~Friday, March 30, 2007

Understanding Jack

I just got off the phone with Jack. After I hit the red End button, the screen flashed that the phone call lasted three hours.

He didn't criticize me once.

For full disclosure, I have been making a conscious effort to be less competitive. The reasons why I'm competitive aren't healthy, so I am trying to be more confident with myself and my intelligence. Also after seeking advice from my real life friends, they all laughed when I complained that Jack said I can't listen to a story without majorly derailing it. Apparently this in fact is a problem I have, only my friends find it more endearing.

However I'm making no promises on the sleeping during movies thing.

I watched Jack when we were out with our mutual circle of friends on Tuesday. It was our first time out together with them and I wanted to see how he interacted with the others. It made me feel better to find out that I am not special with his criticism. The most laid back girl I know was on the receiving end of it, only she was too drunk to notice. Or perhaps she's just too laid back to care.

He's an odd one, but he's a good guy. Intellectually speaking, we have very similar minds, but our respective motivations for doing the things we both love to do are the exact opposite. For instance, I keep my blog and do my writing for myself. It seems like the posts I'm proudest of receive the smallest number of comments, and I'm okay with that. Jack, however, keeps his blog for other people. He doesn't consider the writing good unless someone else gets something out of it. I personally can't fathom writing under that intention while he argues his writing isn't his own, but we both blog.

The more I talk to him, the more I understand his strange alien foreign motivations. Not that I ever would agree with them, but I at least comprehend where he is coming from. Understanding Jack has made me a lot less sensitive toward actions he never meant for me to take seriously. Early conversations where he essentially gave me the rule book for getting along with him all of a sudden make sense.

"If I say something that seems mean, know that I never mean it that way," he told me three weeks ago. "But it's important to me to be able to be myself without everything turning into a two-hour fight because you're taking it the wrong way."

Huh, so that's what he meant.


NeverEZme said...

But does that give him a license to say mean things?

Blue Soup said...

Neverezme beat me to it... but perhaps like someone said on your last post hedoesn't realise that the things he says seem a little mean. But in saying that he doesn't want a row because you took something the wrong way suggests that he knows he is curt sometimes.

I suppose the thing is - you wouldn't want him to change you, so you wouldn't change him either and if that means that he has a sharp tongue and you can overlook it then that's all that matters.

So long as you are happy my dear! Just do what your heart says is best xxx

Drama Queen said...

Phew. Sounds like a lot of hard work. Instead of you having to interpret his words 'correctly' can he not think harder about his delivery?

Anyway, I am glad you guys are working it through.



Anonymous said...

i wholeheartedly agree with neverezme. it still sounds like a lot of unnecessary work on your part. you shouldn't have to make a consciouce effort to be careful when talking to him. if no one else has a problem with the way you act, why should he?

just be careful with your feelings and keep in mind, if its this hard now, what will it be like in a couple of weeks? or months?

Venting said...

Just echoing all the previous posts. It's like he's saying that it's your problem if something he says upsets you.

That's kind of ... quirky.

M said...

I can see where he's coming from with the saying stuff but not ever meaning it to hurt someone. I too know the pain of foot in mouth disorder. ohhhh yes! I have been known to make similar sort of disclaimers. If that's the case truly he doesn't mean any harm.

Of course, and this is important, he also needs to realise that just because he labeled it a certain way doesn't make him always right, or even ALLOWED to do that or that you even have to agree! You can have rules of conduct too. I mean you might be quite happy with him running the show his way that that is PERFECTLY okay but remember the relationship should always be a democracy!

SuvvyGirl said...

Don't feel bad you're not the only one that does the story intteruption thing. I have to be careful or I do it a lot too. It's mainly because I'm so scatterbrained that I"m afraid if I don't say what pops into my head I will forget it. :P I'm also terrible about starting more than one story at a time. It's like listening to Rose off of the Golden Girls when I get started.

Understanding another person is a very big step, wheather it's dealing with relationships, family or friends. Once you understand things it can make it much easier. In some ways he kind of sounds like my husband. He says things in the words he thinks but it usually has a differnt meaning to those of us who hear it. I give my husband crap about being completely tactless some days. But I gotta love em. :P

Lil Bit said...

A 3-hour phone call... that's a good sign. =)

Just tell him to "mean what you say & say what you mean". LOL

Two Drink Girl said...

here here, neverezme.

dont eat token said...

Good vibes!

I'm curious as hell what the date of his birth date is... ?

There has to be a quote out there to emphazize competition is good for the arena but not the bedroom...

I'm very happy to hear things are feeling better.


londongirl said...

Humn. I used to work at a company with over 30 nationalities in the building. Net result, lots of bad english and lots of misunderstandings. The company rule was that if something can be taken in two ways, one of which is offensive, it was meant in the other way. Assume positive intent.

I think it's not a bad rule for life. Though it depends on just how sharp Jack is.

Jen said...

I too agree with neverexme. However, if you too are getting along and he is treating you well then go for it!


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