Personal

The Appropriate Response

Today I was asked during a group discussion how I were to respond if a close friend confessed unrelenting feelings for me. I paused for a bit to sort out my thoughts and answered that if I truly treasured my friendship with the person, I would choose to look beyond the situation and remain friends with him despite his feelings for me. I mean, what’s wrong with him having feelings for me? I’d still want to be friends with him.

I was asked such question because prior to that we discussed a similar situation to which the girl concerned responded negatively by avoiding the guy and until now, despite the guy’s efforts to patch things up between them, she still hasn’t spoken to him. Truth be told, I felt unsettled at the girl’s response and pitied the guy who probably just wanted to talk to clear things up so they can finally move on with their respective lives, hence I asked why she responded that way.

Confrontations were one of the things I tried best to avoid back then. I was more comfortable with giving the cold shoulder treatment than telling the person that I was offended. Cutting ties was something I did often when the situation became unbearable for me. It was easy and I didn’t need to talk about my feelings. It was an immature move and I probably would have done the same back then if I were in her shoes, but I thank God because I have begun to see the importance of actually settling matters with other people. It’s not easy. It’s darn scary, but at times, you just got to do it. It just has to be done. The chapter just demands a proper conclusion for it to move on to the next and in the words of Yann Martel, “Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.”

But sometimes, there are words best left unsaid. There are situations in which no proper conclusion is needed and it’s okay.

I suppose the challenge lies in determining which response is appropriate for the situation.

How do you know which response is appropriate?

I think one-on-one confrontations are always worth the try. What better way is there to hear each other out and come to a reasonable decision regarding the conflict? It’s also somehow a sign of maturity to have the courage to step beyond one’s comfort zone and settle matters properly as adults, isn’t it? If doesn’t turn out well, at least no one is left to wonder why.

As for the silent conclusion, I think you’ll somehow just know that that was it.

No bitterness.

No hard feelings.

Nothing.

You both just know that that was the end of the story.

And that’s okay.

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