“Let me be clear. I understand very little, least of all the people close to me.” – Cal Lightman, Lie to Me
Wow. I’m not sure that this could be any more true. When I first read these words, I was taken instantly taken back. I truly care about people, ergo I make it my goal to understand people as much as possible. I try to identify with them, I look at things from their perspective, and I strive to see what makes them tick. Studying people, behavior, and thought is one of my least evident but most prominent hobbies. I am a people enthusiast.
Everywhere I go I am watching, listening, observing and making mental note of the things others say and do. The conclusions that I derive from these notes allow me to make the most appropriate reactions and/or responses to what I see. I can’t help myself. I do this subconsciously. The thing is… I am really good at it. I can talk to someone for less than 1o minutes and tell them more about themselves than they would ever be comfortable with me knowing. It is a blessing… this ability helps me identify with those around me in ways that other people might not be able to do. It allows me to show compassion where it is least expected. It gives me the opportunity to shed light on situations from perspectives unexamined. It helps me help others. I am very grateful for this ability and plan on using it as best as I can….
But there’s a hole in my bucket.
These skills of mine are best applied when little to no relationship has developed between me and whoever I am interacting with. One might contend that my conclusions might grow more accurate as I grew closer to the individual. To some extent this is true. In fact, for the majority of people, this statement is completely valid. For me, however, it is not always likely. For a period of time, as the relationship develops, we learn more and more about each other. Subtle nuances become clear distinctions. Trust is built and walls are broken down. It is within this window of time that mutual understanding of each other can peak.
As is after any climax, there is a fall. The fall, according to my experience, is inevitable. Sooner or later one will begin to trip over the rubble left behind from the broken walls. I tend to continue observation, conclusion, and application as each relationship grows. The rub lies within personal security. There comes a point beyond which people do not wish to go when it comes to emotional and mental publicity. Because it is in my nature to keep plugging away in attempt to go deeper, fear or frustration often settles into the minds of those who I get closest to. I get too close- constantly pushing the limits, expecting positive results to continue with each surge forward. This rarely is the case. It is more common that eventually the relationship suffers because of insecurity (either on my part or theirs- it can go both ways). This is a regrettably sad result to come from something once thought to be lovely.
I, at times, find myself farthest away from those who are closest to me.
For this, I am truly grieved. For this, I am sincerely sorry.
You deserve better. You will have better… Even if that means less from me.
I am in search of the happy medium. It will be found… Eventually.
Thank you, to everyone in my life, for allowing me the privilege and joy of being a part of yours. I love and appreciate it.