… or not.
Recently, I have written a small handful of emails that took a great deal of courage. They were emails that ‘put myself out there’ as the saying goes. I took a breath, girded my loins and pressed send, or ‘yikes’ as I like to think of it, and sat back to wait.
I’ve heard nothing back. Not an acceptance or a query, not even a rejection. Just nothing. We’ve all experienced that and it’s annoying. But maybe, as well as being annoying, it also hurts a little bit.
There is something about the unequal investment in the subject that makes the absence of a response difficult, especially when the initial approach has been challenging. Our not insignificant effort has been ummatched. There is a hollowness, a lingering unfinished-ness. It’s like putting all one’s energy into pushing something that turns out to have no substance – one stumbles forward and perhaps feels foolish. We can feel undervalued, even experience shame for making contact in the first place.
Non-acknowledgement is obviously part of our life in this day and age. It’s important that we learn, or strive, to weather it and not let it drive our future behaviour. ‘Courage in the face of adversity!’ has been the cry in the past. Now we need courage in the face of nothing.