I Could Be Wrong... I've Been Wrong Before

Ok guys. I need some outside opinions. Am I wrong?

A few months ago, around the time that this and this was happening, you can imagine the types of conversations I had in private with my friends.

Now, over the years, I've come to realize that sometimes my friends don't feel can I say... in tuned with me and my thoughts as I either think they are or they want to be. This, in turn, results sometimes in them trying to play "gotcha" with me. If they think I've mistakenly revealed something about myself, some of them like to let me know.

During the conversations I had about what was going on, one friend, Kim, told me, in a "gotcha" way that she thought I was fooling myself into thinking I didn't want a relationship. "You definitely do," she told me matter of factly. I hadn't actually done any real thinking about what I wanted, I was just... talking...

In another conversation, a different friend, Jasmine, made the opposite assertion. "You don't want a relationship," she told me. She made some good points that I hadn't considered and I was actually pretty intrigued by it. I thought the perfect person to mull it over with would be the one who told me I was ready for one.

Now, I didn't need either one of them to tell me what I was or wasn't ready for, but I welcomed the outside input and was interested to hear more of it. We all know friends can sometimes see things about us that we're too dense to see.

Later that afternoon, I spoke with Kim and told her about Jasmine's point.
"So basically, she says I'm not ready for a relationship because I use these arbitrary things to essentially disqualify guys," I told her.

"I don't understand," Kim responded

I sighed. "Ok, so ol' boy throws all these obvious hints at me, right?


"But my major complaint through this is how he isn't being 100 with me. How he won't just say 'Look, I like you...' Right?


"Ok, so Jasmine's point is that guys don't always come to you 100 with stuff like that. And further that if I keep saying 'Oh, I'm not going to pay him any attention until he gets real with me,' I'll basically be ignoring almost every guy who might be interested."

"Oh. I get it, now," Kim said. "I don't agree, though."

"You don't?" I asked.

Kim sighed. "No, I think everything that happened with dude actually proves my point."

"Ok," I began, "now I don't understand."

Kim began explaining, but cut herself off and quickly said instead, "You know, I don't actually think I want to talk about it."

I was a little confused, but more surprised than anything else. "Um. Ok." I said hesitantly.

"I mean I just don't like to talk about things that are pointless." Kim explained.

"Ok." I said again. Kim kept talking.

"I mean, it's just that you don't have any real current prospects which means there's no chance of you being in a relationship and so this conversation about whether or not you're ready for one is pointless to me."
I was a little put off is an understatement. Here was a friend I've had for a long time telling me, essentially, what I wanted to discuss about myself with her for her opinion on it was pointless. Her tone of voice was exasperated and I felt, in that moment, very hurt. I immediately thought of all the long conversations about "pointless" things I'd had with her and all myo ther friends. I'd always told myself -- if it matters to my friend, it matters to me. Guess I hadn't really considered that others didn't share my sentiment

But I also knew she probably didn't say those things to hurt my feelings. And even though I believe you should own your words, even when there's an unintentional consequence, I decided not to call her out on what she'd said.

I suppose Kim realized how she'd messed up and she tried to do some double backing which eventually led to her actually explaining her point, anyway. I can't tell you what she said because I was so caught up in what I was feeling (the hurt and surprise) that I didn't hear anything she said. When I was silent for too long, she asked,
"Are you mad at me?"

I paused for a minute to consider whether or not I wanted to have that conversation with her before I'd had a chance to think about it. I decided I didn't. "Why would I be mad at you?" I countered.

"Oh. Well you were just really quiet all of a sudden."

"Yeah. I was thinking. Sorry. I don't really have anything to say."
I ended our conversation shortly thereafter. I got the feeling she knew that maybe she'd messed up, but I also noted that she didn't try to fix whatever she thought was wrong.

In the time since then, I've noticed that I don't really like talking about what's going on with me, to her. I have, some, but definitely not as it relates to touchy subjects like my romantic life. Further, I just don't feel that even if I did bring it up and she did apologize (and, I would expect that she would, she's not a bad person) I still wouldn't feel comfortable.

The question is -- was I wrong for not bringing this to her attention? Am I wrong for not wanting to talk about this with her anymore?

I could be. I've been wrong before.


T. Tappan said...

I don't think you're wrong; you're just being cautious. Quite frankly, if a person were to tell me that how I felt was not important, I'd be extremely hesitant to talk to them at all after that. I don't want to feel like I have to screen my discussions with someone based on whether they think it's important (except my boss). The fact that she sensed something was wrong and didn't try to fix it says a lot, too. That means she doesn't mind hurting you, which could lead to some more underhanded stuff (my experience). Be careful.

SparklyHero said...

I just think this subject is something you shouldn't touch with her. It appears that there could have been something deeper on both parts that made you and her react the way you did.

If you're questioning your friendship over this, maybe it is something deeper. Just don't touch that subject with her. And if you talk again about it by her request, don't tolerate her shutting you off because she initiated it.

Ms. Payne said...

You're not wrong. The end! I've learned there are certain converstaions you can only have with certain people. And proof to that fact was that she stopped at the end of the conversation to ask "Are you mad" that clearly indicates that you misjudged me from the start and now you are regretting your statements because of my silence

AssertiveWit said...

If having healthy relationships with people is essential to you then you should talk to your friend about how you feel. Personally, I think what she said to you was rude and knowing myself, I would have addressed it then. I'm very straightforward though and people negatively label me as confrontational but confronting others when you have a problem with something they've said or done is not a negative trait. It took me a minute to learn that but it plants the seed that you WANT clear communication within your friendships...and that you actually do give a rats ass about your friendship.

If you choose to discuss your feelings with her, at that point, there would be nothing wrong with you deciding not to share anything else with her in the future. Friendships should never make you or the person you are friends with uncomfortable. This places the ball back in her court as to whether or not she is going to also communicate clearly with you about her feelings.

A.Smith said...

All of the comments (and some outside convos) have been super helpful as I think this through.

@t. tappan - caution usually doesn't steer you wrong.

@sparklyhero - your comment on there maybe being something deeper is interesting. Before that convo, there really wasn't, but I think since then, it's been the elephant in the room.

@OneChele - I feel as you do. Why do I need to tell you that was messed up? Is that not obvious?

@Ms. Payne - You already know. We spoke.

@AssertiveWit - I'm glad you commented. This is the angle I wanted someone to show me. Not long ago, I said some things to her that she took offense to. She called me up the next day and let me know. I apologized, we moved on. As far as I can tell, she's not held what I said against me in any way and I'm glad she felt like she could come to me with that.

However, I didn't feel like, as I mulled this over this morning, it would be ok for me to bring this to her knowing that I have no intentions of continuing on without severely altering our relationship. That concern was the catalyst for the post and so I definitely appreciate your weighing in on this.

CareyCarey said...

That friend (imo) is the friend I can count on. I mean, I would never cast away a friend because they "said" something that I didn't agree with. Heck, if that was the case, we'd all be friendless. Or, a bunch of fakes. Don't get me wrong, there are deal breakers but this does not appear to be one of them. There will always be some conversations, ideas and issues, that have a special place in time and should be only shared with a special few.

I believe the core of the pain(hurt) is always deeper than the obvious. And, the first place to start (imo) is in my own heart, because that's the only thing I can fix.

In short, you're the only one that can answer your question. And, that's my 2 cents.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

She said, "I mean, it's just that you don't have any real current prospects which means there's no chance of you being in a relationship and so this conversation about whether or not you're ready for one is pointless to me."

True or false?

Now substitute "in a relationship" for "buying a mansion", or "traveling the world for a year" when you don't have the money, nor know when or if you'll ever get the money.

Now would you be just as upset?

Your answers (no need to reveal them here) will give you clues to why what she said is so upsetting.

A.Smith said...

@CareyCarey and @Kit - I think you're both making the same point, so I'll respond to both at the same time...

Sparklyhero's comment made me continue to think about something I'd realized as I typed this up...

My issues with this friend isn't really about that one situation. Well -- at least this one situation was brought back up for me because of things that have happened since then.

To answer your question, Kit (which I do here because I want to be clear) yes. If I substitute those things in, and it's this same friend, I would be upset. Other friends -- maybe not -- but other friends probably wouldn't have made that comment true or not.

My issue isn't that she didn't care as much as it is that of my close friends, and I do count her among my close friends, she's probably the worst about wanting to go on and on about things that "don't matter." And that annoys me to high heaven, but as I say in the post if it matters to a friend the least I can do is listen.

As I've considered and re considered, the reason(s) I'm upset is more that the same respect I've afforded her, she didn't see fit to afford me. Further I suppose the only time she doesn't like talking about things that are pointless is when they don't concern her. My BFF isn't big on pointless items either. As a result, he wouldn't call me up to talk about pointless things in my life OR his.

This isn't "someone told me the truth about myself and I don't want to accept it." Wanting to be sure of that is partly why I didn't address this with her back when it happened. Not to mention, I didn't need her to be real with me -- I hadn't gone head over heels crazy about the subject. Previously she'd feigned extreme interest (to the point of bringing it up herself on multiple occasions) and that was one reason she was the person I went to with this.

What both of your comments (and sparklyhero's, even though my initial response to her sorta says the opposite) do make me realize is that while I still think she was wrong for what she said, it probably is bothering me more because of other things than just this one incident by itself.

CareyCarey said...

Hello Ashley,

I believe me and Kit are saying the same thing but let me clarify my point.

When I say I have to find the reasons I am "hurt", I am speaking from a perspective that nobody controls my emotions. The emotion "surprised" only last a few moments, "hurt" is a vague secondary emotion, which can last a very long time if the root of the problem is not discovered. Blaming someone else for our feelings, will have us looking in the wrong place.

So I am merely suggesting that the question was faulty because I do not know the particulars behind your discomfort(not what she did). That's your pain.

Furthermore, if someone says something about you, or to you, that is true, than again, you have to find the core root of your discomfort. If it's not true, and you again are disturbed, then hey, the problem still rests in your heart.

What, they lied on you? And, so what? It's not true, right. What, they didn't react like "we" would have reacted? What, they didn't live by your/our "code" of friendship. What, they didn't say they were sorry, like "you/we" would have done? I mean, those are just examples, but it's generally about our own expectations/reactions and how we process our feelings.

j-renee said...

I don't like rude people, espcially those that aren't mindful to think before they speak. Gah! I feel that some people should just know better, you know? Why should you or anyone else in the same situation have to confront someone when that individual should be more aware? I find that many times, conversations in which we attempt confront issues which mirror an obvious right/wrong, are growing old. Some people should flat out know what's appropriate to say and not say.
You are definitely not wrong. There is no excuse for shear rudeness.

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