December 7, 2008 3 Comments
I have recently contact old friends I haven’t seen in years.. one or two decades in some cases,through a Internet Social Network.
I have had “baggage” and conflicts in the past —estranging most of my high school friendships and the onset of severe health problems in my late twenties.
I have been startled by some of the reactions I have received when I reached out to people in my past: silence, disbelief , hostility and avoidance – I have had all these reactions recently.
I don’t know for sure, but I believe that friends in the past might have these the expectations:
- That I was to arrogant to stay in contact with my old friends
- That I would have my masters in Astronomy today
- That “bad” things never happen to good people.
- That they have always been able to trust who they thought were their friends were in the past.
- That success is measured in professional and academic achievement only
- That I am no longer alive.
I believe now that: for some of my old friends , (whom have these expectations), my contact has been too shocking for some to handle… so immediately.
I recently read Grant Czerepak blog post:
Relationary: Induction, Deduction and the Eight States of Change
a post pertaining to grief and shocking news, and Its given me some perspective on my recent experience
My belief has always been that all crisis between people that are resolvable, involve immediate dialogue and communication. What I am learning is that people need time.
Receiving stunning news about someone… the shock of unknown circumstances of past events… the shattering of what one believes about there personal judgment…
—Well, it takes a lot of time for people to resolve each emotional stage of handling shocking news.
another observation from Czerepak‘s post:
A common problem with the above cycle is that people get stuck in one phase. Thus a person may become stuck in denial, never moving on from the position of not accepting the inevitable future. When it happens, they still keep on denying it, such as the person who has lost their job still going into the city only to sit on a park bench all day.
What this means is that many past relationships maybe un-mendable, because some people are unable to come to terms with the stages of handling shocking news. Or that they are to busy with their own lives today to handle issues long in the past.
In any case: all personal relationships are in a constant change, present and rekindled from the past.
I just need to remember to be patient, give people time, and keep the lines of communication open, allow people to come to terms… on their own terms.