When I was in high school, there was a girl who had a short-lived crush on me.
Her way of expressing this was to grab one of the books from my arm every time we walked past each other in the hallway.
Her reason for doing so was because I would predictably run after her and beg her to return my book. It was such a good time for her. She would giggle and goof around for a minute or two before returning my book.
As flattering as the experience was, it became an emotional burden for me over the long haul. I grew tired of the same old exercise and I didn’t know how to make her stop.
This went on for months. One day, I just decided to not run after her. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t smart enough to use “not running after” her as a technique for switching things up. I was just exhausted with the drill.
Her response was interesting: she searched for me at the end of the day and kindly returned my book. She apologized. I accepted. We went on to become friends.
She never took one of my books again.
It always has and always will, as the saying goes, “take two to tango.”
Just like a car, conflict can’t be ignited by itself. Things can only get started and keep going as long as there’s someone there to fuel it.
Your attention is the fuel that sets events and experiences in motion. When you focus on something, you give it life.
If someone seems to be annoying or antagonizing you, it may be time to stop engaging them and start ignoring them. That doesn’t mean you should neglect what’s important to you. It means you should reconsider the practice of pursuing what you want by playing a game that some one else set up for you.
That’s my two cents,