Giving people space is difficult, but probably not quite as difficult as asking for more space since when you ask there are all sorts of implications the askee could think of under your direct request. Maybe you don't enjoy their company, perhaps their conversation is boring you, perhaps you can't stand to look them in the face anymore, mayhaps there is a lack of love and most probably it is a combination of all of these. Perhaps not even a lack or absence of any, more probably just a discrepancy in the amount of these each person likes and/or needs.
Sometimes, however, I must admit, I can be too clingy and needy and start getting on people's nerves until they almost feel compeled to wrap my head around a steel pole and be done with me. This is odd behaviour, however, since most of the time I am the kind of person who needs infinite amounts of alone-time. There's nothing in the world I like more than being alone, usually, and so why would it be that I at the same time as I request so much "space" I wouldn't be giving others enough space?
Perhaps I am, in that regard, much like Lestat (yes, here we go again, swizec comparing himself to Lestat the fictional vampire) who seems to be quite content on his own and in fact prefers spending much time without any connection to anyone. Can enjoy every moment of life you could say. But as soon as there is someone in his life that he feels a connection to he cannot get enough of that person. He will send them random pleas for attention when he feels like it, he will seek them out in the world when something happens if for nothing else than to whinge about it.
So far there have been two such people in my life. Only two that I ever felt should know everything about me and felt at ease enough to share my deepest concerns with them and both of these people eventually complained that I need to leave them the fuck alone once in a while. And so I did. With one we grew apart soon after and now rarely ever share a conversation - they are however oft still in my mind - and with the other we have just recently come to the point of them having enough of me and we'll see how it goes. I certainly hope we don't grow apart and do in fact hope they ask of me whom this other person I spoke of is, if they don't guess already.
The reason, I believe, I get enough space while the people around me do not is that I get about fifteen hours of me time a day. There's work, which I love and relaxes me, then there's the time after work where I just plump my arse down and read, that's also relaxing, then there's the gym, another me activity and then there's the late night hours with not a soul awake but myself. So you could say, unlike the average person, almost all of my days are my personal space and others will just have to excuse me if I sometimes forget that they just cannot get any space because whenever they're not at work I'm bugging them, or a friend is, or something.
Ah yes, the friends thing ... yes, not having any friends, nobody to make demands on you, can be a very relaxing experience.
Learned something new?
Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Software Engineering Lessons from Production
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️