Humans seek connection. Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we value friendships, someone to text, call, email, chat, hang out with, remember little things, and have a good belly laugh with.
When we are children, we learn to play with others. We learn to throw a ball and the other person throws the ball back. And suddenly, we are friends.
We learn to give and take. The art of sharing and reciprocating.
As we get a little older, we decide what kind of people we “like”, and ones that we don’t really like. We start to get picky, maybe even a bit mean. We learn how to turn people down, ignore text messages, pretend not to see them at the mall, and act very busy.
At some point, we start to value our friendships on some kind of a scale. Friends who are most important to us, to those who are not so important, some mere acquaintances, and right at the bottom are those that we believe just annoy us. We might even think, “geez, that person really needs a friend..” except, we are their friend.
And that’s sad.
At some point, we decide to ignore the laws of good conversation skills and of being good human beings. We decide to stop being honest with each other. We stop seeing that other people are humans with feelings just like us.
We forget to throw the ball back.
Let’s face it. We have all felt ignored. We have all consciously decided to ignore a text message or a phone call or an email.
When you are on the receiving end of this ignorance, of feeling like you are not a priority, when someone does not bother to say hi, or text you back, it hurts a lot.
And that’s normal.
It’s normal to hurt when people do hurtful things.
For many of us, consistency is key in knowing that there is someone out there who cares about us. Be consistent in reaching out, in throwing the ball and throwing it back, because you never know who might need this consistency the most.
Start being honest with each other.
Even if you’re busy, take a minute to reply. We all want to be acknowledged.
How many of us have felt invisible? How many of us feel invisible every day? Don’t be the person who makes others feel invisible.
You saw that text, and they know it. Don’t hurt them like that.
Don’t want to talk anymore? Tell them.
Your honesty can free them, your ignorance will keep hurting them.
Upset about something? Start that conversation.
We are all alone. We come into this world alone, and we leave this world alone.
We don’t have to journey alone.
In these times of the global pandemic, when people are ALREADY feeling isolated, scared, emotionally distressed, please, throw the ball back.
Throw the ball back.