Listening to a podcast recently, I heard a short exchange between two people: person A felt snubbed by person B because B had walked past A on the street and hadn’t said hello or acknowledged them. There seemed to even be a question as to whether it had been an intentional snub on B’s part, despite the fact that these two were clearly friends.
This sparked me to reflect ON TIMES WE NOTICE THAT PEOPLE HAVEN’T ACKNOWLEDGED US – whether it’s…
~ not saying ‘hi’ or even waving across a room, in a hallway, on the sidewalk, in a restaurant,
~ not calling, messaging, or emailing,
~ not reaching out on a special occasion like a birthday or holiday,
~ not connecting on difficult occasions such as a death of someone we care about, a break-up, an illness…
… and offer A REMINDER THAT IT’S RARELY DUE TO NOT CARING, nor is it likely even something that’s intentional.
The ‘snub’ – or even an apparent lack of communication in a more broad sense – is more often rooted in something else entirely, and it is very rarely about us at all, at least not in the way that we might think.
THE PERSON WHO MIGHT SEEM TO BE IGNORING US OR NOT ACKNOWLEDGING US IS MORE LIKELY TO BE:
~ swept up in what they’re doing, have lots on their plate, and in that moment – on a sidewalk or restaurant, etc. – they might be lost in thought and not altogether ‘present’ to be noticing their surroundings including others around them,
~ distracted, perhaps overwhelmed by something in their life. Each of us is unique in what we find overwhelming and difficult: they might be struggling with issues that aren’t apparent from the outside, or issues that someone else might not find so challenging;
~ not wanting to bother us – erring on the side of deciding it’s not a good time, that we’re too busy, that we have too much on our plate at that moment to connect;
~ not wanting to interrupt us in that moment, particularly if we are with someone else in a public space;
~ fearing that they won’t know what to say – and that they’ll say the ‘wrong’ thing, so they say nothing at all;
~ fearing that it’s been such a long time without communication that there might be anger, blame, or simply awkwardness, and they just don’t know where to begin to open up the communication;
~ procrastinating – in general, or due to any of the above.
Inviting us all to remind ourselves of these possibilities, and shift – a little more often – from feeling hurt or upset and toward offering others the benefit of the doubt, remembering it is not about us at all. This will likely allow us to feel a little lighter, take things less personally, and feel more compassion. ❤
(Photo by Tim Gouw, pexels(dot)com)