Someone’s attention


They say ‘Sometimes the best way to get some ones attention is to stop giving them yours.’

I’ve pondered this in the past, is it really the best way to get someone’s attention. I’ve tried this in the dating world, within my friendship group and family over the years. I’ve found that the more I stop giving people attention, the more I slip away from their minds.

A while ago I stopped communicating with friends who I found never seemed to bother contacting me, never invited me to events, it was always me doing all the friendship work, organising gatherings, initiating contact etc. One day I discovered I wasn’t invited to a gathering at someone’s home. There and then I gave up on those friends, removed their contacts from my phone, after 3 months of not contact I unfriended them on Facebook. Great friends indeed, I felt very forgotten.

A few weeks after unfriending them on Facebook, one contacted me to find out why, I was completely honest and truthful, and even said ‘I decided to slip away quietly since its quiet obverse these friendships don’t exist’. A few text exchanges happened and eventually they said, ‘we don’t want you to slip away we like being friends with you.’ Taking this as a good sign, I organise a group lunch for us all to catch up in February, many attended, I was pretty impressed with the turn out from my various friendship groups.

Then March rolled around with no contact. I contacted them to catch up for a few hours before the triathlon event we were participating in together. Spoke afterwards on how each of our races were, and since, back to no contact. Which is fine, it proves a few points.

But, maybe this saying is meant to be used in the form of love interests. Which, I feel it is a half truth. I’ve had some guys from online dating texting me for months, and I rarely reply, maybe once out of every three SMS. Others I reply after a few hours depending on what I’m doing and care factor, others I actively text because I enjoy the back and forth banter and a giggle.

I’ve never understood why people double text (two or more texts received by someone before they reply). Used as a tactful way of pushing for a response, adding some urgency to your original message. To me, it also comes across desperate and impatient. Ill get back to you when I can/want too. I’m receiving too much attention, and are aware I can have yours when I want it – then… I loose interest.

I love moments like this one recently, I’m scrolling through my email account and I stumble across an email from a friend I met while touring china. It was only two weeks of touring with the person, yet they have a special spot in my heart as one of those people who opened my eyes to ideas and options I’ve never pondered before, encouraging and understanding of my then emotions I was dealing with. I had received their last email in January, right away I wrote a quick ‘how are you!’ Email. They’d stopped giving me attention, it got my attention to be proactive in contacting them again to keep this friendship bond going strong.

On the other hand, I have liked one guy I’ve known for about 4 years, had a silly little crush on him all this time, and his completely unaware of it. I limit a lot of my initial contact with him since I will never let it eventuate into anything more than friends. When we do spend time together and text, it’s always fantastic and fun. I want him to be a lifelong friend since his one of the most awesome people I know, I admire a lot of what he does for himself, and how his always been such a great friend to me when I’ve needed one most. Though he initiates a lot of the contact we have, I never feel its because I’m not giving him enough of my attention.

My families always accepted how I go through periods of being distant with them. Even though I live with my mother, I can still have weeks of no communication other than, ‘I’m home’, ‘what’s for dinner?’ And ‘catch you later’. Earlier this year I was mad at my father about him not attending one of my triathlon events when he finally had a day off work to come along and see me race. We didn’t speak for weeks afterwards, I ignored all his text and phone calls. One day I gave up on being mad, I missed my dad, giving him a call, and never telling him why I had been ignoring him, he never asked, dad was happy to hear from his daughter.

Maybe the best way to get and keep someone’s attention is to give them your attention in smaller amounts over a period of time. What are your thoughts?

Mars