Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm not (quite) as cool as I thought I was

Yesterday, I posted about how I've learned to say NO. And how good it feels to do what I want, and to not be manipulated by others... I posted a conversation I had where I got to be the person who had learned stuff, and I talked about how it's okay to think about what you want... blah... blah... blah...

Last night, we'd planned to go fishing, but it was raining and cold.
This is how the conversation went:

BJ: Jen, do you want to go fishing?
Jen: Sure.
BJ: Do you WANT to?
Jen: I don't know... can't I just go and think about it later?
BJ: Think of this as payback. What do you WANT?
Jen: Well fuck. (pause, while I actually thought about what I wanted) No. I don't really want to go tonight, but I AM willing.
BJ: That wasn't my question. My question was "do you want to?" The truth is, I don't want to go right now either, but I was also willing. We could have both ended up doing something neither one of us wanted just because we thought the other one wanted to.

He has a very good point. I wonder how often THAT happens. Both people are unhappy because neither one says what they want.

Wait a second... now... as I'm writing this, I wonder: When was he going to tell me that he didn't want to? Calling me out on my inability to say what I want, but completely ignoring his own wants...

Just in case anyone is wondering... I have made a lot of progress... but I definitely wouldn't call this one of my strengths.


  1. :) In every situation there are those that just seem to know how move forward. For the rest of us, we pick up the skills one tip, hint, trick, or suggestion at a time. I found it very enabling in my relationships when I had it pointed out to me that I could ask the question, "On a scale of 1-5, how badly to you want to go tonight? 5 being you would literally die if you couldn't go and a 1 is you would die if you had to go." Once the numbers (feelings) are out in the open, it makes it very easy to see what needs to happen. Shouldn't we just know these obvious things?

    1. I have used that question, when I think about it. (Guess where I learned it from?) :) :)

      Love you!

  2. This is a very familiar narrative - one of the terms I have heard for this is "relationship chicken". And I am very guilty of not voicing what I want; I guess I am working through this.

    1. "Relationship chicken" - never heard it called that, but I like it.
      Glad you're working through this.