Apparently that’s most of LJ tonight—or at least, that’s what the servers tell me every time I attempt to comment on an entry, read what’s behind a cut tag, or read comments!
Like patgreene, I’ve been told that some people consider me intimidating. I find that surprising, somewhat inexplicable, and amusing all at the same time. I certainly don’t make an effort to intimidate anyone. I do try to be civil when interacting with anyone.
I am told that someone thought I was “dominating the conversation” last night at ChocoLaté and that I was inappropriate. Apparently, a brief mention of my views on abortion (as an example of something that a potential SO should understand before we get sexually involved with each other) and another brief mention of being a sexual abuse survivor as an explanation of something else was “shocking.” Of course, this person didn’t speak up during the meeting at all, nor did she raise these concerns with me. In fact, she didn’t give any sign at all during the event that she was uncomfortable in any way.
She did bring a child to the meeting, which was inappropriate. We’ve been quite clear about the fact that there’s nowhere for kids to go hang out at these things, and our conversation is likely to range into adult topics. I didn’t say anything that I wouldn’t have said in front of my child (now or when she was 9 or 10 years old), but I realize that some people will not talk about some very real topics with children present. I know that my conversation, at least, was edited a bit due to the child’s presence — and the boy was bored out of his skull. I felt sorry for him.
Hey celticmoni—did I dominate anything? I like to know. And I only go there with the consent of those involved 😉
The differing views regarding the evening’s conversation do bring back something I’d brought up as a conversational topic—communicating directly. I’d much prefer to hear, “I find you interesting and I’d like to get to know you better” than “Let’s do something sometime.” I should think others would want to hear, “Sorry, the interest isn’t mutual,” instead of, “Oh, yeah—email me, okay?” from someone who has absolutely NO intention of ever even replying to an email from that particular sender.
It makes far more sense to me to say, “You are beautiful!” than to pretend that I’m not having a hard time avoiding staring at someone. Oh—? You’re beautiful. I’m having trouble not thinking of you as “Nathaniel,” though—you should read the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Along the same lines, I’d have respected this person far more had she said, “I find that inappropriate, and would like to change the topic.” (Not that abortion or childhood sexual abuse ever was the topic, but anyway…) In fact, had she said, “I am uncomfortable talking about that,” I would have honored her need for safety and not mentioned whatever “that” was again.
Instead, she triangulated by complaining first to another couple who were there, then to sambear. While she has my email address, she hasn’t said the first word to me. Because of that passive-aggressive behavior, I’ve written her off as someone with whom I don’t care to associate and who I will not bother getting to know.
Some outspoken women have problems with being around other outspoken women. That’s another thing I frankly do not understand. Who would want to be around mealy-mouthed people who don’t even develop their own opinions? How boring!
I think some of it goes back to some of the nasty societal programming of females to always be in some sort of unspoken competition with each other for male attention. Until that crap is discarded, it isn’t really possible for women to have real friendships with each other. In fact, following those old rules also interferes with having decent relationships with men, because the other side of the coin is that we’re taught that we MUST compete for AND WIN our man’s attention constantly, or he’ll hie off with the winner.
And then again, I could be overanalyzing. But I can’t comment on YOUR posts, so I’m posting myself. So there.