‘You have a new Facebook Friend Request from…’ As you look over the name, a reel plays in your head. If you know them, you immediately think of times spent with them. If you don’t know them you try to see if you have access to their images to jog your petty little memory. But what happens most of the time, isn’t either of the two examples listed above, but instead you know of them.
They might have had some effect on your life at one moment or another that they may or may not even be aware of. Like that time, years ago, when they tried to pursue your boyfriend online and you and him got into a blowout fight about it, her being the cause. Or how about that girl who is best friends with your boyfriends ex, who has had her fair share of offering you dirty looks the odd time you run into each other in public?
A buddy of mine (note: word ‘buddy’) lives out in Florida. I met him on a trip to Europe back when I was 18 and we remained close ever since in the most brother-to-sister kind of way possible. I texted him late one night,when I heard a song that reminded me of our trip. I was informed later that week that my text caused a vicious fight between him and his girlfriend (they have since broken up…I know you were wondering) and I found it so disappointing that an innocent action of mine could have such a large effect on the emotional being of two others; one who’s a complete stranger, no less.
We often don’t realize the role we play in others lives. In how something we say or do – or evening something we have said and done – can really catapult another into a bad, thought-spiralling kind of place. With blogging and Tweeting and all these forms of media at our disposal, our words can be interpreted by others any which way, as soon as we press enter. A simple sentence you write can leave others anxiety ridden, as they attempt to interpret it. A text, a Facebook chat message, whatever it is.
Short of not flirting with other girls’ boyfriends, fiancées, and husbands, there’s not much you can do to prevent this from happening other than being mindful of the words you are using to someone who you know is spoken for. I think we need to have more discretion when we reach out to others, and not be so naive about how our words or actions can go interpreted. It’s also safe to say that we’ve been in both positions before: we’ve been the culprit and the victim in creating a story in our head after being triggered by another woman, and we run wild and free with said story. Just know that you’re not alone. You’re not crazy. Our hearts are our prized possession, and when you wear it on your sleeve, you better damn well ensure it doesn’t get trampled on. Anger is a mask for something else, so when we get angry by these unknown others, it’s likely because there is something within us that isn’t being tended to. For this, we work on ourselves and grow (and hope that bitch doesn’t keep things up!)
I say accept the friend request. She’s likely oblivious to her effects and who knows, if time has passed and you filled her in, she might even be flattered (and shocked) to find out she had such an impact. Sounds like some good closure, non?
– Jenny Jen
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