Human Stories

scary honesty and the tragedy of ‘a help that doesn’t help’

Here is a story about something that happened to me in the desert of Israel 2 days ago:

I have a new friend. Very new- I met her 2 weeks ago in Tel Aviv, and it happened that for 3 days now we are in the same city in the very south of Israel, so we decided to go for a walk in the desert together.
Quite soon while walking, I noticed myself feeling a certain tiredness. After checking within myself I quickly realized the reason of my tiredness: Each time I started speaking, it didn’t take more than 1-2 minutes before she would say something such as “Yes, I know exactly what you talk about- it reminds me of the holiday I spend with my family…” and then she will go on and on telling her story, while I was far from being complete with what I wanted to share. And in my habit and confusion, I went on listening to her…  So it went: me sharing for 1-2 minutes, her sharing for 10-20 minutes, again and again.
It took me 2-3 hours until I gathered enough courage to speak it up (helped by her expressing that she feels some distance between us…that she thinks that we are not having the same ‘vibe’…And that simply she thinks that I don’t like her so much…).
I ‘jumped from a cliff’ and expressed to her what I am bothered with, this time I took all the space/time I needed- I shared for a long 20 minutes until my message was complete to my satisfaction. 
Relieved by the sharing, but anxious about whether my words were hurtful, I asked her: “how is it for you to hear all I just shared?”.
And her reply was short:  “Oh, I feel such a relief !!!”. 

This same surprise that happened to me already 1000 times before, and still amazes me over and over again- that when I (finally) speak my truth, as scary as it is, people are not only not running away from me, but even coming closer to me.
She then added:  “Yes, I often cut people this way because with the rest of my friends, if I don’t do that, they think I don’t care about what they say, or that I am not listening. I do that to reassure them that I am there and interested.”. 
Oh, now it was my turn to say: “Oh, what a relief it is for me to hear that!“- To see that there is ALWAYS something sweet behind behaviors I don’t like…
 And she added: “And actually it is a tiring thing to do… It is so much nicer to just relax and listen- I could listen to you now for hours!”.  
What seems before as ‘difference in vibe’ and ‘distance’ or ‘not liking her’, turned into a sweet closeness. We sat down on a sand dune and playfully shouted our lungs out through the night and shared deep meanings until 1 o’clock in the morning (not knowing how the hell we gonna go back home as we were in the middle of the desert, 30m drive from the city, and with no car… Yet, when ‘magic is in the air’, all works fine at the end).
With a love for honesty,