There is a certain point in the getting-to-know-people stage where they are becoming more and more predictable..and you are aware of this. Suddenly that surprising phone call is no longer out of the blue, that invitation to hang out has a known end, and those mannerism speak for themselves. Yep, you’ve just learned their personality. You’ve got it down. Now what?
In comes repetition and overlaying experiences. You mix and mingle until, whoops! You found out what you don’t like about them. Oh dear, what a loss, you’re high has just fallen and suddenly all those fun memories have an hazy glow that keeps you from remembering that they were once considered cool. Suddenly they aren’t cool at all.
Oh no! It isn’t that you realized what you don’t like about the person, you realized that you don’t like the person. Oh a huge difference. It is so big and potentially painful to the other party that you couldn’t bare to tell them. So you keep going, keep answering the phone and hanging out. After all you know you don’t like them, shouldn’t they too be figuring out that they don’t like you too? Why is it taking so long? How do I say no? Why do they argue every time I say no? How do I get out of this? Oh god, I’m going to have to see the person soon and I have nothing to say, nothing I want to say and I don’t even feel like smiling.
Every time you are faced with the person, that first thing that you didn’t like about them becomes them. It is there, walking by your desk, chatting in your ear, sending lines it text. The person is no longer the person, they are everything that you do not like about them walking on two legs and they know it. They must know that no one would ever like all of this. How could they not know? This is common sense to me, people don’t treat others so rudely and expect to be liked do they? I learned this in preschool and they are still behaving this way? Do people not know what a disgusted facial expression means? Do they not know what it means to wear such an expression all the time? They don’t. They don’t know. Because they don’t know what you know.
But wait, sometimes things go the other way. Sometimes you realize what you don’t like about someone and they never do it again. Life just goes on and no one seems to notice. You were waiting for them to do that annoying thing again and they didn’t. You even held back to give them extra space to say that annoying word and nothing, there was silence. or even better, they said something that you liked instead. How wonderful this person is.
Then it continues for a long time and you realize that this person is stable. They may do things that you don’t like but not every time and if it is a problem, they don’t hang their souls on the issue, they just do something else. Ahhh, I see, this person is dynamic. Those are my types of friends. Shape shifters who don’t always operate on cue and enjoy having a deep pockets of happy social games to play. You can still toss a nasty social pitch their way as a test, but you’ll notice that they deflect it with ease. Instead of saying “you bitch!” they say, “I don’t play that game, but I like you so try another.”
Between the two extremes there ly the, well, inliers. Those who stay in the gray. You know enough about them that you know you don’t need to know any more about them. They get a little annoying sometimes because you can never seem to get to know them enough to know whether you like them or not. Which, in itself, is probably what you don’t like about them that they keep doing over and over so they really fall into the negative. But give them a chance because sometimes it is just the situation that drives their behavior.