My sister is getting married, she called me the other day to tell me that she booked a venue, that the wedding is in six months and she would love for me to attend. I did not know she was dating someone seriously, let alone engaged and was shocked to find out that she had already set a date. I feel so betrayed, which I know is not fair, but how could she not think to call me a bit earlier? I feel like I am the last one to know anything that is going on in her life and it is so frustrating and do not know what to do about it.
There are many reasons why someone may not confide in you, but anytime this happens, and it catches you off guard or hurts your feelings, it is a great opportunity for self-reflection.
If someone you love dearly does not call or inform you of a major life change, good or bad, you might want to reevaluate your relationship to said person. I am not questioning their love for you, I am sure they care deeply for you, but there is something going on which is preventing them from being forthright with you.
People confide in individuals they trust.
Are you a trustworthy person? Or are you perhaps a bit loose-lipped? Your loved one might not have told you about proposing to their long-term girlfriend because they did not want you to accidentally let it slip out before the big day.
Reflect on your past experiences with being responsible for another person’s information. How did you handle it? Did you respect their privacy? Did you not respect the fact that their information was not yours to share with others?
If you are someone who tends to share other’s information inappropriately, this may be the reason people have stopped telling you about things in their life. It does not come from a place of harm, but rather, they have simply established a boundary because of your past precedent.
Work on respecting other people’s lives more from now on. If a friend tells you about an upcoming job interview that they are super nervous about, realize that this information, even though it may seem harmless to you, might actually be a big secret they are sharing with you. It is not information you should turn around and tell others because you do not know if it is public knowledge and should act as though it is not, until you know better. Even then, if it is public knowledge, it still is not really your information to share, so why are you sharing it.
People confide in individuals whose advice they value.
Maybe your suggestions are not the priceless commodities you believe them to be and perhaps others do not see you as the all-knowing wonder of the universe you see yourself as. I believe individuals who are regularly doling out unsolicited advice deserve a special place in hell, where they have to cohabitate with others who are also always giving out unsolicited advice.
If someone values your insight, input and advice, they are going to seek it out themselves. If they are not seeking it out, but you are always giving it away freely, they might begin to spend less time with you or divulge less information about their life because the relationship has become grating.
Individuals who are always telling me what is best for me, regardless of whether or not I have asked them for said information are very difficult for me to deal with. I find it extremely insulting and presumptuous of a person to assume that they know what is best for me and my life. I also start to lose respect for this person if the unsolicited advice does not cease after my attempts at ignoring it, not responding to it or actively letting them know it is not appreciated.
If you are not sure if you are always giving answers to unasked questions, shut up. Simply wait for someone to clearly ask you for your advice before giving it out from now on. It can be very hard to it, especially if you have a strong habit formulated to speak unnecessarily, but I assure you that it will strengthen your relationships if you learn to break said habit.
My friend got a huge promotion awhile ago and had a big celebration this weekend. She invited me the day before the party and quickly told me about the promotion as well, but I felt so out of the loop that I was not comfortable enough to go to the party. I feel like I am not even important to her at all, like, how could I not be one of the first people she called when she got offered the job? I feel like I am not even part of her inner circle anymore and do not know what I have done wrong.
People confide in individuals who do not mock their dreams, goals and plans.
Are you always scoffing at other’s plans for the future? Are you the negative Nelly always pointing out the flaws in your loved one’s plans? Are you the person who is always letting your friends know why their plan will not work and why they are wrong?
If this is the case, why the hell is anyone friends with you, to begin with? No one wants to be mocked, ridiculed or belittled about something that is very significant to them and their future. No one wants to be told that they cannot do something or that they lack the capacity to achieve whatever it is they are trying to achieve.
If you are always seeing the world from the murky waters of a glass half full, then you might not be everyone’s go-to person for exciting announcements.
For example, no one wants to announce the adoption of a dog to their loved one only to be told how difficult having a dog can be and how much time they will steal from your day. Your friend who just bought a dog wants you to be just as excited as they are about this new addition to their family. They want you to come over with zeal to meet the new four-legged friend and simply be ecstatic. Also, it is pretty arrogant of you to assume that your friend has not rationally weighed out the pros and cons of such a big decision; give people the respect you would expect from them.
My son and his wife are moving to another city and I just found the other day. They did not even tell me directly, they told my husband, who then told me. They are leaving in less than two months and feel completely blind-sighted; I am so angry at them for not even allowing me to be a part of such a big decision in their lives. I feel as though I am always the last one to know everything in their lives and it is so cold of them. Don’t they know that I want to be there for them to support them in their lives?
People confide in individuals who are not self-centred.
Are you that person? Are you the person who makes everything and anything about themselves? For example, your friend tells you that they met someone really great and things are progressing really well, but your first thought is that you are losing your friend and that they will be too busy to spend time with you anymore? Do you actually say these things to your friend?
Are you always able to figure out how another person’s decision is negatively impacting your life and letting them know? If so, you might not be getting informed of major life changes from loved ones anymore. Honestly, the world does not revolve around you and when you are constantly trying to make everything about you, you exhaust those around you.
People make decisions that will impact your life, sure, but that is not reason enough to bogard the good news or major life change. If your good friend just got pregnant and your first comment is, ‘Well there goes my favourite drinking buddy,’ do not be surprised if they start spending less and less time with you. We have to be able to remove our own feelings from a person’s moment of joy.
A person’s special moment is their moment and has nothing to do with you. Sure, we are all allowed our feelings about big changes, but make sure to determine the right time, place and audience for your feelings because they might be completely selfish and best kept to yourself.
A few years ago one of my best friends was moving to another country and they were moving very quickly, within a matter of weeks. It was a shocking revelation for me and as sad as I was and as upset as I was, I knew that this decision had nothing to do with me and I had to just support my friend through this big life change. I cried for days after she left and even to this day, there are moments where I miss so much and wish she could be experiencing the changes in my life from a closer proximity.
Life is not perfect. Life is not all about you. Life is about making relationships work regardless of the distance, difficulties or developments afoot.
You cannot sit and cry, ‘Woe is me,’ everytime something happens to a loved one which is not ideal for your relationship with them. You cannot steal your loved one’s thunder by announcing their pregnancy before they get a chance to. You cannot laugh at your colleague’s big promotion news, telling them that the job is not worth the measly pay increase and then expect to be invited to the celebration party.
People want to be lifted up and cheered on, not dragged down and emotionally dismembered.
If you have a lot of free time on your hands, or if you find yourself alone and lonely more than you would like, think about your relationship with others. Think about how you handle change and if you (honestly) are a positive, uplifting person. Challenge your own assumptions about yourself and ask others what they truly think about you. Work on working on yourself. Work on working on your relationships.
Learn to mind your business and mind your mouth and you will see your relationships blossom, better and become more bountiful.