Today’s post might seem totally random, but it’s a question that has been irking me for a while. I am going to make up fictitious names in my articulation, because it’s easier for me to express myself this way; and besides, it’s no fun getting sued.
Meet Jack. As it turns out, people around him tend to regard him as a good, patient, non-judgmental, supportive listener, and a soothing, steady shoulder to lean on. This in itself is not a problem, and is in fact quite wonderful, as Jack is a calm and caring person who enjoys “being there” for people. Apart from serving as a willing crutch however, Jack is an intelligent, creative person who happily goes about his own interests, but doesn’t find himself emotionally-evolved or socially-skilled enough to build anything of substance with the people he cares about.
Let’s now turn our attention to Jill. For the most part, Jill is an independent, smart young woman who leads a rich life. But, like everyone else’s, Jill’s life is not nearly perfect, and she finds herself confiding in and leaning on Jack when she’s down, because he’s approachable and his supportive presence soothes her.
And finally, we have Phil. I don’t have too much to say about Phil, except that it’s his presence that’s going to add a twist to this tale. As it so happens, Jill and Phil are “an item”, and they’ve been together for a long time. It’s just, Phil doesn’t really treat Jill all that well anymore; and this is the cause of much concern for Jill, in her otherwise wonderful life.
As you may have guessed, this is also a topic of conversation she brings up often when with Jack, because of the nature of their relationship.
The problem for Jack, as time marches, is a (misplaced?) sense of guilt that’s steadily growing within him. Jill is getting more and more cosy with Jack, and slowly getting more revealing—and he’s unsure if this constitutes some weird form of cheating. Even if it were, he isn’t the one attached, and it’s Jill who ought to feel her insides being eaten at, right? After all, isn’t she the one who’s (emotionally) straying from Phil? It’s not like Jack did anything special to get her to open up to him; he’s this way with everyone. Why isn’t she just talking to Phil instead?
None of these facts seem to matter to Jack. He’s feeling sick, like a witting enabler… like he’s the callous “other woman”—without the pleasure of any of the naughty bits.
The question, really, is whose fault is the confusing scene described above? Why should Jack—who’s doing nothing more than being the sensitive support—end up being the one with the sick feeling in his tummy? It’s not like he’s trying to ensnare Jill, or even particularly drawn to her in the first place.