We Don’t Have To Be So Heartless

I do this thing where I act indifferent towards someone I’m interested in to hide the fact that I’m actually terrified. I want to seem like I have it together, especially if, God forbid, I don’t. If I’m not playing hard to get, I’m playing whatever game will prove that no one ever had me in the first place.

Personally, I would be so turned off by someone pretending to be indifferent around me when in fact their true feelings for me are quite the opposite. So why do I act this way and expect anything more in return?

What’s worse is that I not only pretend to feel indifferent, I also find myself so quick to play defense and seek some sort of revenge to compensate for if/and when something happens leading me to be anything but the girl who supposedly has it together. And although I know in my heart that the best form of revenge is none at all, why does it seem so gratifying to hurt the people that have hurt me? Why do I think fighting hurt by accosting more hurt in return will make me the better and stronger person in the end?

Take this for example: Once upon a time, there was this guy that I liked; and once upon a time, he may have liked me back, but not quite enough. He was this 6’4” guy and here I am standing at 5-feet-small. He’s probably one of the tallest guys I know, but when the truth came out, I only wound up feeling smaller.

And that’s not entirely his fault.

It’s the classic college guy scenario: He likes you, but in regards to settling down, he likes himself more. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, until I gave myself a reason to feel wrong. You see, Mr. 6’4’’ had a big enough personality to give me feelings for him that may have been bigger than how he felt about me. Just like how I need to look up at him in order to be on an eye-to-eye level with him, the way I wanted to handle whatever feelings have surfaced between us just didn’t meet eye-to-eye with how he wanted to handle things. Because of that, at this point, the last thing I want to do is look up at him, because from where he stands, he’s this big guy with his big plans that I fall short of being a part of.

My significance in someone’s life being as little as my height is one of my biggest fear. It must explain the control freak in me that constantly feels the need to have some sense of power in any relationship, or it may just be the fact that I’m human and try with every fiber of my being to appear otherwise. Because in relationships, I think it’s natural for everyone to want to be the bigger person, which is why I didn’t want Mr. 6’4” to see me at such a lowly state, literally and figuratively.

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I tried so hard to be indifferent from beginning to end with Mr. 6’4”. I acted like he was just another guy, and that nothing he could say or do could touch me because based upon my actions, he might as well have never had me. But I’m starting to think that playing Ms. Indifferent around Mr. 6’4” will only make me smaller than I already am, because Ms. Indifferent will never be the bigger person in any given scenario. And even if anyone is falling for my act, it’s becoming an exhausting role to play.

If being indifferent is supposed to attract other people to us, then why does it leave me with feelings that are anything but attractive? I know I’m sensitive, and yes, sometimes “I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.” And yes, you could say “I just have a lot of feelings…” But in all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with facing the feelings we try so hard to ignore, because we can’t have our cake and eat it, too. How can someone reciprocate feelings that we pretend we don’t have? And when did our feelings become something worth hiding all together, whether it be when we say hello or goodbye to the people in our lives.

It’s time to take this to heart: I don’t need to be so heartless, in order to protect the heart I shouldn’t deny I have.

View Comment (1)
  • I rather adore this post, Ella! I also spent most of my life until the past couple of years attempting to pretend that I have no emotions. I am so afraid of being hurt that I push everyone away, but that is not a life worth living, eh? It’s rather terrifying though, for sure. ;)

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