Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trying One More Time

Okay, let’s give this one more try. I don’t think that I asked my questions yesterday the way I should have. Let’s focus on the bigger picture than bashing on W. W is not the issue that I was trying to address in yesterday’s questions. I think we’ve well established that W is history. It’s just taking a while to make that physically true even though it is clearly spiritually true.

So focus with me if you will on the aspects that I would like to examine. W aside, other men also have reacted to me in similar ways. I am trying to determine if there is something I am doing to cause, or perhaps just encourage, these types of responses. What I was looking for in responses from men was something along the lines of:

“A woman would elicit that kind of response from me if she _____________________.”

I’m looking for that blank to be filled. I’m looking for what it is that I am doing wrong to elicit the kind of response that I’m getting. Or are you all trying to tell me that I’m just picking the wrong guys? If so, then fine. Just tell me that. But let’s pull the focus away from W because I will reiterate one last time, W IS NOT THE ONLY MAN FROM WHOM I HAVE ELICITED SUCH RESPONSES. It is an ongoing pattern for me throughout my entire life, and I want to fix ME, not the men, just ME. I'm trying to work on self-improvement here.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the first to take a stab at this. Regarding the dinner scenario, perhaps what is missing is a time scenario. "What time do you want dinner?" Its almost impossible to ignore a question like that. And once he's engaged, take the opportunity to continue the conversation with a "What would you like? I was thinking take-out?" Assuming he's still engaged (make sure he has turned completely away from the TV by now!) Then ask if he would get it since you just had surgery. this approach is more specific, and might be received better than your broader statements.

Apologies if you've already tried this tactic with no luck.

Another possibility: are there certain times during the day which are just not good to approach him about things? Are there any good times to do it? If so, what do they have in common?

trueself said...

John,
So what you're saying is that I am not making sure that I have the attention of the man and am being too vague in my initial requests. Is that right? You may be onto something there. I do tend to try not to be too pointed in my requests. Perhaps I am not being straightforward enough to begin with. Am I headed the right direction here?

aphron said...

“A woman would elicit that kind of response from me if she used a hateful tone .” In my experience, Sybil will hope I will do something she has been wanting. If fail to do that something, she becomes hateful. Now, if you have been telling that man exactly what you want and how you want it, then maybe he either a)wasn't listening/didn't hear you b) misunderstood you, or c) doesn't care. If I were betting, I would say "c" is unlikely. When communicating with people, I am learning that how something is said counts for as much as what is said.

trueself said...

Aphron,
Okay, you also are hitting on the point of "telling that man exactly what you want and how you want it." I think this may be a key for me. I probably tend not to be explicit enough in my requests in general. Don't think that's all of the problem, but certainly a piece. Also, I generally don't use the hateful voice until I've felt rebuffed multiple times, and then turn to it only because it is what seems to finally garner attention. I don't really like using the hateful voice, but when all else fails I do tend to head that direction.

(BTW, love the new picture. It's so you.)

Anonymous said...

You read me right ;-)

oldbear said...

Oh Boy TS, I have held off on this reply, thinking over and over and rereading the previous post, (you are right I (EYE!) missed the point of the post-mea culpa and I am sorry) trying to come up with a good answer.

Please remember the following is generalization and may or may not apply to YOU .

I dont think there is A SINGLE good answer. Without knowing you , and trying to understand how men interact with you all that I can do is generalize.

First off, lots of time it is just the man, no onus on you. Sadly, I am sometimes (not often , honest) in the category of not listening /remembering carefully enough to achieve good communications.

I think this happens most often when men are harried for time, or believe they are under abnormally high stress, wether that is an accurate assessment or not.

Possible cure to recieving no response or flippant/indifferent response includes sayng things like "hey PLEASE talk to me, I need to know" or "I am sorry did you hear me, I am trying to find out what you want (to do)?"

if he doesnt answer then, its on him, he is being a jerk!(assuming request delivered politely or at least in a civil tone).

Sometimes its just sexism, and some "male" will ignore/discount the opinions of a woman he doesnt feel is his peer or is entitled to question his opinion.

In relationships the issue seems both simpler and more complex to me.

Simpler, becasue no one should treat a roommate that way, let alone a friend and lover.

More oomplex, because even if it is not acknowledged by one or both parties, there is usually existing baggage or points of contention that color and instigate arguements and petty interactions between spouses and folks in a LTR.

If I had to put one cause on most of these situations, its due to the paradigm by which one or both of the people talking view the other gender, and if that paradigm is negative and applied to lovers/spouses then small troubles can easily escalate .

If the people are both predisposed to consider their significant others are part of a group with certain negative characteristics , then it will be easy to de-individualize them and ignore or demean them

if both partners have a mentality and relationship history that leads them to believe the other gender is flawed in relationships and cant understand what the opposite gender feels and experiences, then the opportunities to say adn do cruel things during a tiff will probably be utilized.

I honestly believe most men and women are good, and much harm is done to intergender relationships by jokes and stereotypes about cruel mother-in-laws, or cunning and vindictive ex wifes, or moral-less cheating men.

We must see each other as individuals as much as possible, and try to pick significant others who bring good charcter and few negative preconceived notions into a relationship.

Sadly and unfairly, women often seem to have trouble finding a guy who will give her a fair shake as a special lady when trouble happens.

Unfair but reality, most of us guys who LIKE women and dont
think bad of then seem to have less trouble finding a fair-minded lass to share our love with.

One thing I KNOW, if a man or woman is inclined to think of the other gender in negative ways , tehy will usually have a hard time attracting and keeping quality members of he opposite sex.

One last thing, if a peson has cheated in a LTR, and is going for a new LTR, somethings about the person will have to change. If not and the new LTR hits SIMILAR trouble, things may well lead to to cheating as the solution again, and the cycle will repeat.
****************

Next part is specific and directed to ladies
***************
In short, try to change if you think bad thigs about most men, oftn the best way is to associate with a better class of men.

Avoid the macho jock or toy-addicted (trucks, stereos, video games etc) types, look for volunteers and
the kind of guys who are not real forwards in bars or at parties, and who associate with Long term stael adn happy couples.
Sorryif it dont help much, I am willing to keep talking , you have raised a good point!!!!

freebird said...

Aaah, so maybe the reason I haven't had this problem too much is that I'm married to a man who isn't very 'masculine' or at least not a typical male (now who's generalising!). Oh well, I guess you can't have everything!
Seriously though, a male friend of mine once pointed out that men just can't do the 'mind-reading' stuff that women do all the time. Subtlety is not their strong suit, they need things spelling out. (And that was a guy talking, remember.)

oldbear said...

Hi FB, I think there is some truth to the intuition thing, and some studies point to superior feminine abilities to multi-task and actually to discern with the eyes and ears. But mostly what I think it is females in westrn civilization are nutured/socialized to pay more attention to wht people ae saying verbally and alos thier non-verbal communications as well.

Different sub-cultures in teh USA may exhibit an increased sensitivity to where people and events fit int eh structure of family or community.

Two examples I am a part of are Mexican people and country people.

The point I was trying to make about the jerky guys is that so often society believes in and propagates the notion that teh desireable people in life, aka the winners, are ultra competitive and self concerned individuals brimming with confidence unto the point of cockyness.

Most significant achievements in life, including a happy marraige are by definition cooperative in nature.

Everybodys MMV but that has been my observation for about 35 years since I was old enough to people watch.

Emily said...

Dear Trueself

I don't actually think it is necessarily you who is "eliciting" that response - the person who is refusing to listen or respond to their partner's needs when asked has to take responsibility for that.

At the same time, I do wonder one thing. I hope you will not be offended by this next bit, because I realize its a little confronting.

From what you said about J and W and some of the others, they seemed kind of unworthy of you, if you know what I mean, and not to value you very highly.

I wonder if you attract a somewhat lower quality of man (self-absorbed, immature, not well equipped to make a woman happy long term) because you come across as a little frantic in your search for male attention.

If I am reading your blog correctly, you loved J, but wouldn't wait for him because you were afraid he didn't want you enough to give you what you wanted, ie marriage and children. In the last few months, you seem to have been running screaming from W and going a little desperately from man to man, looking for one who will give you the attention you want.

You know, when the "goods" are always on sale for a knock-down price (must sell today! everything must go!), people question the quality of those goods. It's not completely different with people.

A high-quality man (a bit more mature, a better communicator, more to give a woman) might look at that behaviour and hesitate. If that woman is attractive to him but seems a little frantic, a little desperate, maybe something is wrong with her? He might decide to wait and see. A lower-quality man, well, he will consider himself in the running and snap you up!

I hope this is not hurtful. I just can't help noticing that women who bounce quickly from one man to another, who seem to prefer any man to no man, so often seem to end up with jerks. I really don't want that to happen to you, because you really do seem to want something better and to be prepared to look at yourself in order to get there.

trueself said...

Oldbear,
Sorry it took so long to respond. Power was out at home for a day and a half which was kind of a pain in many ways not the least of which was keeping me away from my 'puter.
Thank you. Thank you for obviously putting in a lot of thought when you responded. Thank you for caring enough to respond seriously to someone you don't know. Thanks for helping me understand a bit more clearly what may be going on here. I will take what you've said to heart and hopefully be able to make things better for myself in the future.

Emily,
I couldn't possibly take offense to anything you've said here because what you've said in your comment is pretty much what most of my discussions with my therapist revolve around. You see me with extreme clarity.

oldbear said...

TS, you are very welcome. I think you are better than your your internalized view of yourself, but that is just a guess.

You are right, I dont KNOW you, but I MIGHT "know" you a little.
For the last year of junior high and first year of HS I saw myself as a fat kid who was not near as athletic as the guys I played football with, and a wannabe scholar who was not as good as the "smart' kids.

When you describe yourself as fat and nerdy I cringe, becasue i have been there myself. Because if you are serious It means you might not be happy with yourself. I am not sure I am any smarter now than then, and I am not slimmer or more athletic, but WTF, I am still entitled/obligated to treat me as well as I would another. that includes respecting the good i have done and the good in me.

I think you are entitled to the same respect from me or you or anyone else.

As Argent said back in the 70s "hold your head up!"

trueself said...

OB,
Yes, I am serious when I call myself fat and nerdy. That is how I see myself and have for pretty much my entire life. I knew early on that I was "different" and the oddball everywhere I went. I continue to feel that way, and to feel that I will forever be outside the mainstream. I am getting better about how I feel about myself though. I've started to see that the other people out there, the ones I counted as "normal" are just as odd or odder than I. With that realization I have come to realize that the standard of "normal" is an artificial one, one that very few, if any, actually live up to. So I am fat. That is simply a fact. I am a nerd. That is also a fact. But less and less am I seeing myself as "less than" because of those attributes.

And yes, I am beginning to hold my head up more and more.