and relationships with, are broken. They’ve seen things, been through things that you can’t see yet. They have been shaped by every experience that has crossed their paths, and reacted in a way that changed the way they approach things. They can’t text you back because last time that they did, someone thought they were desperate. They can’t figure out what they want or if they want you, not because of you, but because last time they thought they knew what they wanted, they were wrong. Not only were they wrong, but their optimism led to heartbreak that took them ages to get over. They can’t call back because if they talk about it, they could get angry or choked up. They don’t want you to know everything that they feel.

It’s unfair to us. But we do it too; we question all of these things because they’ve hurt us at some point. Last time they didn’t text back, you found yourself alone at that party. Last time they didn’t call back, they pushed you away and you didn’t hear from them for days. We do it too. We don’t reply to them immediately out of fear of coming off as too-enthusiastic. We push them away instead of talking it out because we are afraid of what confrontation can bring. There are so many things we don’t want to seem like, so many things we don’t want to happen and that fear in itself can manifest into unhealthy habits and tendencies.

No, you shouldn’t have to be the one that texts or calls first most of the time. Yes, it is on you to communicate this and have patience. No, you shouldn’t have to be the one that tries to fix things when you didn’t break them in the first place. Yes, it is up to you to ask for your needs to be met if you want them to be met. They won’t read your mind. They may not know what to do or even know what is going on. Be the bigger person. Be gentle. Remember what triggers you; what makes you behave out of the ordinary. Step out of your skin, into their world and open your eyes, ears and your mind. That breakup they told you about? The reason why they shy away from confrontation, constructive or not.

So get them face to face, hold their hand, and gently show them down the path that will inevitably show them that you aren’t what caused them the pain that still lingers around their everyday insecurities. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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