Monday, January 10, 2011

The Benefit of the Doubt


I'm going to be very blunt here.  I'm tired and frustrated and sick of giving people the benefit of the doubt when I suspect they don't deserve it.  In this modern age of ours, communication has never been easier.  And yet, I have never been more disappointed with the lack of ability some people seem to have for staying in touch.

I asked a very simple favor from a handful of people.  People that I know, and love and thought of as my friends.  Four of those amazing people came through for me.  Because the favor was so very simple.  It did not require anything more than clicking on a website, cutting and pasting and with the computer dexterity that I am certain these people possess, it would not have taken more than 10 minutes tops.  Seriously.  10 minutes. 

My request, with the exception of the amazing four, went ignored.  IGNORED.  None of these people even had the decency to write back to me in that urban, abbreviated scrawl that is invading the world with a "2 bz 2day."  I didn't even get that.  I got nothing. 

So then of course, I think, "Is it me? Did I do something to offend?  Did I have a technical malfunction and my initial email didn't go through?"  But it went through to the fab 4.  They all received my request.  I gave them all the benefit of the doubt. I know one of these people certainly had a legitimate excuse for not contacting.  But the others?  I thought, well... they were studying, they were Christmas shopping, they were chauffering their great Auntie Gertrude around town....I don't know!  I was coming up with excuses right and left for these people. 

Did they deserve my generosity of spirit?  I have come to the conclusion that NO...they did not deserve it.  Would I have reciprocated if asked the same request?  Of course I would have.  I've done so many, many times in the past.  I have come through for people who I care about. If someone who is dear to me needs a favor, I will do what I can to help them out.  And if I can't do it, I let them know.  I don't leave them hanging.  I'm not a perfect person, that's for damn certain; I make lots of mistakes all the time...but I do have manners.  And if someone writes to me, I write them back.

I had a wonderful conversation with one of the Fab 4 this evening. A real conversation...not a text message or an Ichat or an email.  Yes, we are in two different cities, but she was able to pick up the phone and WE TALKED!  My dear friend assured me it wasn't just happening to me. People just don't acknowledge each other.  They ignore.  Why?  I have no idea, but it seems to be pervasive.  People seem to have time to tweet and update Facebook statuses and text and Youtube and all those other wonderful inventions of the 21st century, but it seems they become incredibly inept when asked to respond to an email from an old friend.  

I think it's rude.  I think it's despicable.  I think it's horrible what it does to someone's self-esteem.  To my self-esteem.  Really...who likes being ignored?  No one I know.

I'm sick of Facebook.  People go on Facebook and believe they actually know what is really happening in your life.  They don't know.  Just because someone posts photos of their Christmas at Grandma's...trust me...it does nothing to tell the real story.  If you're reading this blog thinking you know what's going on in my life...you don't.  You only know what I care to share.

If any of what I've written resonates...well...if the shoe fits, right?  If you're feeling the slightest bit guilty, then you  probably have reason to.  If you're amused by my rant, you have that right as well.  I'm done making excuses for other people because they don't get back to me.  They don't deserve it.  They don't deserve my making excuses and showing respect and kindness.  Because they haven't shown any respect to me. 

Rant over...

5 comments:

D. Marie said...

The name of the blog is things Debbie needs to say. Not wants to say, or should say, but needs to say. And you needed to say that. I hope it helped. :)

MikeB said...

Yikes! What happened? Anyway, I enjoyed reading the "rant" because even though I don't know what you're talking about, I AGREE with you!

James said...

What do you need, Deb? You need a favor? I'd be more than happy to help. What I don't understand is who could ever ignore YOU? I say, dump 'em. You don't need people like that cluttering up your life!

MikeB said...

I'll second what James wrote. Is there anything I can do to help you out?

Man-Man said...

I get where you are coming from. Many times over the years, others have disappointed me. But as I have gotten older, it is easier for me to let this kind of stuff pass without too much hurt on my part. I have pretty much gotten over it because I found I was spending too much energy and emotion, and these others continued on their merry way, happy and unaware, while I was pissed and upset. So they,not me, came out of the experience better off. Justice?