html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Whatever. I have lots of friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Whatever. I have lots of friends.

Margie and I were talking about what you do when a friend or sweetheart or someone is inadvertently doing something that hurts your feelings or annoys you. Our list, from best to worst:

1. Modify their environment so they can't repeat the hurtful behavior (provide duplicate object, get motion detector that turns lights off for them, set their watch early so they stop being late).
a. In the perfect physical solution, they like the change, never understand the reason, and can't repeat their behavior. This is optimal, so it should be where you put most of your problem-solving thought.
b. It is not quite as good if they perceive the change as neutral or worse, but as long as they don't know reason, you're still good. More points off if you have to come up with a plausible explanation.

2.
Be stoic, say nothing, and decide it wasn't important anyway.

3. Abruptly leave the relationship with no explanation. Sever all contact.

The third option isn't a good option, but presumably you tried 1 and 2 first. We couldn't think of any other options.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

4. Huff off to your blog to write a passive aggressive post lambasting "imaginary" people for abruptly leaving relationships and severing contact without discussing something you yourself have done that hurts their feelings or annoys them. Be sure to hint at this in the post title.

:)

6:46 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Ooooh, there ARE more options! This opens exciting new possibilities.

7:20 PM  
Blogger jens said...

At least you were smart enough to leave communication with the honey out of the question....I mean, who does that?

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people think change isn't possible, but it is, especially with things like turning off lights, being late, etc. (as differentiated from deeper personality traits, or a case of the crazies, etc.)

There was a particular thing I was doing with my girlfriend which she didn't like (I'm not going to describe it) that I was completely oblivious to. A nice, calm conversation later, and a couple of instances of forgetting and doing it anyway followed by a reminder, and I've stopped.

Talking can work.

2:41 AM  
Blogger KingM said...

1. Tell them it bothers you and see if it modifies behavior.

2. Bring it up periodically to bitch about it for cathartic purposes, then let it go before the argument heats up.

3. Modify your behavior so that you no longer encounter the annoying moment in question.

5:44 AM  
Blogger KingM said...

Also, I'm probably not alone in wondering the magnitude of your annoying behavior.

Do you have a little donkey snort at the end of your laugh that drove him crazy? Or do you like to whip our your sling shot at random moments and blast songbirds out of the trees?

Just saying that some things you can work with/ignore, and others make you start to despise the person in question.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

You guys won't believe this, but this was actually an abstract conversation I was having with Margie. If it had been something I were really worried about with someone, I wouldn't have blogged about it.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Marcus said...

Give them a harsh but well deserved beating!

10:07 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Beatings! In a kind and loving way!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous -k. said...

Every time they do this behavior, blow a whistle loudly. Respond in no other way. -K.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Completely ignore behavior which you want to extinct. Although I do like the whistle idea, you have to be careful that the whistle will never be associated with anything positive.

I loved the following NTY article (tinyurl'd for brevity):
http://tinyurl.com/32hmoh

Cheers,
Tim.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Justus said...

5) Buy a remote dog training collar (with 10 levels of "correction" and a range of 100 yards!) and use it.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous SwissArmyD said...

Maybe first have the inner conversation about why you are assuming you are the one in the right, and what they are doing is wrong. This is especially important when you say "inadvertent" since they aren't doing this on purpose, just to piss you off.

Look at it from their point of view.

After all, dealing with a person who is constantly forcing you to change, regardless of your own feelings, leads you to wonder if there was anything about you they liked in the first place. Or if they just felt you were malleable enough to make into what they wanted you to be.

Why are your own feelings so much more important than the feelings of the person annoying you?

It isn't just about communication, rather about the presuppositions you proceed from.

On the one hand this is a lighthearted funny Q?

On the other... I'm supposing a lot of us have stories about arguments over what position the toilet seat should be in, how we wear our hair, how we dress, how often we call, who we hang out with, how many rooms in the house reflect our preferences... and whether any of those questions are worth fighting over. Or if we should just give in stoically and act like it doesn't bother us that something's always wrong with us.

2:54 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

You forgot "Take a stand: become outrageously passive aggressive."

Start saying things like "mmm, no can do. I was free yesterday, remember?" and calling to find out whether they're going to be be arriving on [name] time or actually at 7.

But, uhhh, yeah. You did also fail to try the direct approach, the "I'd love to get together on Thursday but every time I see you you go on this tirade about how we never hang out any more and it makes me want to run away screaming. Also, I know you are gay and all so you can't possibly be actually attracted to me, I know that, but that doesn't mean that I like the bizarrely possessive way that you put your arm around me whenever we're out together. It is fucking weird and if you weren't a homo I'd punch you, and I can't figure out why I don't just punch you anyway."

Not that I have any friends that I'm having trouble communicating with or anything.

Is it so hard to say "baby, I love you and everything, but it makes me homicidal that you [insert transgression here] If you could not do that anymore, then I would be a little less homicidal. Okay?"

I think that in the case of a sweetheart you have to either let it go (so, he's late. If he's consistent at least you know the score.) or explain yourself. Get together some thoughtful facts, like that very small children living in the South Bronx are dying of asthma right now because there are too many power plants in New York City and it seems like it is one thing to leave the lights on so you can see, but a whole other thing to just idly illuminate empty rooms.

PS, I also have some friends who often comment that we don't get together enough and they're right. We don't. So that wasn't a coded message or nothing.

9:57 AM  

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