He got judgmental and then took his ball and went home.
My buddies and I had a weekly phone call where we would check in with each other and help each out with work and relationships and whatever else came up. We got together on the phone because we’re now scattered all over the country. Well, several months ago I got very judgmental about my friends and their problems. Rather than tell the men what I was thinking, I just disappeared, convinced that their petty issues were a waste of my time. Despite their many attempts to reach out to me, I remained unreachable in my cave. They finally gave up. Now I want back in. I want to reconnect and I just haven’t got the courage to face them. I’m so ashamed. How do I get through this?
Welcome back. That little boy in you made you take your ball and go home. But fortunately for you—and eventually for your buddies—the man in you has reemerged. But he’s full of shame and afraid. That makes sense. But there’s really only one option: take a deep breath, grab hold of those jewels, and make the first call.
An important tool for any strong and successful man is to be able and willing to own up to the truth. In this case, the truth is you were a jerk and now you can own it. It’s that simple.
The longer you hold on to your shame, the bigger this monster is going to appear to you. But it’s all in your head. Your buddies have been your friends for a long time. They care about you. Go home. Tell them the story and tell them how you feel. I suspect that they all, at one time or another, had similar judgmental feelings. And I guarantee that all of them have made choices that they ultimately regretted.
The best way to silence the little boy is it to act like the man you want to be. Go be that man and you’ll be giving yourself and your buddies a great gift.