Home > Communication, Dating and Relationships, Live Well Live Wisely, Personal and Thoughts > At some point, you just need to stop trying

At some point, you just need to stop trying

It probably happened to you too. I once had a crush on this guy who is from an entirely different background and I knew by my heart that there is no way this would ever work out in the long run. But I was very attracted. He was into me as well, for a while I guess. But I am sure he went through the same thinking process and decided “he likes me, but he does not love me”, which is a very powerful rejection to me and I was really sad for a good period of time.

I probably did something crazy, or at least I cried and I couldn’t let go. But eventually it doesn’t bother me anymore. Life goes on and then one day I realized: it is great that he was so straightforward with me that he simply was never in love with me. I was lucky in a sense that I didn’t waste my time, and it would have been even harder to let him go should I not knew I was not that special to him in the first place.

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But there are many people who are much more subtle than that. You never get a straightforward or honest rejection but you don’t exactly feel he’s that into you either. So you kept trying and kept your hope high, until maybe one day you saw him at a dessert shop with another girl feeding each other ice cream. The realization is hard but if that’s a sign convincing enough to let you stop trying, perhaps it would well worth it.

I think the rule of thumb for any relationship is: if you want to see something in the other person you need to see it in yourself first. And more importantly, if you don’t see what you want to see in the other person, then it is probably simply NOT THERE and you should simply move on. The worst scenario I could ever think of, which I am sure you have been through as well and probably many times, is to get hurt from someone who doesn’t even care about you. Those who would really touch your heart and make you cry do not want to see your tears in the first place.

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And maybe the more challenging aspect of it is that when you can finally stop trying, you simply cannot stop thinking about him. I learned THIS STRATEGY a while back: instead of missing him every other second, you can have a more defined approach, say, give yourself 5 minutes to miss him every hour. Then try to expand the interim to 2 hours, or 3 hours gradually. If his name popped up during the interim, tell yourself that I just need to wait another 45 minutes to think about him again.

This is a good idea because initially this will give you some hope that you can think about him again in the foreseeable future. But what this is really about is that you need your sanity back and you need to learn how to control your thoughts and emotions. At some point along this exercise, you will get bored. You will gain interest in something or someone else, and you will move on.

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And this doesn’t only work for your relationship problems in terms of dating. The same logic applies to your work relationship and networking connections.

I once had a coworker who would not talk to me even slightly for anything other than the work itself I need to do for him. If I ask about his vacation he will respond “good” and stop talking. If I ask about how the interview went with our new candidate he will ask “why”. The other day I was really bold enough to ask him about his “date” and he simply responded “I would rather not talk about it”. It bothered me seriously because I know all these are legitimate topics he would talk with almost everyone else on the team.

For quite some time I was very frustrated, so I turned to my mentor for advice. And then I realized: there is nothing wrong with people who don’t want anything beyond a work relationship with you. You are not the only one who would feel it’s hard to really connect with a particular person at work. And chances are he/she decided a long time ago that you are only a coworker and not a friend and this has nothing to do with how you behave or how much you may have tried.

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It happens, and it is okay. It shouldn’t bother me, otherwise it will be unfair. For one reason or another, someone may not respond to your emails, someone may not ever return your calls, someone may pretend he/she doesn’t even know you next time you see them in public. Did you do something wrong? Not necessarily. They might just simply have their own agenda and the best you can do is to leave them alone.

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You are a busy person and you have a lot going on. If you really want to be strong, first you have to admit that you have failed, and stop wasting time on those who don’t even care about you to start with. But it’s okay. You probably have done exactly the same thing to other people and put them in hell without even noticing it yourself.

What goes around comes around. So hope for the best and let go.

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  1. Jessica
    November 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks ,nice and sweet article~~

  2. Nannan
    November 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Wow, I just read another entry in you MSN Space, the so called your last entry about him!lol~ I was thinking about writing to you and see how things going with you cuz I was (or maybe am) in a quite similar situation…I was totally resonated when I read the “ice cream” here and “it’s me who had a story with him” in the other post!! You know what, I even read one of your paragraph to my mom last night, and was hoping some days latter, I might also describe the story as peaceful and rational as you are now! Danye, I have to say it again, you are soooo helpful,and amazing in keeping so many blogs and continuing updating them for years!!!! 你是我的偶像!嘿嘿~

    • December 3, 2010 at 9:27 am

      One thing I realized is that people, in general, has surprisingly short memories. We thought we would never forget this person and this place, but just in a few years we hardly remember anything; we thought this financial crisis was unprecedent in the human history, but according to the book “the next 100 years”, it’s really not THAT different. At the end of the day, everyone can move on, everyone can embrace a new life and every has the potential to be happy, to be comfortable with his surroundings and to feel peaceful in mind. I am glad you are resonating with my stories, because I know these stories are not only about me. It is about you. It is about everyone 🙂

  3. kerry
    January 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you for inspiring me when I am having a mental shut-down. I’m very sensitive and emotional, any other times, I probably already start crying or do whatever is crazy. But this time, your blog has rescued me from being a totally stupid, weak person. It’s not the end of the world, every little thing will be fine. Thank you so much. I had a bad day, now I’m starting all over.

  1. January 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

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