“At the end of the day, people have to respect people’s differences. I am different than some people would like me to be.” — Kevin Spacey
A couple of days ago I reached out to an old friend via email. I remembered an old “underground cassette” we talked about and found a video on YouTube with the song. It was one of those “Hey, long time! You remember this?” kind of moments, so I cobbled together a short story about how I’d come to think about it.
What I was hoping for was a: “Oh, man! I’d forgotten about that.”
The reply I got basically ignored the video, discarded the story, and went on some random tangent about his latest escapade.
What I’d forgotten was that every time you have a conversation it always turns into his show. Somehow he manages to make sure that everything that’s being said comes back around to him, his life, and his experiences.
I mean, it’s great to hear about it. But it goes both ways, right?
To his credit he is quite entertaining. However, it’s not easy, fun, or rewarding to share your experiences when we, in less than 30 seconds, are back to talking about him.
This was when I remembered that the reason I hadn’t spoken to him in a while was because of this exact behavior.
Now, I’ve talked with him about this countless times but he doesn’t want to change his behavior. As a result I’ve simply stopped hanging out with him.
When I think back, it was a blast to hang out with the guy. At the same time it was taxing because he wouldn’t let other people “share the stage”.
You’d think that almost 15 years later he would’ve changed somewhat. Well, he hasn’t. At least not in that respect.
I’m not really sad for him, I’m more sad for myself in this case.
See, I’d love to have a relationship with him. He’s got some wonderful qualities. Unfortunately, this and his other behaviors take some the shine of off them.
At this point in my life, hanging out with him would mean unnecessary frustration for me. Also, it’s somewhat telling that he hasn’t reached out to me.
As much as I wish he was “here”, at the same stage of life as me, he just isn’t.
It doesn’t mean that either one of us is better or worse. It just means that we’re different.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t respect me or that I don’t respect him.
I’m sure you have people like this in your life too.
What I’m really getting at is that sometimes we want people to be someone, or behave in a way, that they just aren’t comfortable with.
We can’t force them, nor should we.
All we need to do is to recognize that remaining in that space isn’t productive for either one of you.
Sometimes leaving is a loving thing.
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