The interview was fabulous! It went on for 3 hours. She met the HR Head who patched her to the Department Head and now she was with the CEO. The rapport was excellent and they even had lots of common things in between. She knew she had nailed it! The position had to be hers. They said they’ll get back within “a couple of days”.  She skipped towards her car and was already planning her first day!

Day 2: Every time the ringer went off, she held her breath – was it that call? No, it wasn’t. The day seemed to lug forward in anxiety despite her show of confidence. Day two morphed into 3 and 4 and 5. No call. She put in a gentle reminder. The response was, “we’ll get back”. In her session, she questioned me, “Why can’t they call back?” So, yes, why don’t those who call you for an interview/interview you call back to say it didn’t work out, for whatever reason?

Her 4 year old relationship ended over the phone. He broke up via text. She kept calling him for weeks and then finally landed in Chennai to see him in person to “get closure.”“It’s polite, isn’t it”, she argued. You’ve seen this played out frequently. All the person in question desires is a response. Yes or No, so they can move on.

In my tryst in advertising, agencies are called for pitches with a line of competitors vying for the same business. Agencies spend hours and some invest loads of money to bag the business without being compensated with a pitch fee. When the business gets awarded to an agency, the agencies that pitch stumble on a PR article months later and realise that they didn’t win the pitch. As an agency that has ‘lost’ the pitch, you feel shortchanged. All those hours of work, social sacrifices, investment of time, effort, money – and, you are not even given the respect of a call that says “thanks however, we will be going ahead with another Agency.”

I shared this with an HR Manager who said, “Sometimes, I don’t know about it myself! So, how am I to respond?” A friend of mine said, “He should have known when I didn’t return his calls. Wasn’t the writing on the wall?” A Marketing Head’s perspective was, “They should assume that they aren’t selected and simply move on. Why do they want to know that they weren’t a fit? It puts me in a spot to be the bearer of bad news!” ‘

Yes, it’s about closure. People NEED to receive the finality that ‘IT IS OVER’ and ‘THE REASON WHY’ so they can move on. The sense of loss then settles in and their healing process begins. While, some might argue, the relationship ended or no response meant it came to a close already, for the one at the short end of the stick, it isn’t.

The person who ends a relationship or doesn’t care to respond has already ended it and has moved on. Whereas the person who got rejected is usually shocked and remorseful and needs that closure in order to survive the pain of being rebuffed. Be it the candidate for recruitment or the lover.

Closure is an excuse to hold on to the belief that what you had perceived is exactly the way it is in your mind. The rejecter is never seeking closure because he/she has already ENDED the relationship.

Look beyond what you see. Move away from the picture and the perspective will appear. However, hard it may seem, to those who ‘end’, I’d say, be kind. Respect them and the relationship however brief it may have been with a one line email or a quick call or a personal meeting.

Words soothe and that’s all it takes.

Happiness and love

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