by Kenneth Justice
~ “I can’t believe it; he blocked me on Facebook!” said the mid-40ish woman who was sitting with us at coffee.
A few of us were sitting at the café the other day and the single woman was telling about us about this guy she met via an Internet dating site,
“We talked on the phone 3 or 4 times and things were going really well….but on the day of our first date he texted me in the morning to cancel…and when I tried to call him to ask why he was canceling I learned that he blocked me on Facebook and he also blocked my phone number! I can’t get ahold of him at all!” she said
There’s no way of know what really happened. Did the man sense that the woman was coming on a bit strong? Was he really a married guy that was trying to cheat on his wife and then decided to bail at the last moment? There’s no way to know.
One thing is certain; the guy no longer wanted to talk to the woman anymore….and this was driving the woman nuts, “Kenneth, I can’t stop thinking about this….nobody has ever blocked my phone number before. I want to know what the hell went wrong that he would go to such extreme’s…..he didn’t even have the common courtesy to tell me he no longer wanted to talk to me again!”
One of the problems with situations like this one is that I’m only getting one side of the story. Of course, to be fair, my policy is to accept what the woman is telling me at face value……but obviously there is always the possibility that there is more to the story.
As I was talking to her I was reminded of something that I’ve been thinking about for quite a while; some people don’t wanna talk, they simply want to be left alone….and that is okay.
For the last couple years or so there’s been this one guy who comes into the café religiously every single morning and sits next to me with his coffee and newspaper. I long ago gave up saying hello to him because most of the time he would simply ignore me and not even say good morning. The guy wanted space to be left alone…..and I was more than willing to oblige him.
Yet one day last month, as we were sitting not more than 10 inches from each other reading…..he turned to me and asked me what I was doing for the Christmas Holiday. I was shocked…..we must have sat next to each other more than 600 times with never more than a word spoken in one sitting.
We ended up talking for an hour or so and it turns out that he is a well known journalist for one of the local newspapers; he’s been a writer for the last 30 years. Although he didn’t say this, it dawned on me that perhaps the reason he doesn’t ‘open up’ to any old stranger sitting at the coffee shop is that he doesn’t want to be bothered by people who want to get into his business as a journalist. A lot of people have the tendency to get a little too gaga over celebrities (even minor celebrities) and I could totally understand why this journalist would want to preserve his morning coffee privacy.
Of course, just because someone doesn’t want to talk does not mean we have to be rude; what the guy from the dating site did to the women seems to be entirely lacking in courtesy and decent. Surely we should still be respectful and polite.
And despite this sounding like its a very simple thing to ‘give other people space’ ……I’m not actually sure that people practice this enough.
You see, I notice a lot of people that are constantly trying to ‘get into other people’s business’.
—-) Too many parents have a tendency to suffocate their young adult children trying to find out every little thing that is going on in their life
—-) Too many managers and bosses try to micromanage their employees
—-) Too many people use the Internet to ‘virtually’ stalk others by sending them too many emails, too many Facebook messages, and spend too much time trying to get into other people’s business.
Just because we ‘know’ what someone else ‘should’ be doing….doesn’t mean we are duty bound to talk at them. Sometimes we have to let other people figure out their life….and the best thing we can do is to stay out of their business.
I see a lot of people in this world who have become obsessed with getting into other people’s business. Some people make a career out of it and become a politician!
But ultimately, if we are truly practicing love and grace we will learn how to let people be……some people want to sit at a coffee shop with their newspaper and be left alone…….and that is okay with me.
Time for another coffee,