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Being someone’s anchor

Unknowingly mentoring someone and making them feel secure is not an opportunity everyone gets. If you do, cease it.

Trust and love are the most important components in almost any personal relationship. I would lay more emphasis on the former as that becomes the foundation to most things in life. Without that, it’s hard to imagine any relationship blossoming and strengthening the way it does and extends itself to developing other positive emotions. We’ve all experienced the worth of trust in our relationships with our families and friends, either because someone kept our trust or they didn’t. Either way, we learnt our lesson and got to know the importance of it. 

In our endeavours of maintaining relationships, one of the things we tend to do is be there for one another. This could mean just to hear each other out, give or seek opinions, share our experiences and help one another in whatever ways possible. This creates the bonds we begin to cherish in our relationships. Something that helps us be on the same page as the ones we connect with well. But there’s a very thin line when that bond crosses over from care and concern to overt curiosity, inquisitiveness and intrusion.

Many years ago, I made two friends in two different spheres of my life. They are still very dear to me and ones I always count in my prayers. I have shared some of the best years with them, made some awesome memories, been there like rock solid support for each other and still continue to do all of this. But over the years I’ve begun to wonder if us changing as people (due to different circumstances) also impacts these bonds somewhere. We’ve all been through a fair share of ups and downs in our respective lives and overall we’re mostly in a good space as of today. However, in the recent past I found myself getting repelled every time I was approached by either of them. I found them being intrusive as they checked with me about everything that not only I did but also about other friends of mine who didn’t concern them at all, about the places I visited that I posted about every single time on social media or trying to be a part of my family time (which seemed like they were eating into all that precious little time I had with my folks back home).

I grew irritated with this behaviour. Ignoring their texts or deliberately delaying responses was becoming a natural reaction. Calls automatically reduced as I began to unidentify with their topics which were irrelevant to me most of the times. But not once did I think of sitting them down individually and explaining to them how I felt like they were encroaching my personal space and that I wasn’t comfortable with that. To a large extent, it was fear of hurting them, being misunderstood and ruining our strong bonds that deterred me from taking this step. 

With some time passing by, I slowly began to sense that being a little aloof had subtly signalled to them how I felt. The text messages started to become more tamed and less intrusive, a coffee catch-up was just as enjoyable as ever since there was no indulgence in any irrelevant topics and I finally felt like I was back in the same comfortable mould again – with all the space I ever needed. 

In this whole process where I was witnessing a change in dynamics, I realised that sometimes people behave in a certain way simply out of boredom, insecurity and perhaps pain or discomfort that they’re experiencing in their lives. In such situations, they look for the ones they connect with the best and probably draw strength and motivation from them. And in doing so, they might not always be themselves or even be at their best. We need to ensure that they aren’t shunned away or ignored. After all, we all tend to turn to the ones we trust in times of need. 

I learnt that in both the cases I was their anchor. Someone they confided in, found strength and stability in and therefore, reached out to albeit in a manner not so appealing to me. Talking to me or being with me made them feel secure which made me believe even further in my strength to be there for my friends or anyone who wanted to reach out to me. 

Security is also a feeling that develops from trust and can manifest itself in different ways. Keeping your eyes and ears open can give you the opportunity to be someone’s anchor. As they say, “Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.”. Help when you know you can. It only makes the world a better and happier place.

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