I am a big fan of everyone being able to use their words and say no without getting shit for it. But let’s face it, most of us don’t handle disappointment well, and at times we give each other a lot of shit when we don’t get what we want. Part of being an Adult is finding a way to handle rejection without creating more pain and drama. Cuddle Parties are great ways to practice saying and hearing ‘No’s.
The very lovely and gentle Janet Trevino posted this recently.
Because I told a man, no, via text, I got this response, “Ok your fat and lame inbed probably.” This is for real.
That brought back memories. I got a handful of those kinds of response last year during my exploration of OKCupid. Some of my girlfriends won’t use online dating because they find this so unpleasant. It is unpleasant, but I think that’s unfortunate, since Cupid has been very very good to me overall. And fellows wonder why there is such a gender imbalance on OKC.
Once I saw that it was a pattern, it helped me breath through the pain of it. I trained myself to say, to myself, and sometimes even allowed myself to type – Thank you for taking care of yourself. Because this response is essentially an attempt to change the timeline so the Dude could say ‘No’ first, before my no. Since this is impossible and a ritual, it has to have that nastiness with it to try and make an unpowerful position feel powerful. Then I’d hit block and delete the conversation. Sometimes I’d call a friend to vent a bit, and then we’d take a moment to feel gratitude that this unfortunate fellow had screened himself out of my life. NEXT!
It is a golden opportunity to see the how the societal pressure on AMABs interacting with male biology. As a boy in our society, there are only two positions possible – I Win-You Loose or You Win – I Lose. In that mentality, a ‘no’ means ‘I loose.’ And loosing feels very very bad, physically as well as emotionally, if you have been trained since birth that losing is anathema to your very essence..
The sour grapes ritual is an attempt to neutralize the distress over being in the ‘I lose’ position. Men do not act this way, only boys, but they still feel the pain of loosing very deeply. Some boys grow up themselves in time, some learn from women, some are lucky enough to have strong male role models who make sure that they grow into men.
Weirdly enough, I can see beauty in this reaction, at least for someone who is rightfully in the ‘boy’ stage of development. A girl acting in this way in the social arena is toast. That that was me, plenty of times. I’m a bit wistful that as a girl, I didn’t grow up on playgrounds where there was space for an affectionate version of this sort of name calling interaction.
I did get to practice this at home with my brothers –
“You smell bad”
“Well you are covered with sweat.”
“Well, at lease I have sweat, you don’t even have armpits. You are pitless.”
And on and on, stranger and stranger. I have a lot of fond memories of that, and we blew off a lot of steam. There were rules – one couldn’t mention any of the teasing partner’s actual defects or flaws. That was going too far and could get us in big trouble with mom.
What do you think? What might you like to say back if you weren’t worried about feeding the trolls?
I wanna know! Please comment below.
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