I was on the phone with Ex#2. Talking about pool, his dates, and he asked if I had read an article he posted on facebook. I HAD in fact read it. I didn't like it.
I hemmed and hawed. (Way to be direct Jen!)
He didn't trust my hemming and hawing, and kept pushing. It was almost in frustration that I said, "Yes. I've read it, and I just didn't like it."
His response: You're so closed-minded. You probably didn't even read it. You can't even tell me what you didn't like about it.
(My next mistake) "I read it. I just... I'm not interested in marriage... and I didn't like the tone..."
Him: You just grab on to one little thing, and you miss everything else. It's not even a big deal, I would just think that you would want to be more open. You missed the whole point. You obviously didn't even read it.
(Another mistake, only this time I realized what I was doing.) "I did read it. I read the whole thing, but... wait... I don't like the way you are talking to me right now."
Him: Oh, so now you're going to get all defensive. Way to deflect... Obviously... so closed-minded and...
And then I did get defensive and frustrated and loud, and then I hung up.
Probably not the best thing to do, but I forgot what came next.
I was all turned around trying to defend myself - even though I recognized I didn't NEED defending.
I picked up the book Controlling People... the one that actually talked about THIS situation.
The book talks about how people pretend to know what we are thinking, feeling, doing, being, etc. It suggests that we don't even engage this kind of behavior. The author's suggestion was to say, "What?"
So, the way it could have gone... is first, I could have been more direct.
Me: Yes. I read it.
If he asked my opinion at that point, I could share it.
Me: I didn't like it.
If I was more direct, he might have been better prepared for a conversation. He might not have jumped on me like he had. If he did...
Him: "You're so closed-minded. You probably didn't even read it."
And then what happens? He repeats it? Gets frustrated at me for not listening to him? Does he change what he said?
Do other people just "get" this stuff? Or does everyone have a problem navigating conversations like this?