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  #1  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:11 PM
soulfly soulfly is offline
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Default Any advice for dealing with animosity from non-polys

First allow me extend some Happy Valentine's Day warmth to all of you here today, and thank you for this forum, and what all of you have shared here. It's always incredibly helpful to me.

Those who may have read my introductory thread, posted oh so long ago now, may have gathered that I'm the type of person who tries to avoid confrontation if possible. Sometimes I can't though, especially in the presence of non-polys whom I've chosen to enlighten to the fact that I myself am polyamorous.

I try not to directly associate with them much anymore, because of how detrimental the news was to them, though I myself don't quite understand how. I do encounter them frequently though, and am currently in a position where I can't avoid doing so. I have wished for a long time now, that I had never even mentioned it, because there's constantly this sort of film surrounding the issue now. I just take whatever they say as easily as I can, and don't bother to respond, even though IMO they are being intentionally hateful and mean spirited, since before I even mentioned anything, we got along quite well.

Now, it's a series of constant verbal attacks about my character, and how I'm an unfaithful, despicable person, with no relationship ethic, poor morals, no understanding of what the word "love" means, and on occasion mentions of a first class trip to Hell when I die. The whole time, they neither know, nor care to know, that our circle has never grown beyond 4 people, and that we built our relationship over time, the way any monogamous couple would have done, through years of close interaction, sharing, compassion, and struggling through all the hardships life will send.

It's toxic, I know, and should simply remove myself from the situation, but I'm sort of in a position where I have to hear how much they hate me on a regular basis, and my visits here, though far too infrequent, are a legitimate source of strength for me. Anyway, I take the things they say and do personally, because they were at one time people I considered very close to my heart. That's why I even told them in the first place. Now it's kind of gotten to the point where I'm getting sick of myself for being me... again.

Any advice you can share for dealing with this animosity, or just how to actually shrug it off, and mean it when I do, I will gladly welcome with open arms.

Much love and warmth ~ soulfly
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:34 PM
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Vios Vios is offline
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I can't comment about dealing with animosity about being poly, but can comment about animosity and confrontation and how I deal with it.

Three Words: Use your boundaries.

When conflicts can't be resolved through discussion and compromise, the only solution to the problem is to setup boundaries with the person/people you're dealing with.

Usually it looks like: "If/when you abc, I will/won't xyz."

Sometimes it looks like: "If you harass me, I'll get a restraining order"

Often you have something the other person wants, even if little. I tell my friends who are in relationships who aren't treated well to use their time: "If you don't treat me well, I'm not seeing you this week."

The second and I feel most important part of this is having the integrity to keep your word and do what you say.



Often people who verbally attack others do it for the pleasure and even addictive nature of their egos. You can't defeat ego. You can only bring presence to the situation. They'll usually say things trying to bait you to respond. If you don't give ego something to feed on, it will eventually loose interest.

This might look like:

"BLAH BLAH BLAH YOU BLAH BLAH BLAH"
calmly, but "fiercely" in response: "Do not talk to me."
"MORE BLAHTE BLAH BLAH"
"I'm not interested in what you have to say. Go away."

This might go on for half of an hour, with the "persecuted person" having to repeat the same statement in different ways over and over. One wink of egoic response and you may trigger it all again - "but I.....". Really it comes down to how it feels. If you're just triggering and making the situation worse, get out.

You are a beautiful person soulfly, and it doesn't matter what other people say or think about you.

Ultimately it comes down to choice. You're choosing to put yourself in that situation by being at that location. Why can't you find what you're looking for there somewhere else? Your explanation is ambiguous.

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Last edited by Vios; 02-14-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:44 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I think I would find some new friends if the boundary thing doesn't work out. They don't sound like the kindhearted, empathetic, supportive friends I look for. Ya, I have had some friends for years that don't get me in terms of who I chose to pick for a relationship, but I don't talk to them about it and have other friends to do that with. Perhaps you need to work that out for your life too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulfly View Post
The whole time, they neither know, nor care to know, that our circle has never grown beyond 4 people, and that we built our relationship over time, the way any monogamous couple would have done, through years of close interaction, sharing, compassion, and struggling through all the hardships life will send.
This quote concerns me a little because it sounds to me as if you are trying to say "look, we aren't doing THAT kind of poly, its just this little/tensy wincey kind of poly. Its not all bad." Why would you want to have friends that deplete you so much that you feel as if you have to justify anything you do. It sounds as if you are trying to convince them in your head that you are just like monogamous people. Why? Who cares what they think... don't they know that "normal" is the new "weird?!" Geesh What if you find yourself in love with someone else above those in your relationship life? What then? Would you feel as if you have to prove to them something?

Ya, bail on them getting it. If they can't just accept then I would move on.... and spend more time here would ya! Obviously we all relate to you. Maybe you will see that you are not as alone as you think you are thanks to the Internet.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:04 AM
Pretzels Pretzels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulfly View Post
Now, it's a series of constant verbal attacks about my character, and how I'm an unfaithful, despicable person, with no relationship ethic, poor morals, no understanding of what the word "love" means, and on occasion mentions of a first class trip to Hell when I die. The whole time, they neither know, nor care to know, that our circle has never grown beyond 4 people, and that we built our relationship over time, the way any monogamous couple would have done, through years of close interaction, sharing, compassion, and struggling through all the hardships life will send.
And saying mean, spiteful things to people about situations you can't hope to understand because you're not the one living them is apparently express check-in behavior for Heaven, riiiight?

I wonder how much you know about their personal relationships and what they do in the bedroom. Do you constantly bring that up in front of them? "You know, all that anal sex you've been having with your wife is making god cry...."
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:22 AM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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My 11th grade World Religions teacher ( yeah, the irony...)...said to me ;

' People can only get to you, if you let them. There has to be fear in your heart, that your critics are right. Eradicate the problem within yourself, and you in turn eliminate the affect negative-people have on you.'

So,..like most things, you can only control yourself.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:25 AM
Tinkerbrat Tinkerbrat is offline
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I have been very concerned about who I tell and why. We of course have told some people but have been trying so hard to keep it closed.

We live in a very very small community and there is NO way anyone around here can know anything more then we are "saving money" by living together. There are a few people who know that my ex husband and I used to be in the lifestyle so I am pretty sure their minds are jumping to where that. The sad thing is... I would take less judgement for being in the lifestyle then I would be for being in a committed triad.

I am not sure how to do deal with the animosity. But i intend to keep a real close eye on this thread because I am sure as I tell some people I will need it.

I will add, if ANYONE is behaving in a manner that makes you feel that bad about yourself, you need to consider completely cutting that out of your life. I am not saying it would be easy, in fact it sounds like it might even be possible due to circumstances. But it's not healthy for **YOU**. Would these same close minded people slam someone who is gay but living in a conventional one on one relationship? Would they say a black person should not date a white person? These are all types of relationships that were persecuted for centuries... Maybe someone can put it to them like that???
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:09 AM
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Hi5Awesomeness Hi5Awesomeness is offline
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So far the only animosity I have run into is when women who might be interested in dating me find out I am poly they give me the whole "oh your just a selfish man" line. To which I respond that my girlfriend is married so she has two guys in her life. If anyone is selfish it is her lol.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:47 PM
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Alleycat Alleycat is offline
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Personally I rely on the condescending powers of the all knowing smirk of "I know something you don't know, and it is great".

If someone has a moral problem with how I have relationships, then they are free to fornicate themselves with a rough-shod iron stick.



After all, I'm happy, and my partners are happy, if the non-involved 3rd party nay-sayer isn't happy, That's their problem.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:23 AM
FelixTheCat FelixTheCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alleycat View Post
Personally I rely on the condescending powers of the all knowing smirk of "I know something you don't know, and it is great".

If someone has a moral problem with how I have relationships, then they are free to fornicate themselves with a rough-shod iron stick.



After all, I'm happy, and my partners are happy, if the non-involved 3rd party nay-sayer isn't happy, That's their problem.
Heh. For some reason, this reminded me of one of my favourite aphorisms from the Lazarus Long stories. So much so that I just added it as my sig. Thanks!

Felix
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Last edited by FelixTheCat; 02-21-2012 at 05:24 AM. Reason: Tweak wording
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:20 AM
kaleidescope kaleidescope is offline
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There is some great advice here in this thread, it was helpful to read :-)
I too am a pretty non-confrontational kind of person, and had the unpleasant experience of getting chewed out by the best friend of one of my partners. He told me that I should stop "doing this to him", and that I needed to decide whether I wanted to be with him or not.
I told my partner about it later, and he was very supportive and spoke to the friend in question about it. From here on in I know I can be polite to this person if I have to see them socially, but will no longer engage with them on any level above civil pleasantries. At first I thought that this was best, because it made things easier for my partner, but then I realised that I didn't owe this person any kind of explanation about how I lived my life. I can understand that he's concerned and wants to look out for his friend, but at the end of the day, he's not in this relationship, and it really is none of his business. It was really freeing - to decide not to expend any more mental energy on what someone else thinks, and just get on with my own life.
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