Habit, Need, and Desire
Humans are social animals. Throughout the different stages of our life, we meet a lot of people. We like some of them, while for some we feel that we don’t see them ever again. A lot of them add to our story, some of them spice up our experience with life, and a few of them may even disappoint us. Yet, we keep meeting and interacting with new people.
(Before proceeding further, I recommend listening to Lord of The Rings | The Shire in the background. If nothing, it will lift up your spirits! 🤓)
Based on our association with the people, they can be grouped into three buckets —those we are habituated to, those we need, and those whom we desire.
We probably see them or talk to them almost every day. Usually, they comprise our friends and family. They are always around us — may or may not be constant. But they are always there for us. They may or may not judge us, but we don’t feel obligated to impress them. We can be ourselves around them. They form our comfort zone. We fight with them, we argue with them but we get back and chill out with them. They can be near us or very distant, all the way in a different continent. Yet, our conversations with them never dry up. When together, we pick up right from where we left it. They can give us terrible life advice to helping us get over a break-up. When everything seems downhill, they will forge a mountain for us out of nowhere.
We learn from them, maybe want to be like them — sometimes, even idealize them. Usually, they comprise our teachers, mentors, and doctors. Right from going to school to climbing up in your career, you find many such people. They help us grow and become a better version of ourselves. They help us set goals, set targets, and help us achieve them. We may not know our true potential, but they are constantly auditing our progress and course-correcting us. They may or may not be selfless people, but are probably the very few people who can state all your flaws on your face and yet, keep you motivated enough to overcome them. We may internally get mad at them, accuse them of being biased, of being a pain in the arse. But deep down, we know that they need to be hard on us, for us to be better (just like the gym trainer). There is a power dynamic, where the mentor has considerable influence over the mentee, sometimes making it hard for the mentee to give feedback to their mentor regarding the whole mentoring process. However, the process is only effective in a true sense, when there is a dialogue between them and us.
We develop a strange kind of likeness for them. We want them to like us. We sometimes go out of our way to impress them. Usually, they are the people you are in love with, have a crush on, or at least infatuated about. There is a strong urge within us to get noticed by them, get complimented. We dress up for them. Around them, we may get conscious because we don’t want to offend them. We dream about them, sing for them, write poetry. The world turns from grayscale to filled with vibrant colors. The time we spend with them seems indefinite. Anything we do together becomes a memory.
Some people can fall into more than one bucket like a best friend, a colleague, or a life partner. As we grow up, we tend to spend less time with our parents, lose touch with old friends and make new ones. Our mentors change, as we transition from school to college, and from college to the workplace. We move on from childhood crushes and college love to meaningful relationships as we mature.
Unless they have betrayed us or seriously hurt us, we don’t really stop caring about them.
There lies an equal probability of losing touch with people from each bucket. However, the degree of pain we feel depends on the expectations we had from them. It is the least for the people we are “habituated” to because believe it or not, they are always a text message or a phone call away. A little more for the people we “needed”, for they know our strengths and weakness so well, and now we have to expose a part of ourselves to yet another person. It is the most for people whom we “desired” because we had a lot of expectations — have put a lot of effort. And oftentimes, we cannot call them back, let alone talk to them. We get disappointed or even heartbroken — we go into self-doubt, maybe even get depressed.
If there is one thing that I have realized over the years, it is that make sure you have at least one person in your life in each of the 3 buckets and hopefully not the same person in all the 3 buckets.
PS: If you are looking for a strong conclusion, then I am afraid I don’t really have one. These are just some inferences based on my observations.
Let me end this here with a thought: