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-   -   Saying Things You Don't Really Mean (and assumptions that follow) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42232)

BoringGuy 03-08-2013 08:13 PM

Saying Things You Don't Really Mean (and assumptions that follow)
This is a split off of this thread:


I had something really amazing and insightful to say, but I just got distracted by something shiny and I lost it. I am starting this thread because it's a topic that is important to me and I don't wish to continue to hijack the other thread. I will get back to this whenever, but if anyone else has anything to say in the mean-time, that would be appreciated because this is something that, although not limited to poly relationships, seems to come up quite a bit in threads around here and it would be beneficial to have the discussion separately from any one person's or group of people's dilemma.

It is a pet-peeve of mine... no, i HATE it when people say "If you ever need anything, anything at all, let me know" and they don't MEAN it. This was discussed to some extent in the other thread, and is one example of what it says in the title. This is not the original thing I wanted to talk about, but I still can't remember what that is despite giving myself a chance, so this is just as good of a way to start.

BoringGuy 03-08-2013 08:40 PM

oh ok i remember what it was! Story Time!

I was hanging out at this artsy-fartsy thing (my friends own a gallery/performance space and they live upstairs) and the 2010 olympics were on. There was some talk about figure skating, snow-boarding, and it led to more talk about what criteria they use to add new sports and subtract old ones from the olympics. This in turn led to talk about what constitutes a "sport". My feeling is that something that is "judged" (such as figure skating) is not as much of a "sport" as something that is measured (such as speed skating). It is not my intention to get into that particular debate right here, i'm giving it as background for what happened next:

Some guy sitting near me asked me this - what did I think was some of the criteria they use when determining what should be considered a "sport". Specifically, he phrased it like this, "So what do YOU think is the difference?" and I gave a vague answer, and he asked me for specific examples. Then like half a minute later, he says, "Yeah, I'm not really interested in all this, you know." and I said, "well, YOU ASKED me to tell you more, so I did, now you're making it out like I'm forcing you to listen to something you're not interested in?" he got all :eek: and then said "I'm sorry I offended you", to which I replied, "I'm not offended because you say shit you don't mean."

I told you guys - I make friends EVERYWHERE. People can't get enough of this.

hyperskeptic 03-08-2013 08:45 PM


Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 189304)
It is a pet-peeve of mine... no, i HATE it when people say "If you ever need anything, anything at all, let me know" and they don't MEAN it.

The master was there before you. This is on a different topic, but hear what George Carlin has to say at around 1:45 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PiZSFIVFiU

(I assume people on this forum are grown-ups and won't be put off by Carlin's usual language . . . but here's a disclaimer anyway.)

BoringGuy 03-08-2013 08:52 PM

Loosely translated: It is the responsibility of the person being deceived to recognize the deception and play along for the benefit of the deceiver. Otherwise, they have contributed to the problem by "assuming" that the deceiver is being straightforward. People are not straightforward! Shucks. Never "assume" anything anyone says is true, or you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

I hate that stupid bromide. When "u" assume, "u" don't make an "ass" out of "me". "U" make an "ass" out of "u" and "u" only. It's only when I keep believing "u" after I should know better that I become an "ass".

Believing what someone says because you trust them to not say something they don't mean? NOT AN ASSUMPTION. Not the problem of the receiver - problem of the sender. If you're doing this DELIBERATELY that is YOUR problem.

Enablers, enablers, everywhere.

BoringGuy 03-08-2013 08:55 PM


Originally Posted by hyperskeptic (Post 189331)
The master was there before you.

Well of course i would expect nothing short of that.

BoringGuy 03-08-2013 09:06 PM


Originally Posted by hyperskeptic (Post 189331)
This is on a different topic, but hear what George Carlin has to say at around 1:45 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PiZSFIVFiU

Yeah I got this when my mother died. I don't want to talk about the specifics but it is VERY MUCH the reason this is a big deal to me.

All I want to say is, if you know you don't mean it, just don't fucking say it. Is that too much to ask? Srsly. Goddamn. I realize some people say shit and then realize after the fact that they can't deliver, but I have heard way too many people admit (such as in that other thread) that they knew damn well they didn't mean the shit they said and never expected to be taken up on it.

I just have a problem when people offer me help in my darkest moments and then say "oh but i didn't mean it i thought you knew that". These are people I've known my whole life. Just like the people in the other thread who have known each other most of their adult lives.

And quit being a brat just because they ran out of your favorite color lollipop at the bank drive-up window. (not really part of the original post, but something I often think when I'm reading other posts, and can't say because it's you know, impolite and shit).

Magdlyn 03-09-2013 01:47 AM

Being originally from NY I am rarely passive aggressive. I am almost always sincere and open about my feelings.

Unfortunately, because he was a great guy in many ways, I put up with my ex husband's passive aggressiveness way too long. He could also hold a grudge like nobodys business.

Here is a nice clear example. We'd bought a house, it was large, it badly needed painting. We both like the color green, we agree on a shade, I order and pick up the paint for the painters.

As soon as the first bucket of paint goes on, the h says, I don't like that shade of green. I never liked it.

The fact he'd told me he was fine with it didn't matter. Somehow he thought it was my fault we got that color, and he made me suffer for the next 8 years until it was time to paint again.

BoringGuy 03-09-2013 04:43 AM

I think i recall you told about that in another thread. Thanks for reminding - that is exactly the definition of passive-aggressive - saying whatever the other person wants to hear then doing what you feel like anyway. I see a lot of communications and behaviours get labeled "passive-aggressive" when they are really not that, but something else. When you say something that refers to someone and you know they know it but don't mention their name, that's not passive-aggressive, i'm not sure what but there probably is a word for it.

I will admit that i employ passive-aggressive methods when necessary, but it isn't necessary in my intimate relationships. It has occasionally been required in certain roommate/neighbor/relative situations, and in work situations when getting a job done is more important than red tape or stroking the egos of old men who are threatened by young women with college degrees, and so on.

tl;dr I use my powers for good and not evil, and as long as you're on my team, you've nothing to fear.

LovingRadiance 03-09-2013 08:39 PM

I have no useful addition-but YES! Total pet peeve!

Say what you mean-don't say what you don't and FUCKING TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH.


Tonberry 03-11-2013 04:21 AM

My ex was the same. I remember one example too, much less of an issue than a house being painted (I do remember this anecdote as well) which was about shoes. My ex needed new shoes, we went to the store, it was between two pairs.
He keeps asking me which I prefer. While I think one of the pairs looks better, I figure it's his choice and that ultimately I really don't care. So I just tell him "I don't care" as I don't want him to buy a pair of shoes HE is going to wear just because I like the way it looks.
He ends up picking one, which for the record is not the one I prefered, which I genuinely don't care about. We pay, he puts them on and we leave.

Only three steps later (we were pretty much still in front of the store) he starts complaining that he "had" to buy the least comfortable shoes because they were the ones I liked.

So, he bought shoes that were not comfortable, that I happened to like less and that incidentally cost more (I mention that because price is usually a tie-breaker with me), all because I "made him".
I told him, extremely frustrated, that as a matter of fact I though the other pair looked better, and that I certainly didn't make him buy that pair, which would have been a ridiculous concept since they were his shoes to wear.

His reaction was only to get frustrated that I didn't tell him which I wanted him to buy and that he "had" to guess.

I don't care what shoes you buy. There wasn't even a reason for me to be in the store with him, except we were already out for another reason. It's so frustrating how he resented me for a decision HE made on his own, blamed me for the result, and ended up wearing uncomfortable shoes which didn't make anyone happy.

There was no way we could have returned the shoes after he'd worn them outside. In retrospect we should have gone back and bought the other pair, but we were really short on money so it was supposed to be a single purchase we'd make last as long as possible.

There is assuming and assuming. I assumed he liked the shoes he bought because he told me so. He assumed I wanted him to buy the least comfortable shoes despite me never telling him anything to that effect. The two things obviously aren't equal.

It's incredible how something as insignificant as a pair of shoes can create so much resentment. And it adds up, all with very little things that just needed him to be honest and trust me. Instead he was upset that I trusted him at his words and didn't question everything he said.

So frustrating.

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