I haven’t written in a while, I’m sorry. There have been a lot of ideas but no time and where there was time, there was zero motivation. But I’m sorry. Today, I’ll be giving a little tip on people skills. I hope you not only enjoy it, but also use it it. 🙂
Someone once said that the reason certain people build walls around their hearts is because they want to know those that care enough to try to pull them down. There’s a general tendency for us as individuals to assume that if someone is shutting us out it’s because they want to be left on their own or it’s because they do not care about us anymore. But is this always true? Granted, there are times when friends retreat because they want to be left alone but sometimes, they really just need you to push. I found myself in a situation like this with one of my best friends once and I must say that when I found out, I felt absolutely terrible and deeply ashamed of myself. Seeing her that night, I could tell that there was something wrong but when I asked once, twice and she said she was fine, I proceeded to go on and on about how my own day had gone inconsiderate and incognisant of the fact that she only needed me to push a little bit more. (I’m writing this with her permission) In her diary, she had written “If only she had pushed a little more, I would have told her but instead she went on about herself. Must it always be about her…?” Well I have already told you how that made me feel. We talked about it eventually and ironed things out and it really helped a lot.
If there is one thing I have come to understand about people in my little interaction with them, it’s the fact that no one ever wants to come off as vulnerable or weak particularly at the first instance of your meeting with them. Everyone wants to appear solid, strong and in control and so they most likely will not talk the first time you ask. Everyone needs an extra push, some more than others. What makes you a better friend, or a better companion is your ability to go extra. People will stretch your patience by their actions particularly when they shut you out completely but if you really care about them, you will go the extra mile. I know how many times I have said “I’m okay, don’t worry” when really I just wanted that person to ask me again.
Does it mean that if someone says they are okay then you should doubt them? Not necessarily. Push until they say something like “I don’t want to talk about it now” in which case you must make a mental note to re-visit that issue when they look better or if they say something like “I really do not want to discuss it at all.” At this point, think of something encouraging to say to them before dropping the issue. It helps them get through that difficult moment, knowing that you care enough to push with them. Then again, there are times when people require you to respect their personal space but like I said, until you push and get to that point where you’re certain they won’t break, you must not give up on them. Most importantly, don’t ask or push simply because you want to have a topic of gossip later on. Ask only because you care genuinely about them because honestly, if they know you to be the one who carries “people’s gist” around, they will never open up to you. I have been in several situations where someone is shedding practical tears and I’m asking what’s wrong and they’re sniffing and hiccupping away while telling me “nothing’. Sincerely, nothing warms my heart more than when I’m able to reach out to someone and break that wall surrounding their heart. It’ll shock you to discover what people are going through and how much they have to share once that wall is broken and you’ll be touched discovering how much better they will feel, unburdening themselves to you. Sometimes, you may not have practical solutions to their crisis but just listening is good enough for them. At other times, you may be able to give them just what they need to end their misery and how glad that would make you, knowing you just turned a life around for good.
My point? Push a little more with someone. It could be a close friend, an acquaintance or even a random stranger but whoever they are, I tell you, for a long time to come, they’ll never forget you and that wonderful day when you came and made a difference in their lives. Be the one to push.
I expect your feedback, not just telling me you enjoyed the piece, but also letting me know how this works out for you. Cheers! 🙂