I always look for the Life Lesson in every relationship or situation. I’m getting better at being able to see it earlier but this most recent situation took me completely by surprise. Thus it’s taking a bit for me to process how people I believed were ‘friends’ can turn so quickly. I guess you could call this the first step in that process.
In the course of other research, I found an excellent – albeit academic – article that explains how and why people believe things even when given factual information to the contrary. Interestingly enough, I found the first Life Lesson for this – as well as many other relationship situations – within this article.
With respect to this specific situation, here’s the relevant excerpt from page 183:
Basically, once we have determined someone is a ‘friend’, we will be more attuned to evidence that supports that determination than evidence to the contrary. This is important in my current experience as all I ever saw were the ‘hugs’ and other forms of positive feedback given from these two individuals rather than anything that might indicate something else. As I reflect back, there were numerous indications that these ‘friends’…………. were not as I thought.
Now here’s an interesting excerpt as well. How often have you found yourself attracted to someone, only to realize that the feelings were not reciprocated – at least to the level you thought? We also have a tendency to ‘learn’ relationships that do not exist. From the same page of the article (had to break it down into two images as the section moved to a new column):
…. the presumption of a relationship predisposes one to find evidence of that relationship……………… or…… to overweight it and arrive at a conclusion that goes beyond what the evidence justifies.
NOTE TO SELF: Never, ever try to read between the lines. Just accept what is being said at face value and take one day at a time. If it is meant to be, it will be.