How to Love

I have been having difficulties with someone for a very long time. One of those love-hate, jelly fish relationships where you are constantly weighing up: Is this worth it? Why am I doing this?

I read this quote today:


Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person.

Understanding is love’s other name.

If you don’t understand, you can’t love.

Thich Nhat Hanh ― How to Love (2014)

I think the lack of understanding goes both ways. They don’t understand me. They think they do. They think my life is perfect. But actually, I refuse to share my troubles with someone who is so mean to me. The difference with me is, I don’t like them but I try to hide it. I am not rude to them. I wish them well (well away from me). I am worried that I give myself away, though, but I try and play nice.

Sample conversation. Me: “Gosh, that story in the paper about the girl dying is terrible”. Them: “Why do you care? It has nothing to do with you.” Small talk is hard going. Another example. Me: “Did you hear that they now think celery might have some nutritional benefit after all?” Them: “How ridiculous! All these food trends are just such rubbish”. ugh. OK. It is science. Whatever.

Lots of resting bitch face.


I haven’t reached the point where I can actively help them. I can pity them. I can guess that their meanness is coming from pain, and that I am a convenient victim. But I can’t help them. I just want to stay the hell out of their way. That’s the best I can manage. I really don’t think I can help them. That’s just a step too far. I’m not that enlightened.