October 7, 2000
Earlier this week a friend of mine had one of those painful experiences I guess we all have had at one time or another. Someone didn't call back after what had seemed to be a nice time together, leaving my friend to wonder if the pleasantness was one-sided. And yes, my friend did try to get in touch.
Well, the should-have-called-sooner person finally did make contact, apologized for the silence, and claimed work-related busy as the reason for not calling. My friend, having done a similar thing in the past, accepted it as true. And so do I, since I have no reason to think otherwise (and it's none of my business, anyway).
But it reminded me again how easy it is to hurt someone by an act of omission. And in a related set of thoughts, it reminded me how much I hate it when I get left out.
More than once over the course of my life I have found myself called on when someone was troubled about something, only to be left out whenever the person wanted to do something that was fun. And I resent it.
Sometimes I'm slow to realize it, and sometimes even when I have realized it I have let it happen, out of some sense of needing to be needed, I guess.
But each time it happens, it takes something away from me. It makes me less willing to get sucked into the next sob story, for fear that I'll eventually lose so much of myself that there won't be anything left to share with someone who won't treat me that way---someone who will realize that if I'm good enough to tell troubles to, I'm going to be good company in good times, too.