Too often, we say and do the opposite of what we actually think and want. Insecurity drives us to push away someone we want as a friend, perhaps with an insult just to start small talk. We may respond negatively with, “I hope not too often,” when invited to visit regularly.
More so when younger, we all misbehave, break things, run away and ask not to be followed, be unbecomingly rude, or even get violent—and it’s all as a cry for help. Attempted suicide can be a call for help, particularly in public or if the attempted method didn’t have much of a chance of succeeding. If this is you, understand that sending any of these “reversed messages” are not likely to be interpreted correctly except by a very few. Even people worthy of your respect might not understand.
Get comfortable with yourself, accept yourself, learn to invite and speak constructively; teach others the same. It takes time for everyone to learn; especially the most “positive” people became that way by intent and practice.
It goes without saying that suicide is no good answer; “crossing over” is one appointment you don’t want to be early for. There is much written by countless counselors with differing opinions, but don’t presume any instinctive response to be correct when you learn about a suicide. Everyone needs good, professional counsel with this matter, including friends and family, perhaps therapy or just someone to be authentic with.
But, if you’re not the person sending “reversed messages”, learn to identify it quickly. Don’t try to interpret others by their words, rather by what they imply: a call for friendship. Others may need some space, meaning “friendship at a distance”. Sometimes love means making it clear that people standing by themselves across the room are accepted right there at the same time as they are welcome with the group.
You might grab an article on this subject, ponder what you’ve seen, or discuss with friends from younger to older. Learn to identify insecurity quickly and train yourself to give a smile without feeling insulted. Those are moments when your own confident kindness can lift the spirits of those who need it.