One of the most complex things in life, I feel, are relationships…and I am not talking about all the familial relationships or romantic ones. I am referring to relationships between any two individuals. Each relationship has a reference to context, some baggage, some expectations which affect the nature of the relationship over a period of time. However, even with people you have known for a pretty long time, there are always some things about their behavior that confuse you and often, this has to do with communication- the nature, the frequency or the lack of it.
One of those random conversations with a friend got me thinking…
If you look around you, usually you can categorize most of the people around you into 3 types (alright, I know that sounds simplistic… but bear with me)… and I am talking about people you have a relationship with, with whom you have shared interests, experiences and life in general.
There are the Self-Sufficient type - who are so occupied with themselves, that they never have time for anyone or anything else… and I don’t mean to run them down… it’s just that, that’s how/who they are. They are very involved in, their work, their issues, their problems, their successes and so on and basically don’t have the time, or feel the necessity to nurture relationships. They actually do not even think about anyone else or have any need for people. It’s not that they are not good with people or that if you were to put them amongst people they would be lost … or any such thing… it’s just that they will rarely initiate an interaction unless there is a need ( as in unless they have some work with the other person). There is no calling casually to check how you are doing or to say hey, let’s meet. They will rarely remember anything that happens in your life and have only temporary, superficial interest in it even when you are talking about it. However, another thing that is rather typical of this type is that if someone else initiates it, they will usually accept pretty pleasantly and also proceed to enjoy the interaction. And that makes one wonder why they do not initiate it?
Then there are the Needy ones – who have no hesitation in disturbing you whenever and wherever, if THEY wish to talk.. and insist that you listen/make time for them. They will forget your very existence until the day they have a problem that they need help with, in whatever form… to vent, to empathize, or something else. Their problems are always the biggest… so huge, and all encompassing that no solution you offer would actually fix it. They are also the kind who will go on the “why me” trip for which one rarely has the appropriate answer (I mean, come on, one cannot tell a bawling friend that her husband is getting jealous coz she has been flirting shamelessly, can you?). They are the kind who will ask you how you are, but never wait for the answer, or even hear the answer. Every conversation will be completely focused on them. They are also the kind who will brush aside everything in your life as insignificant…or turn it around on to something that happened to them and how that was sooo much bigger! This type is the seriously exhausting variety… take up time, energy and emotional bandwidth and leave you feeling like a used dish-cloth wrung out one time too many.
And then there are the Available ones - who make time for everything and everyone. Who will kill themselves to ensure that they remember to call you on every important day of your life. If you call and say I am down, they will make time to go have coffee with you…and their deadline be damned… they can always do with pulling an all-nighter to finish it… after all you need them. The problem with this type is that everyone seems to think they do not have a life and worse no one acknowledges it. No one bothers to ask them if they have a problem… in fact even when they come out and say they have a problem, they have a tough time finding someone to share it with. They are also the kind who can never seem to come out and say “I don’t have time” or “I am not interested” and as a result everyone tends to take them for granted.
Having said this, I would really like to hear some other viewpoints on the topic…