In the Life of a TIF has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.
Let me start by saying that this is not meant to be deprecating. Nor do I want anyone to tell me how much they connected with the article. I do not want to know about how you have realized that you know someone who is TIF, and you feel bad about it. If you can do that, feel free to keep reading.
I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean when I say TIF. Look closer. Think about your friends, your pals, your buddies. You have a group. People with similar interests, skills or backgrounds. But do you remember how that group formed? Do you like everyone in your group equally?
So—what’s their name? Don’t even try to pretend. Everyone has that friend. That person who you hardly ever remember to call for movies, or if you make plans to hang out, or a juicy tidbit has to be shared. We do not consider them to be an integral part of our group—maybe because another friend introduced them to the group, or maybe you didn’t like them in the first place. There was no particular reason. Maybe there was. But you couldn’t do anything about it, and it’s too late to change things now. You are now used to giggling, whispering and making fun of them behind their backs. You take them for granted, look down on them, involuntarily and repeatedly forget them. But are they so unnoticeable? Are they so unlovable? For those of you still wondering, TIF stands for “That Invisible Friend”.
Do you ever wonder if they know? Of course they do. They know, and they have accepted it. Normally TIF’s have a habit of playing along. All they are looking for is a little acceptance and attention. Isn’t that something we all want?
So the next time you see that friend, smile. You don’t have to love them, you don’t need to pretend, not anymore.
One might ask, why are they treated this way? They are lovely, they are smart yet they are TIF. Well guess what. So are you. So is everybody. There is always going to be a bunch of people who don’t like you. But that shouldn’t affect how you see yourself. If you focus on how a few people do not like you, you might be missing out on some great stuff.
Its okay to be that invisible friend. You don’t need someone to talk to you everyday. You’ve outgrown your expectations and learnt that it is okay. Trust me, that’s the best thing you have learnt. You are strong, and there is no need to constantly keep reminding someone of your presence. That will just irritate them more.
I won’t tell you things like “eventually they will understand”. I don’t like to nurture false hopes. Maybe that’s just me. So if you are one, embrace it! It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself!
-That Invisible Friend
To read more by the author of In the Life of a TIF, click here.