The Disrespect of Refusing to Update People

There is a particular kind of disrespect that people do all the time. When they have not interacted with a friend, especially if it is been years since they knew the person, they will do something I call “refusing to update the person.”

They hold that person in their mind, in the past. Their interactions in their relationship with the person are entirely based on the past, even if a person has made positive changes, they will refuse to acknowledge the validity of those changes.

They keep their friend relationally trapped in the past, refusing to it acknowledge and being cynical and unaccepting and unsupportive about positive changes because the entirety of their experience with that person in the past has been different than what that person now is in the present.

This can happen even though that person might have been very different for 10 to 20 years since you last saw them.

This is very destructive, as the person who has made changes is not being validated for deeply changing, if they have done so.

If a person stays in relationship with a non-updater, they may regress to old ways, to old “was.”


Curtis Smale