Time is one of the concepts I think about, often. How it measures, what it tells us, what it teaches us. Time is one of the best teachers, in many shapes and forms. We just need to understand the concept of time, not just the passing of it, but how it relates to the situations in our lives, and most importantly people in our lives.

I caught up with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while, last week. We told each other stories about what happened since we last saw one another, and he told me about the girl he was seeing, at the moment. He sounded troubled, like he needed some female point of view. He laid it out. They met, they hit it off exceptionally well. She has a very demanding job, travels a lot but always found time to see him, meet up, do things. Everything went so well, until it just didn’t. Like usual story goes, he doesn’t know what happened. She just started to behave snippy, her messages got short and annoyed with everything he’d say, she never makes time to see him anymore, while she spends time with friends, posts pictures from outings on social media, and so on. You know the spiel.

He tried to ask her, numerous times, if something was wrong, yet she refuses to elaborate, avoids talking about it, and just gives him the classic – “everything is ok, I’m just busy”, while still keeping some pretend communication (don’t you hate those?), while actually not communicating at all.

One of the worst things you can do to a human being is never telling them what issue you have with them, or issue in general, while still keeping contact, but refusing to have a real conversation, or take any decisive action in the relationship.

I told him something he already knew himself – you need to provoke an actual conversation. Status quo doesn’t work; don’t accept it. You take action, when she doesn’t. He tells me, yes, that’s the plan, I’ll give her this month to get back to me.

See that right there. “I will give her the month to get back to me”. The biggest mistake people do, and the tiny little thing you don’t even notice you’re doing, that is a huge huge discrepancy that creates self-damage you’re not even aware of.

When I told him he shouldn’t give her a month to get back to him with something that takes 10 minutes and something that shows an incredible disregard to another human being, and also – huge disrespect; he looked at me and said – “Well it’s ok, I mean I have time, I’m not doing anything else anyways (or anyone else), I’ll just wait.”

You do not have time. Repeat after me.

Few years ago, I learned this lesson. I had a terrible fight with one of my best friends I grew up with, friend of 20 years, who insulted my family and somehow he felt offended in return (one of those), it was one of the most mindblowing things I have ever experienced, and learned very swiftly (and calmly), people might be good hearted, but if they’re not emotionally intelligent, no matter what curveball life throws at you, you will have these tribulations with them at some point. 

Remember – you can never really fight with an intelligent, emotionally stable, confident person. In that scenario, its called the conversation. You can only fight with fools.

But that was not the lesson. Lesson came few weeks after, when another (mutual) friend asked me about the fight. I told him what happened and said I’m still hoping he (the one I fought with) had a case of temporary insanity that day; you absolutely never ever discuss someone’s family, in a disrespectful tone, no matter how close you are, and that I was hoping he will realize his overstepping, and contact me to apologize, so we can move on. I said, I’m here all summer, so, I’m sure we’ll patch it up.

Then my friend (the one I told the story to) said the most epic thing that I live by since that moment, and one of the main things I lead by in my life and something that totally transformed my life:

“Miranda, his apology has an expiration date.”

I asked him, what do you mean an expiration date? And he says – “You will not give this person all summer to apologize. You will give him exactly 2 more weeks. Two weeks is perfectly enough time for someone to asses what happened, analyze sides, and contact someone for calm, collected conversation. Everything after that time is disrespect.”

Life changing concept. I listened, and my life completely transformed.

Stop giving people time. There is a timeframe for everything. There is plenty of time to pick up a call or say something, text something if you’re uncomfortable to talk. You should not let people disrespect you, you and your time, because that’s all that is – terrible disrespect. Everyone has time for 10 min conversation. By giving people time, you are telling them to disrespect you, and giving them instructions on how to.

I ruthlessly operate by this rule.

I started talking to someone that contacted me on social media in November, which I never do unless I know someone, but he was kinda not bad and could keep an intelligent convo, and took all my hits; he wanted to meet (in New York) but I was going to Los Angeles for 3 weeks just as about we started talking. He spoke to me almost every day while I was in LA, waiting for me to come back, excited for me to come back, asking me about the date I’m coming back to NY numerous times. When I finally came, I needed a sec to gather myself and texted him I’m back, so whatever date works, I’m here. He was traveling, then I saw online he had some injuries at his job, was some rumor of maybe switching cities, issues; I could tell it was a not good time. He would respond to me but wasn’t planning anything. Literally just stopped making plans after texted me million times about my plans. One thing about me, not sure if its good or bad trait in life, but I’m not one of those people that dwells, I disconnect super quickly when I see issues and lack of communication.

So I stopped talking. He texts me this month, few weeks ago, after 5 months – “Hey, how are you, I had some issues and was traveling and had an injury, I’m all good and free now, let’s meet up, I’m free until the rest of the month.” I understand issues, I understand not being good with yourself to take on the world or meet new people, but we were planning (on your initiative) to meet in November. Now it’s April.

I responded with – “Sorry, the time limit to meet up, is expired.”

Harsh? He for sure was surprised and a bit stunned at my reaction. Any maybe you are, too, reading this. But simply, if you can not verbalize to me the issues you’re dealing with, in 5 month period, and I got to figure them out on my own, I have no time, and you have no respect.

Giving people time for decency, when decency takes 5-10 minutes, is literally giving them directions how not to respect you. And by doing this all the time, all your life, by allowing people to do this to you all the time; wether is the relationships, dating, friendships, or in your career – you cluster your energy with lingering of something, waiting for something that has no logic or purpose to be waited for. No positive outcomes will ever come out of it, by you not telling people how to respect you. Lingering while you give someone time for something that takes 10 minutes you are preventing something else, something good, better; something real and precise to take up your space.

Trust me, you will not lose on things or lose on opportunities if you adopt this simple rule. You’ll be doing exactly the opposite. By being unapologetic with your time and putting expiration date on people’s disrespectful behaviors – is not how you lose things. It’s how you GET things.