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Direct Answers – Castaway

I’ll get right to the point. Lately my best friend Matt has been blowing me off left and right. I have no idea why.

We used to hang out every night. Now days go by and I don’t see him. Not that he’s really doing anything. He’s usually home, and sometimes people come over and hang out at his house, but I have no idea why he doesn’t ask me.

One thing I should tell you is that we were friends with this guy Jacob, and then Jacob and I had a huge fight and no longer speak. Matt feels stuck in the middle. I don’t know if that has anything to do with this or not. But I know if Jacob is around, Matt won’t even call me because Jacob’s there.

I’m hurting bad because Matt’s my best friend and I feel I’m losing him. I’ve tried everything. I’ve blown him off for a couple of days, hoping he’d realize what he’s missing, but he’s stubborn, just like me, so that doesn’t work.

I can’t “talk” to him, because you know how guys are, they can’t talk about their feelings. I want to save this friendship more than anything, and I need advice. I’m at a loss.

~ Rob

Rob, in Daniel Defoe’s famous tale, Robinson Crusoe finds himself shipwrecked, alone on a deserted island. In despair he cries out, “Oh that there had been…but one soul saved out of this ship…that I might but have had one companion…to have conversed with!”

Loneliness is one of our worst feelings. As the song says, “One is the loneliest number.” It calls up a primal fear and the memory of waking in our crib, believing we are solitary in the universe.

You don’t know why Matt cut you out of his life. It could be a preference, an unintended slight or a miscommunication. It could be he takes Jacob’s side. Or it could be Matt does not even see what is going on. But you will never know until you ask.

Perhaps Jacob wants to take your spot. Perhaps he is a person who plays two against one or a person who seeks revenge. But even if it is a guy thing not to talk about feelings, you should be able to have your say.

If you accidentally did something, you need a chance to make it right. If it’s just a matter of liking Jacob better, that shouldn’t put you completely on the outs. But the more time that goes by the less chance there will be to remedy this.

When we feel we have been wronged, we can’t let things go. You can’t let the clerk shortchange you or the bank rip you off. You have a right to say, “Hey. This isn’t the correct change,” or “I think there is something wrong with my bank balance.”

We are not telling you to protest aggressively, we are telling you that you have a right to question. Think of it not as a confrontation but as a plea for information. Why did this happen? Can it be mended?

We fear the unknown as much as we fear loneliness. If you continue not knowing, it will only compound your problem. Robinson Crusoe said he felt condemned to “silent life.” You don’t have to choose the same fate.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answers – Column for the week of July 10, 2017

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