Friday, January 17, 2014

How to endear yourself to other people

This morning, when the office was quiet and peaceful, I logged into my email feeling very zen about the day ahead. Until I saw the angry email.

(Paraphrased) "You suck! Why didn't you reply yet??!? It's been FOUR DAYS. Don't tell me you're too busy because I'm busier. So there!"

Ah, the pissing contest. "You are not like me! Does not compute!!"

Dude, I haven't emailed my DAD in four days. RELAX.

I can't stand when people are all, "Well, when *I* fell out of a helicopter, I didn't break anything so I don't know why YOU'RE in a bodycast. Showoff." "The flu only hit ME for 4 hours. Weirdo." "I found someone new 17 minutes after my breakup, what's wrong with you??"

At its core, this displays not only a surprising lack of empathy and maturity but also foresight. Yes, foresight, because this is usually how it goes down.

Actual case study that happened to a friend:
Girl: Don't break up with me, noooooo!!

Guy: I'm so sorry, it's just not working.

Girl: I will RUIN YOUR LIFE and TELL YOUR CLIENTS you are awful and spread a terrible smear campaign if you leave me!!

Guy: Uh... what??

Girl: I'M NOT LEAVING YOUR HOUSE until you say we will do WHATEVER it takes to make it work.
Then she stalked him. Like, a lot.

This was as endearing as you might imagine, and they are now together happily ever after. Of course!

Okay, look. If there was EVER any part of this guy's brain that might rethink the decision and wonder if he made a mistake, did she really think being crazy would help her case? Just like with the above guy. If there was ever any part of me that would have considered dating, and you never know -- I liked him enough to stay friendly at least -- he totally killed it.

If you're full of entitled rage for my time and attention and we're only FRIENDS, fuck if you think that's an effective pickup strategy.

Nope. No. No No No. HALE no!

While I was hammering out this post, he just sent an apology. Now I'm not sure how to respond, as I'd effectively written this friendship off. Having made the wonderful acquaintance of abuse in times past, I am not eager to add to this repertoire of experience. A standard M.O. of an abuser is to rain inappropriate shit down and then apologize. It will never be an apology of the self-shattering kind that makes you face an action you did with the kindof horror required to effectively turn yourself inside out in an excruciating act of metamorphosis; instead it will be a bandaid.

But the trouble with my past is that I cannot always tell if this is that, or was it just a mistake? I'm not a dick, afterall. I recognize we're all human and deserve compassion for mistakes.

Still, something is making me uncomfortable in my gut and this friendship is now over even if I'd wanted to forgive the gaffe. He'd be better off finding someone without a history. Gift of Fear, thank you. And sorry, guy, I know all you really wanted was to feel heard. I'm sorry it couldn't be me.

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