Should it be that easy? How easy is it for you to flip that switch? The switch that lets you care one moment, then not care the next? One moment you are friends but then something happens and you flip it and it no longer bothers you. You no longer care. You flipped that switch to off and that’s all. No guilt, no worries, no concerns. All that happens is the person, place, or thing no longer exists.

The switch works for me in most cases, but not all. There is a mental switch that works with that allows me to adjust between the caring and interested Marshall to the “It’s just business” Marshall. The flipping of the switch can take some effort, but it’s a strange thing the more I think about it.

One day I can be invested in someone or something. I then sit, review, and process information related to the topic at hand. After that review, I weight out the value and can take action from that point to flip the switch off and never worry again. That person that once had my attention when needed no longer existed outside of just another human. That place I used to romanticize about no longer holds any value. That thing I used to love to do no longer has an impact on me.

I feel this is a unique trait. I will say I’ve miss-used this switch though. I fear relationships. They are a strange and painful experience for me to push through. One day the person you care for starts drifting away for reasons unknown or not communicated. You have no idea why. Then you are left on the island by yourself trying to make sense of this ball of jelly called a friendship that is falling apart. So at the slightest possibility of failure you stop investing. You flip a switch. You move on to the next thing in life, what ever it may be.

In the world of things, I think it more related to something that’s “new” or “unknown”. Your lack of knowledge allows you to fantasize about it. It becomes a romantic thing you dream about how awesome it could be. Then you begin to invest heavily upfront. You hope so hard that this romantic idea of the unknown will eventually come to fruition. As you become more familiar with the fantasy you start to realize that the truth does not align with the fantasy. It’s not as exciting as you thought it would be. You feel jaded by the simplicity of the idea that was once this huge and amazing romantic idea of something. Have you jumped in too far and can you back out? Have you invested just enough to where you can correct, switch it off, and move on? Or is there a bigger problem here.

That switch is a nightmare in some cases. What about the family? The one thing other than yourself that you can’t get rid of. Yes, you can run away from them. Yes, you can decide to never talk to them again. However, they are still your family. Friends come and go. Family is forever regardless of when you choose to interact with them or not. What happens when you flip that switch on a family member? They don’t cease to exist. They are still a part of your life even when devoid from your presence. I bet your mother still thinks about you even if you don’t want to talk to her. I’m confident your Dad has a smidgen of care and wonders how you are doing. I be that sister or bother you haven’t talked to in some time wants to catch back up at some point. Maybe not now, but eventually.

Back to the switch. How fast do you switch between “My friend” to “Not my friend” back to “My Friend” and have you built up a relationship that can withstand that? Or does you fickle switch cause more trauma then can be handled? Maybe the switch is out of fear? Maybe that switch is out of anger? Does the switch only happen when depressed and when you recover from the depression are you too embarrassed to make amends to recover? What do you think? We need to talk to understand. You provide value common knowledge.

-Marshall

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