Daphne: I hate you! I hate him! Ugh! Can you just—ugh! I hate you!
Robert: Are you okay?
Daphne: You… heard that just now.
Robert: Is that a question? Yes, I heard that. What is it?
Daphne: No, no. I’m good. Really.
Robert: *sits next to Daphne* Well, I don’t think so. Tell me.
Daphne: No, really, it’s just… something I read.
Robert: On a messenger?
Daphne: *hides phone* Umm, that’s—
Robert: *sighs* It’s that guy again, isn’t it? What is it now?
Daphne: Don’t blame him.
Robert: So it’s really him.
Robert: Look, I don’t blame him, but I know you want me to blame him.
Daphne: But it’s all my fault.
Robert: Okay, I’ll agree with that. It’s your fault.
Daphne: *gives a sideways glance*
Robert: See? You want me to blame him.
Daphne: *sighs* He said I disappeared again. He said I never showed up in any important discussions…
Robert: And? Is that true?
Robert: Don’t you think that he’s trying to make you contribute more?
Daphne: *shrugs* I don’t know. I just feel like… ugh. I’m trying my best here, you know.
Robert: Yes, I know. You’ve been experiencing a lot.
Daphne: Am I that annoying?
Robert: I never say you’re annoying.
Daphne: Your tone just now says so.
Robert: *laughs* Look. I know it’s hard for you. You fell into a black hole before, and now you’re trying to escape, and you always keep quiet about it, but I can see that you’re trying. Very hard. You failed a lot, I can see that too, but you have that spirit to get up and try again.
Daphne: Don’t flatter me. It’s not the right time.
Robert: Did I ever flatter you before? I’m stating the facts here. I am the only person who has the privilege to see you, before and after those setbacks. The root of this problem actually lies in you not telling him everything, but of course I understand that you can’t just tell someone about it. That is why I’m here, anyway.
Daphne: I don’t want to force you.
Robert: I know you don’t. Now, I believe that’s not the whole story. Why don’t you tell me the rest of the story?
Daphne: How can you tell?
Robert: *shrugs* Dunno. Just seems obvious for me, I guess.
Daphne: … Well, I’d said sorry, but he wanted me to promise. I don’t know what to promise him, and I’m a little… scared.
Robert: Of what?
Daphne: Making promises. I’m afraid I would break them one day.
Robert: Hmm… And which part of it makes you very angry before?
Daphne: Him! That part of him who can’t understand my fear! He is a hotheaded guy who wants everything to be just the way he wants it without thinking about others’ feelings!
Daphne: … Why don’t you say anything?
Robert: Hmm. Do you want me to only listen to you or give you advice?
Daphne: I don’t know! Listen to me, give me advice, I don’t know! Both! Ugh!
Robert: *nods* Both. Okay.
Daphne: I don’t know you’re so weird.
Robert: *chuckles* Only few people know it, including my parents.
Daphne: Wow, I feel honored.
Robert: Haha. That’s really an honor, you know. Look. I think your problem still lies in the lack of communication between you and that guy. He is a selfish hothead, everyone knows that, but now, can you see that part of him in yourself?
Daphne: I’m aware of it. I’m a selfish myself.
Daphne: But I’m not as hotheaded as him!
Robert: Yes, I can see that. You’re not. Actually, I can see that you’re the patient one here. You tried to comply with his demands. You tried to make everything stable by following his orders. But you know you have needs too. That’s the selfish part of you.
Daphne: *gives a sideways glance*
Robert: But, unlike his selfishness, you can’t just express it to anyone, except me, who has been here long enough to see everything. He might be able to order you around, but you can’t. Once you know you really need your selfish time, you withdraw yourself from anyone, sometimes including me.
Daphne: I can’t withdraw myself from you.
Robert: You just don’t realize it. Even though at some point you don’t want him to get mad, that withdrawal, unfortunately, gives him wrong signal. He probably thinks that you are ignoring him, angry with him, or even hating him. That blows him up more than you might ever expect.
Daphne: … You think so?
Robert: Yes. I’ve been looking at you guys all this time, okay? Whenever you tell me about him, it’s always about both of you can’t understand each other, but you guys never work out on it by talking it out.
Daphne: … So, what should I do now?
Robert: Talk to him.
Daphne: What? But, how? He must be ignoring me right now… and that’s all my fault.
Robert: Just talk to him. Send him a message. Call him. Whatever.
Daphne: … I don’t think I’m ready.
Robert: Really? Do you want the thing about you and him to go on like this forever?
Daphne: Of course not. I just—
Robert: Listen to me. If both of you are being selfish right now and neither of you are willing to break the silence first, there might be no end of this problem anytime soon.
Daphne: So… I just need to… send him a message right now?
Robert: Yes, if that’s easiest for you.
Daphne: What should I say?
Daphne: What if he didn’t reply?
Robert: Wait. He might still need time.
Daphne: What if he never replied at all?
Robert: Nah, I don’t think so. He might be proud enough to see that you break the silence first.
Daphne: You want to make me look like a loser?!
Robert: *smiles* No. I want to make you an honest and sincere person.
Daphne: Oh. That will be an achievement for me… right?
Robert: Yes, an achievement for you. You’ll win in your own way.
Daphne: *inhales* Okay. I’m sending him a message right now. Is an “are you okay” good enough?
Robert: Yeah. Great.
Daphne: Sent! *exhales* Oh, that’s… relieving. Somehow.
Robert: I know, right? Haha.
Daphne: *nods* *smiles*
Robert: Now we only need to wait for him to reply. Be patient. It might be hard for him too.
Daphne: Will you stay? Umm, just in case if I need a little more help?
Robert: Hmm… Well, I don’t see why I can’t.
Daphne: *smiles* Thank you. You’re… the best.
Robert: *sighs* Yes, yes, nevermind.
— Based on true event. A semi-actual conversation.
Sometimes when we’re mad, we become oblivious. Sometimes we don’t realize that the solution is as simple as talking.