Lost in Txtlation

These are the cookie crumbs for my depreciating mind.

Month: November 2018

My space, your comfort.

As someone with anxiety I understand the importance of comfort in a new space or environment. So I try to make my space as welcoming with as many of life’s comforts as possible. You should see my bathroom: Fans for sound, smelly things, shower stuff, candles, extra toilet paper(the soft kind!), you name it!

Not only that the lighting is warm and inviting. The chairs are comfy, the sheets are soft, the temperature is appropriate, the bed is softer than a baby butt!

I want you to go in my fridge and grab food or snacks if you need them. I show you where everything is so you feel at home. Because I know when I am at someone else’s place I often miss the comforts what one may call a “safety blanket” i.e. my home.

So while I end up doing all of this to make you comfortable in my space, when I start to be taken advantage of in my own space, be it plans changing, being disrespectful of the space, there is a certain time where I need to look to myself and go, OK, I have worked X hard to make sure they are comfortable, are they doing the same for me? Often I realize, people are just not as respectful of the comfort level difference between being in your own space and being in your own space with someone else.

So when someone starts to make you feel uncomfortable in your own space by ignoring the effort you go to to make sure they are comfortable that is when things become shitty. Changing plans last minute, when you may have had to re-arranging your own life to make things work is one example. Finishing work early, working late hours so you can spend more time with them, only to have them tell you “I am going to wing it” last minute kinda fucks with your head and your efforts applied to making them comfortable and maximizing time together. Complaining about the cold when maybe they smoke and you ask them not to hotbox your house and do it out the window since they will get arrested on the street. Not cleaning up after themselves especially if for you keeping a clean home is important(and perhaps not your forte) but even more so if you clean specifically harder for when someone comes over. I mean how hard is it to not leave the next day without washing your glass or leaving your tea cup on the window sill or in the sink?

It seems small and neurotic when typed out loud. But it is about respecting the fact that someone is comfortable enough with you and excited enough to invite you into their space for an extended period of time, regardless of how it changes the space for them(we are not talking one night stands here). So unless we are at the point where we are both watching weekend long binges of netflix in our underwear with chinese food boxes on our naked bodies, a little courtesy goes a long way.

Comfort goes both ways, and I guess I just really need someone who is conscious not only of the effort that someone makes to accommodate their needs but does the same in return.

I’ll tell you when it suits me…

I’ll tell you when it suits me…

I have run into this so many times more than I wish I did:

You do something that upsets someone or is triggering.(something I have gotten very good at telling someone when it happens to me right there in the moment, as of course we all have our own pasts that people are not aware of when they are just getting to know us and are inevitably going to stumble onto) They brush it off as a mistake. (which in all reality, it probably was). Then you do it again with something else. Still, no one tells you. Rinse repeat for however many times or days until they decide to fire.

So in your world all is well. But then eventually the explosion comes. The “I’ve noticed troubling behavior and patterns in the last few weeks/months that has to do with X Y Z” XYZ being things you have probably no memory of because out of context and not in that moment you tend to not retain the things that didn’t bother you. But because they said nothing and it bothered them, it is crystal clear in their mind putting both parties in an uncomfortable situation.

I met someone once who asked me: “Do you want to discuss issues, like right as they happen?” to which I said yes. They nodded and sunk inside a bit. Why is this type of communication so scary? Why is the idea that words are just that words, things that can be changed, explained, or apologized for depending on the situation? Are people that stubborn that we force our sig others to hold onto all of these “moments” as ammunition for the ultimate fight or way out? When in reality, both people are assuming one another was saying one thing but meaning the other. And in a world of texts, this can increase ten fold. But the last thing we think to do is call each other or meet in person to have the “semi uncomfortable” in the beginning conversation with inflections about what just happened. Instead we “need time to reflect” and then both people get to do the following:

1. Wait longer to hear back from the person about what I have written while the longer I wait the more I grow frustrated, defensive, and forgetful of what exactly I am waiting for.

2. Harp on an idea of an idea, until it burns in as fact and fruition.

3. Combine the two and end up with a conclusion based off miscommunications to save feelings never meant to be hurt in the first place, leaving even the idea of a discussion dead in the water.

I am tired of being ambushed with “I need time to think” moments. I am happy to give you space to gather thoughts and such, especially because I use written word to try to succinctly express thoughts, so often I will give a little context if it is misunderstood and let someone re read. But when that re-reading goes on too long and becomes harping and dwelling and combining the past things not relative to said conversation, I might as well have gone to war giving you an entire year to build your military, and I just bring a spoon.

And the ultimate goal here for me is to not fight or to even have an argument it is to communicate properly in a world filled with so many ways to mis-communicate. So because I am a nice guy, I am more than happy to let you have time to decompress from an argument or conversation, but understand eventually I am going to forget why we were arguing in the first place, and while that may mean that the argument was pointless in the first place, if you come back guns loaded, this is gonna end messy.

A conversation is just that a conversation, things can be said and then changed. People are very stuck in “OMG YOU SAID WHAT!” instead of expressing why they disagree and giving you an opposite opinion without yelling.

That is the beauty of conversation you are free to correct and fuck up things. We are not perfect, we will never be perfect, so give us a chance to iron out those imperfections through conversation and with the possibility we may not ultimately agree but we can still be humane with one another and not cut the cord because of the simple fact that we disagree.

Mindful Explanations

One of the things I had to learn in life that has been instrumental in building me as a human being has been the ability to tell people when something bothers me at the time of it bothering me. Often times I find myself or others will hold in these things until they boil over which never ends well for anyone. Being able to say “Hey, I know you had no ill intent with your comment, but it bothered me and here are the reasons why. Perhaps in the future you could be mindful that this has history with me and while I do not feel you need to censor yourself around me, when it comes to this specific thing, it would be great if you could approach it will care”

This sometimes backfires. I often get told:

“Well how can I be myself around you?”

“Now I have to censor my way of speaking?”

“I am an honest person and will always tell you what i am thinking”

To the last one, I love honesty, and I would never want someone to feel hindered in their ability to talk to me honestly, but I think there is a difference between honesty and understanding another person’s life experiences and feelings due to them. Being courteous of how you phrase something so not to trigger a bad experience or past moment is important. However I have always found those boundaries are hard to explain and even harder to express in the moment.

But, with work, I have gotten pretty good at it. And, let me tell you, it has helped me so much in my relationships. First if the person is open to hearing why the thing they said may have made me uncomfortable that is a great start. Second if they broach it in a different way the next time it may come up, allowing them to still be open and honest, but not invasive on my own personal “space” it is truly a magical moment. To be aware of how what you say can affect others is so important, especially in the age of inflectionaless texts.

So, while I am not some poor snowflake that will crumble, there are things from my experiences in life that will make my brain go “EEEEKKK” and can affect my entire mood. But if someone is aware of those, and I make a conscious effort to inform them, as they will have no way of knowing as we get to know each other, I feel like we can grow together, being mindful of each others triggers and past experiences that are not specific to one another but can still make one another uncomfortable. So that freedom to speak up at the moment is so important to me and it is important that others do it with me too. I cannot dodge every mine laid down in the field by past experiences, relationships, etc. Eventually I will hit one. And as unintentional as it may be, as I have no intention to cause harm or discomfort, letting me know, or I letting you know when you hit one, can help two people really move forward in the communication that truly builds a relationship, friendship, or amicable human interaction.

We all have some baggage. We all have bad experiences. But we also don’t know these things when we are new to one another. Exploration is part of getting to know someone, so if both people approach it with this attitude, I find those “oops” moments to be something less of a “FUCK THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK” and more of a “My bad, learned, noted, will broach differently next time”. This isn’t censorship, this is compassion and understanding of a fellow human.

So please feel free to step on all my mines. Just know I have learned over time, to let you know at the time of explosion, what just happened, why it happened, what it makes me feel like, and how I would prefer we approach it in the future. And if you have a suggestion of your own as well, please feel free to chime in and I will do the same for you! Afterall, even though with all the left and right swipes of people we can bring in and out of our lives, we are both getting to know one another for the first time uniquely.

If we hold onto to too many of our past experiences and judge others upon them without speaking up, just looking at them as “oh man they are about to step on that moment in my life, they must be just like the last person who placed it” the other person has no chance in hell to ever navigate the “minefield” of “experiences”. So please help me navigate and I will you so that even if we do happen to stumble, we know and can grow as humans, as two people together, and become stronger because of it.

So as important as it is to be mindful of others and how they feel. Being able to express your own comforts and discomforts is equally important.

Something I truly believe in is this: I am not your ex, but if you go into the relationship assuming I very likely could be, I stand no chance to be a unique person that grows with you as an individual. It is like gambling at that point and the house holds all the cards. This also lets you know a lot about how open a  person is to actually meeting someone new or if they need to do some self healing exploration first.

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