This is who I am. A feel good kind of guy. No one comes to me for an honest opinion. They come to me when they want to feel good about themselves. Friends, colleagues, relatives, and everyone of my acquaintance. I don’t know if I radiate a positive energy or what the reason is. No one wants me to be their everything. When they are feeling sadness, frustration, or all those emotions when someone needs someone else to make them feel good about themselves, I’m the guy they approach to uplift their spirits. Even though they have closed ones with them, they choose me. When they are feeling loneliness, unworthiness, or self-pity, they approach me to vent everything out. I don’t have problem with it, but I have a problem with what follows after.
I am a tight-lipped, reticent guy. The guy who also has issues related to self-expression, so he tries to keep his mouth shut most of the times. Even when I am angry, frustrated, or disappointed, I don’t know how to express it through words or emotions, I just keep everything inside. I have friends, but I don’t have friends to confide in. I absolutely love it when people confide in me. But I have problem to open myself up in front of others.
People vent out everything in front of me. Their issues, insecurities, and suffering. My heart bleeds when they express excruciating pain they are going through following the tragedies from their past. They tell me things they have told only few people, or no one else. Sometimes, their feelings are so raw and deep, I feel awkward while listening to them. They tell me things we must not tell anyone. Those feelings, very personal and very deep, must be kept inside. But they flow with the current of their emotions and express everything. They don’t know if I’m capable of handling it.
I also have emotions. I feel empathy, sympathy, and sometimes bad for them. I keep everything inside. My emotions and their emotions too. I like to be alone. I am not a loner, but I need solitude and personal space. Sometimes, when I am alone, I reminisce those interactions. Those interactions which changed my perspective toward them. Then I wonder how it is possible. The guy looks so happy on outside. The world doesn’t have any idea what he is going through. The woman is cheerful and vivacious. But she bears and unbearable pain every time she breaths. Would I be able to get into their shoes and experience the same? Of course not! Then I feel like my chest is about to burst out of the weight of emotions and stories I kept inside.
Those stories range from my friends to women at work. A friend who tells me about his struggles to convince his parents to let him marry the girl he loves. A colleague who wants to run away from home and can’t bear to take responsibilities of loans he availed. A woman who doesn’t love her husband, but performs all duties of a wife. And a relative who feels loneliness even while staying with family. Different kinds of people, different backgrounds, and different stories. Each has one thing in common. The world doesn’t know what is going inside their minds.
But I do. Everything feels right to me when they are telling me. I feel valued, I feel important, and most importantly, I feel special to be the holder of their raw version. They make me feel I am important to them and they value my listening to their story. I appreciate I listen everything without judging or trying to give them any advice or expressing my opinion on whether they are right or wrong. I just listen. They tell me like they have so much to tell and no one to listen to, but me. I can see the intensity in their eyes. They want to tell everything that’s inside to someone. Just to someone.
And they choose me. I don’t know why. They think I am a harmless creature and I won’t use their secrets against them. Yes, I won’t use their secrets to publicly humiliate them when the time comes. They may insult me; I won’t say a word in return. But I know one thing–I can’t use what they told me in confidence against them. I haven’t told anyone this. I think they must have understood it through my behavior. What else could be the reason? Maybe, I am easily available to them. I don’t have many things to do in my life. I often hang out with friends. I am not an outgoing extrovert or party lover or the one who always has some travel plans for the weekend. I am an introvert who loves solitude and deep contemplation. I love to sleep or lie on bed thinking of something. I barely initiate conversations. If there is no one to talk to, I sit idle, watch something on television, or read a book. If my friend asks me to go out with him, I check my mood. If my mood permits, I go out. Else, I say no straight away. I talk less and listen more. That’s me. Yes, that is the reason. I don’t talk much or express myself eloquently whatever I am feeling at the moment. So they might have thought I am the good guy. He doesn’t judge or comment on something vulnerable. I am a good guy. When someone tells me about their deepest secrets and emotions, I try to understand them. I form an opinion about them, but not the critical one. Or a judgmental one. So yes, in a way, they are right. They come to the right guy whom they can tell everything. Without applying any filters in their minds. They vent out everything. At the end, I say nothing than take care. And we bid each other goodbye.
The problem arises after we bid goodbye. When we meet after the interaction, they treat me like I am just another guy. I don’t look at them the same way I used to. I look at them like some part of them lives inside me now. I treasure that part and it has special significance in the bonding I have with them. But the look doesn’t reciprocate from their eyes. They behave normal. Like we never had that interaction. They behave with others like they are special to them. Well, they don’t even know what I know. They don’t even care to know. They never bother to ask what is going on. Even if they ask, you don’t feel like telling them. Then why do you behave the way they are important to you. I get insecure because you behave normally with me. I never asked them the reason behind this. Maybe, they regret telling me what they told me. Or, they want to pretend everything is alright, but I remind them it’s not. I wonder if they are the same people who confided in me and now pretend like I am just another guy. This has happened over and over again. With each one who confided in me, the same story followed. They treat me like I matter the most to them when they are telling their story. After that, I don’t matter much to them. I felt like I am a human tool on whom they can dump their feelings and forget about it. I then reside in back of their mind in a position where it doesn’t matter if I am there.
And what about me? What about my story, my feelings, and my emotions. I tried sometimes. I tried to express. But something came in the way due to which I have to keep everything inside. Sometimes, they didn’t have time to meet me. Sometimes, they started telling their own story from reference to me and never bothered to ask me to finish my story. I never asked them to listen to me fully, because I don’t want to interrupt their flow of emotions. It was also the moment when I feel like I have been taken for granted. I don’t matter. My emotions or my feelings or my story don’t matter to them. What do I do then? I do what I do the best. I keep everything inside. Then I say something to make them feel good about themselves or don’t say anything at all. They thank me for listening and we bid goodbye.
I still crave for more of their secrets. I am a good guy after all. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. When those wheels of time are stopped, I would solve their problems and give them the ideal life they always wanted to live. But I realize that there is nothing perfect in the world. We have to live with imperfections and that is how it is always going to be. We wish or we don’t. That friend has to convince his and her parents to let them marry or do as per their wishes. That colleague has to deposit money for EMI and stay with family no matter what or run away from responsibilities. That woman has to learn to love her husband and perform all duties of a wife or get a divorce. That relative has to feel lonely while staying with family or stay away from family. In all cases, the latter isn’t an option. Else, they would have availed it and they would never have to find me to tell their story.
And I… I have to live with them treating me normal or demand special treatment. I guess, I, too, don’t have the latter option.