*Archived from December 2016*
What you say and how you say it are imperative for communication, there’s a reason we have language. Often time’s people say things without even realizing that what they say has an impact on people’s thinking and actions. If you’re in the sales industry such as real estate then you know just how important your description words are for describing a small property as a “Cozy quaint cottage”.
In fact, there was the perfect little blurb in the Wall Street Journal talking about exchanging the phrase of “I don’t have time” with “It’s not a priority” and then used it in a few different examples and said “if these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point.”
As a former server how people worded their requests for ranch determined if I would charge them for a side or not. Someone who said it as a question usually didn’t get charged (Oh, could I get a side of ranch, please?) but someone who used a declarative sentence absolutely got charged because their language put me on the defense. (I need a side of ranch.)
So with that, I’ve been working on how I spent my holiday season post for the last 2 weeks and it’s so long and probably more information than is relevant to what I want to say. So, I have attempted to summarize the events and what I wanted to say.
Over the holiday weekends, I made the flying statement that I would be alone, but not lonely. That was mostly true until my X decided to side swipe me and invite me to his family Christmas (along with about 5 other invites from friends). I didn’t go to his but his lingering words, “I just can’t imagine the thought of you being alone on Christmas, why don’t you come spend it with people who love you.” made me realize I was actually lonely and wanted to spend it with someone.
I made a post last week for my NY resolutions swearing off my past (boyfriends, flings, etc) and I received a message from someone (Actually all of the guys from the last year and a half messaged me, except for X.) we’ll call him Carter, and I realized I wouldn’t be able to spend the holiday alone after all, even though I had multiple invites none of them really felt welcoming to me.
What I mean by that is the wording. People all heard what I was saying but not everyone knows what I meant when I say I’m lonely. I’m not lonely for just anyone to fill the silence or space, I’m lonely for that raw connection with someone who knows me well, who has seen my broken soul, and chooses to stay anyways.
Although (mostly) all the invites came from good friends that I truly appreciate the offers from, they all lacked the wording in the invitation to make me feel welcomed. I was searching for people similar to my own situation; someone single, lack of family (or closeness to them), no obligations (family traditions) etc. I wanted someone similar to me because I didn’t want to distract anyone from what they needed to get done and I didn’t want to compete for their attention over chores, kids, family, other friends, partner, TV, etc. It’s terrible to be in a room full of people and to still feel completely and utterly alone.
So, I messaged Carter the following day after his text and told him I would really like to see him for Christmas Eve and explained to him why. He understood why and agreed to see me. While we were discussing the details of our hangout on Christmas Eve he said he was tired from work and that he was going to put me to work and listed off everything he had to do in preparation.
As I previously mentioned I didn’t want to burden anyone with my neediness and was starting to feel uncomfortable (read: guilty) having turned to my past so quickly after my resolution post so I saw my opportunity to cancel plans. I attempted to cancel the plans by saying I didn’t want to be in the way or add to the stress, that I didn’t feel like doing anything and that I would just see him tomorrow after his family left like previously agreed upon, but he did something unexpected.
I knew Carter was the right person to see me because he did what no one else does, he fought to see me. What I mean by that is he didn’t accept my cop out answer and he attempted to persuade me with things like “I even lit a fire and everything” and explaining what he meant by stress and he didn’t care if I was a mess. The final message that finally convinced me to come over was, “Sigh…Ok”
“PS I didn’t want to be alone tonight either.”
He didn’t make it sound like I was inconveniencing him or that I was a pity invite, he made me feel like I was helping him as much as he was helping me. He took it from being “Oh you poor thing, Come to my Christmas because I asked what your plans were and you said you didn’t have any and couldn’t afford to fly home and now I feel awkward talking about this.” To “Zak, this time of year sucks. I get it. I get that you’re independent and don’t need anyone, but if you decide that you do, I’m here and could really use some company myself.”
I cannot express to him how much that truly meant to me not just the invite but the fact that he knew how to deal with me and my independence without making me feel more vulnerable than I already was. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a good start to 2017, mine was just what I needed.