You begin to question. Everything.
Maybe John does like me? Oh no, I don't like him, should I back off a bit? Do I like Shaniqua? Am I in denial? Do I only like Shaniqua because I think she likes me? Should we stop hanging out? Would I be questioning everything if my friends hadn’t pot-stirred?
It seems to be quite common to begin ‘liking someone’ or to develop feelings for someone when you find out they like you. The dangers with pot stirring is that if John Smith actually has legit feelings for Shaniqua everything is approached in a jokey, ‘non-serious’ way, and Shaniqua may never realise that there are more to the jokes than what she realises. Let’s be honest, when you like someone it’s nice to be teased about that person and it’s fun to imagine unrealistic ideals, but the teasing and the imagining only fuels the ‘desire fire’ (yeah I just made that up). Basically, it’s easy to like someone even more when your friends are pot-stirring, but in reality, it doesn’t really help you, or the crush involved.
“Why don’t you like John Smith? He is such a good guy!” “Shaniqua would make such a good girlfriend, I don't know why you would never consider her.” It’s like if someone is nice, caring, or a ‘good guy’ or ‘an amazing girl’, you should automatically put aside the fact that you're not actually genuinely attracted to him or her and all of a sudden turn on the ‘I like you’ switch. It doesn’t work like that. You can’t force yourself to like someone. It’s either there, or it’s not. Pot-stirring just confuses the heck out of you and makes you feel bad for not considering the person, or not having any real feelings for the person. When in reality, it is okay to just be friends.
Pot-stirring can be fun. It can be fun to be the stirrer. Okay let’s be honest, it’s pretty funny. And it can be fun to be on the receiving end, mainly when you actually have a crush on the person. However, I know of situations where pot-stirring should just not happen. Guy and girl (Jack and Jill) are friends. Just friends. Jack and Jill hang out a bit, but they are very much friend-zoned. There’s no way they would even go there. Their friends start teasing and pot stirring about them hanging out at the water well. Then Jack starts thinking, “oh, maybe I do have feelings for Jill”, and Jill starts thinking “oh, maybe we would make a good couple…” then before you know it Jack and Jill like each other purely on the base of ideas their friends have put in their heads. Sometimes pot stirring causes emotions to arise that would have never done so in a natural environment.
So I guess what I want to say is be careful which pot you are stirring. Is it really necessary? Is it really healthy? Has it been going on for too long? This isn't just pumpkin soup you’re stirring; it’s peoples’ real feelings, real emotions and real lives. Teasing can be fun. But teasing has a time and place; the longer you stir a pot, the more likely the contents are to get burnt.