This morning I was chatting casually with a guy online (on a chat site, not a dating site). In the past, conversations were always contentious with this guy, and I could never figure out why, basically because I'm logical and rational, so when someone disagrees, my go-to my whole life has been to point out reasons, be logical, and wait for them to see my point. It was as if he either couldn't or wouldn't see my point, and conversations would always just wither on the vine - very unsatisfying. All of this is an example of overcoming that female socialization of giving chances, being kind, over-explaining, and hoping people, men especially, are rational and logical. Quite a few people just are NOT. I'm noticing now this ONLY happens online, not ever to me in real life. I now know what to watch for online so I don't get sucked into this, and I have in the past. So there's a spot I can level up.
When I was a teacher, my go-to phrase would be, "I'm not going to argue with you or be argued with" as a way to shut that down, with the understanding that if they cooperated, I'd be more cooperative also; if they didn't cooperate, then ask three other people, maybe even six, before you ask me - and when you do ask me, it better be nice and cooperative, or there will be consequences. It's super sad to me, but not all that surprising, that this is the level some men sink to. I'm literally treating them as truculent junior high school students. Ugh. I can't ever imagine dating anyone like this, ever. Online, though, it seems rampant, which again makes me leery of OLD.
Today he said something, I disagreed, he started arguing. I told him, my attention is the prize, you argue, you get no attention. He agreed and backed off! It works! But I want to go deeper, just like I did the last time. Why exactly is this so effective? I have an idea that men don't respond to empathy or calls for understanding; they respond to power, dominance, control, and consequences. That's sad to me, honestly pathetic, that seemingly everything has to be a pissing contest, but honestly, they bring it on themselves, so my sympathy is limited to rather non-existent these days. This is just such an unattractive trait, and I don't understand why they would shoot themselves in the foot. It seems like 100% self-sabotage. What do they get out it?
Clearly this is never the kind of energy I was raised with, never had in my family, never had with Jack. When I was a child, if someone attempted to start bickering, I'd either lay out solutions, tell them to pick one... or just walk away. That same energy is needed with men, but with a slight tweak to it. Limit chances! Limit chances A LOT, and always be prepared to walk away, that's the lesson I've learned from this. But WHY, though? Why are they like this? What do they hope to gain out of it? I see this as someone who wants interaction but doesn't know how to interact. That whole bickering energy just feels ickily like brother-sister energy, and I never want that from some man I'm attracted to. It feels socially incompetent. Does not compute.
Thanks for any and all insight into this, dear FDS queens! Happy Monday!