4th March 2024

My outdated buddy, Grant, texted me 4 years in the past to want me a contented 50th birthday and counsel we catch up, however I didn’t reply. I first met Grant in highschool, and he has at all times saved in touch with me, even after he married. Truly, the final time I met up with him was 11 years in the past and, from reminiscence, he was nearly begging me to go to him and his household. We’re the identical age and get alongside nicely. He’s a assured particular person with an amazing humorousness. Folks gravitate to him as a result of he’s very humorous.

Final week Grant texted me once more saying it’s been a very long time and he would like to catch up. I didn’t textual content him so he rang me, however I didn’t reply the decision. I ultimately texted him to inform him it was an amazing concept and that I’d get again to him to rearrange a catch up date. The rationale I’m hesitant about assembly up with Grant is as a result of he has achieved a lot and, in comparison with him, I really feel like an underachiever and a flop.

Nice received married, raised 4 children, is a really profitable businessman, and has grow to be rich. I by no means married (I’ve had relationships although) and I’ve no kids. I’ve a good job however by no means reached any nice heights career-wise. I do personal my very own condominium which I’m pleased with, however that’s about it.

In comparison with what Grant has achieved, I really feel like I’ve achieved nothing. I’m positive he’s labored exhausting for his success, however I really feel intimidated by it. Is there any technique to get out of this mindset? Ought to I meet up with Grant? — Feeling Like a Flop

A part of what makes intimidation so highly effective is that a lot of it’s impressed by fantasy or creativeness. Consider social media and the way in which it permits folks to share the spotlight reel of their lives. Their contacts see that spotlight reel after which use their creativeness to fill within the gaps that stay to create an image of somebody’s life that will probably be far more charmed and idyllic than the fact. After which what occurs is we examine this fantasy of another person’s life to our personal actuality and OF COURSE we’re at all times going to fall quick as compared. As a result of fantasy vs. actuality isn’t a good comparability. I think about that is what you’re doing with Grant.

For those who haven’t seen Grant in 11 years and also you’ve been in very minimal textual content contact each few years, I assume that what you recognize about all of his success is what you may have gleaned from what has been shared publicly – both via social media, via gossip with mutual pals, or perhaps even via information or Google searches. However what you’ve heard is barely part of Grant’s life, and it definitely isn’t the complete image, simply as your respectable job and your condominium aren’t the sum of your life.

Each you and Grant are a lot greater than how a lot cash you earn, the place you reside, and your marital standing. I think about you should have partaking qualities to maintain Grant reaching out to you in any case these years – and thru a number of rejections from you. These qualities are who you might be and what Grant is eager about. YOU are who Grant desires to spend time with, and in the event you have been really a flop of an individual, I don’t assume he’d nonetheless be attempting to attach with you in any case this time.

However the backside line is that in the event you don’t get pleasure from Grant otherwise you don’t like who you might be or how you are feeling in his firm, you’re below no obligation to spend any time with him. You may merely proceed to keep away from him as you may have and to disregard his texts, and finally he’ll cease attempting to contact you (and if he doesn’t, you possibly can at all times block his quantity). However whereas avoiding Grant could allow you to keep away from any detrimental emotions being round him would possibly encourage, I don’t know that it’ll make you are feeling good about your self. And perhaps it’s attainable that assembly up with Grant would possibly do this? I do know that once I meet up with an outdated buddy I get pleasure from, who really enjoys me, too, and cares about me, I have a tendency to depart the interplay feeling good about myself.

For those who assume there’s a risk you would possibly truly get pleasure from spending time with Grant, set one thing up. The worst that occurs is that you simply DO find yourself feeling like a failure as compared and also you vow by no means to satisfy up with him once more. And received’t that truly prevent time sooner or later? No less than then you definitely’ll know for positive that this isn’t a wholesome dynamic for you and you may cease responding to him if he reaches out once more.

On the flip aspect, perhaps connecting with Grant in particular person will probably be enjoyable and offers you a fuller image of his life and an appreciation of his full humanity. Perhaps it is going to even provide you with an appreciation of YOUR full humanity. Or perhaps it is going to merely be a enjoyable couple of hours with an outdated buddy who could be very humorous and might reminisce with you a few less complicated time in life when the trimmings of maturity had but to burden you.

At any fee, except you actually assume assembly up with Grant will nudge you right into a melancholy you possibly can’t crawl out of, I feel it is best to see him. And in the event you assume assembly up with him may doubtlessly depress you to that stage, I feel it is best to see a therapist as an alternative.

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When you have a relationship/courting query I may also help reply, you possibly can ship me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

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