~Monday, December 20, 2010

Negotiation

Phone call received Thursday at 7:05 p.m.

"Hey." It's Memphis.

"Hey." I still haven't decided what to do about the Memphis situation. The couple of commenters who said to give him another shot seemed to stick with me.

"How was your day?"

I groaned, "Long. I am just now leaving the office." I switched on the windshield wipers. Everywhere else in the country gets snow. We get rain. Humbug.

"I was calling to see if you wanted to get together tonight," he offered.

"No." It came out loud and clear before I had a chance to filter it. "It's just it's been a long day and I'm pissed off from being at work so late, and I really just want to go home, relax and have some me time."

"Well that's the thing," he tried again. "I thought we could just hang out and open a bottle of wine."

"I really can't," I said again. "I have all of these knitting orders to fill before Christmas, so I really need to sit down tonight and work on them."

When my mother went through her second divorce, she found empowerment through reading the same self-help books my therapist had me read. They focused mainly on drawing boundaries and protecting yourself against abusive situations. After she read all of the same books I did, she then read every book on the subject.

"When men say no," she once told me, "It's the end of the conversation. When women say no, it's the beginning of a negotiation." For some reason, I remembered that line as I was driving home in the rain. I had said no clearly, stating that I wanted to be alone. It wasn't good enough for Memphis.

"I see," he said. "You don't have time for wine or me."

My stomach twisted. Negotiation. And now his tactic was to revert back to passive aggression. I also remembered the commenter who advised me to call him out on it.

"Um, there is nothing wrong with spending a night alone," I said slowly.

Memphis began stammering, clearly upset, "I, uh, I mean, I was just giving you a hard time."

I felt bad for making him so uncomfortable. It didn't even matter anymore that it began with him making me feel uncomfortable.

He quickly got off the phone with me. I felt like crap.

13 comments:

Bathwater said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with calling him out on it.

Lpeg said...

Ditto. And boys. Ugh. My 'friend' I was telling you about? He does this to me ALL THE TIME.

"You don't have time for me. Sad panda."

I want to yell at him to grow up, and if he had a life, he wouldn't be depending on me to make him happy!

hahah ooops. Sorry for the rant :)

Syd said...

insecure, insecure, insecure. he's taking you saying no personally..meanwhile, you just want to chill by yourself. God forbid!

Curvy Jones said...

Yeah, basically when people start guilt tripping (what you call negotiation) is when I get mean. You said no. You meant it. BOO to him for trying to change your answer and guilt-ing you into changing it.

I've always been the kind of person that the more you try to talk me into something, the less likely I am to do whatever you're trying to talk me into. If I wanted to do it, I would have already done it. He would have long since pissed me off! Lol.

soupemes said...

You are a kinder character than I am, Sarah.

Had I been in the same situation and faced with a bloke I'm only half-interested in not taking no for an answer at the end of a long shit day at work, I'd take it as green light to take my shitty day out on him and bite his head off. He should have taken my no graciously, after all.

You showed remarkable restraint.

treacle said...

Sarah,

women are conditioned to be the ones that make the first move to compromise etc etc - and you are breaking that conditioning.

So good on you! the feeling crap bit will start to fade once you've done it a few more times.

X

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel bad? He is the one that should. Sorry, but I say be done with this. Are you going to get a guilt trip every time you don't do what he wants? He's young and obviously still has some growing up to do. With your tendency to feel guilty for drawing boundaries you should be drawing, I don't think this guy is healthy for you. Just my two cents.

La Femme said...

I also don't think it's bad, and you should feel empowered, not bad about it. Besides, less than 24 hours notice on plans? Rude on his part I think.

Also, people that don't understand that when you need "me" time...can't be alone with themselves. Run, don't walk, away from this guy.

bonda84 said...

It's kind of like that part on You've Got Mail where she finally tells him exactly what's on her mind then she feels horrible about it. But, it's not because it was really wrong to, it's just the type of person she is.

I think that's you. There was nothing wrong with calling him out on it and it may help him be more mindful of the other person in the future.

When we like someone we tend to be rather selfish, and most of the time not on purpose. We just get so excited about seeing that person, then we daydream in our heads how everything will go and it's just a huge disappointment when things don't go the way we envisioned them. I think this is just one of those naieve little traits that carry on past childhood for the majority of the human race.

I was extremely guilty of doing this when I was with Pete and I'd basically throw my own little fit when I didn't get my way. But even though it embarassed me and hurt my feelings just a bit when he finally called me out on it, I was glad he did. It made me realize how much my actions were hurting him and others. I think in the long run it's good for him to be called on it.

cornflakegirl74 said...

You shouldn't feel bad at all. You're entitled to an evening in on the couch, with your projects and free of men. It's your right. And Memphis will just have to accept that. You know, I've never heard that line before but it's so true now that I think of it. Why do men do that? It's terribly manipulative, but the woman we do anything remotely similar we get called out for being "clingy." Ugh, they can suck it.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yea, he can suck it :) LOL, I keeeeed. I'm sure he's a nice enough fella, but you'll meet up with him when the time is right, so that you can fully appreciate that glass of vino.

breezyallatsea said...

Don't feel bad. And definitely delete his number! He is young and plays games. Who needs that drama?
I'm the same way in feeling bad when turning people down, etc, but you definitely shouldn't in this case.

Jaime said...

There's nothing at all for you to feel bad about. He didn't get the answer he wanted, so he was trying to turn the tables on you, and you (rightly) called him on it. I wouldn't have been so kind..this guy's passive aggressive tendencies really rub me the wrong way. Makes me think of that notion of wooing a woman by giving her a compliment that is laced with an insult. Not cool!

Anonymous said...

*shit*
"When men say no," she once told me, "It's the end of the conversation. When women say no, it's the beginning of a negotiation."

SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


---dont

 

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