Old Friend came by unannounced last evening (something relatively new for him) making small talk about my neighbors (mutual friends) having left on a week long vacation, and after awhile, under his breath, asked if he could come back later, after the kids were in bed. Music to my ears, I said, “Please!” I had been really missing him, even though I had talked to him on the phone, I hadn’t laid eyes (or anything else) on him since the previous weekend.
Later, he told me that he used the excuse to come by asking about whether the neighbors had left on their trip because I hadn’t called him all day and he was worried that I might be mad or not want to see him this weekend. He wanted to see if anything was “up” without having to risk the vulnerability involved in asking directly.
At first, I thought…how ridiculous. Then I realized he’s just as afraid of this as I am sometimes. Afraid to mess up our friendship by wanting more. Afraid to admit he wants more. Afraid.
I didn’t call him all day yesterday, not because I didn’t want to talk to him, but because it was a busy day. I had called him each day prior, but not yesterday. So his mind ran away with him and immediately inter-FEAR-ence blocked all forms of logical thought for him.
I call it ‘inter-FEAR-ence’ because it aptly describes what is going on when you let your past (usually negative) experiences dictate your view of now.
As we talked, I realized (and finally admitted to him, too) that I had my own inter-FEAR-ence going on in that I did think several times about calling him, but didn’t want to appear to be too pushy, too needy, too….whatever.
We agreed that going forward, when we wanted to talk to the other one, we would call. When we had something on our minds, we’d bring it up. We’d work together to minimize the inter-FEAR-ence we let influence this…this whatever it is we have going on here.