Author Topic: Letting a Friend Down Easy.  (Read 10590 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Corvid

  • Etiquette Hell Thread Assassin Squad
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 877
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2013, 07:52:30 AM »
Aw, poor kid.  I've been there myself and it was startling, confusing, and uncomfortable.

The "Older Male who quasi-adopts and mentors the Female Protagonist" is a common enough trope in books and movies aimed at girls and women but it doesn't seem to play out that way very often in real life.  When I was young and dumb, I had to learn the hard way that when older men paid attention to me, it wasn't friendly mentoring they were interested in.  Maybe I saw these older men as people on a different plane of existence, so to speak, but they didn't see themselves that way.

I agree that even if this guy were Jenni's age, he's throwing up some red flags.  Jenni, whenever a man tries to guilt-trip you into pitying him so you'll do what he wants in spite of your concerns and objections, run faster than the wind dreams of blowing.


Goosey

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 962
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2013, 09:15:02 AM »
The problem is so often in popular media/books/etc it's played out that the girl says she's not interested, but deep down inside, she really is. And if the guy is persistent, it's cute and flattering. So many guys - "nice" guys -  think if they spend time with you, support you, etc, they're owed a relationship. Every action and favor isn't just a "of course I'll do that, we're friends", it's payment towards a future relationship. When the girl doesn't pay out because she's not looking for anything beyond friendship, she's treated like she reneged on a contract even if she made that clear from the beginning. Watch, the minute Jenni starts getting firm with him and trying to break things off, he will go on the offensive - what a jerk she is, how he's a nice guy and has done so much for her, how she used him, etc. All things that are false, but she didn't give him what she wanted so she has to be the bad guy.

Sorry, obviously a pet peeve.

This guy is a creep. The minute a guy tells me that I "don't know what I want" I run. How demeaning.

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3283
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2013, 10:28:45 AM »
She needs to drop the guilt because it will do her NO good, and it will hinder her ability to make good judgements concerning Max. His insistence that his feelings are more important/trump hers means he is no longer safe for her to be around. 

It's all about him.  It's all about his feelings.  She's basically a living mannequin upon which he projects all of his sad-pants-feelings.  It's no longer about wooing her and now about winning the disagreement over whether he's a viable/worthy partner for her.

She does need to contact him ONCE, in reply to his email.  "Max, your refusal to hear my "no" means you have forfeited the right to my friendship.  Do not reply to this email.  Do not contact me again.  I do not want to see you anymore."

And then she needs to take every step possible to avoid him for the next few months, even if means not going to her favorite bar.  Yes, that's unfair, since her behavior isn't the problem. But safety isn't always fair.  She should expect him to escalate, maybe even show up to her apartment, so she needs to decide now whether she is willing to call the cops on him. (I think she should.)  And have a backup plan in place.  Also, she needs to let this guy she likes/is dating what is going on, in case Max lashes out at him, approaches him with his deluded tales.


gingerzing

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 953
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2013, 10:49:13 AM »
She needs to drop the guilt because it will do her NO good, and it will hinder her ability to make good judgements concerning Max. His insistence that his feelings are more important/trump hers means he is no longer safe for her to be around. 

It's all about him.  It's all about his feelings.  She's basically a living mannequin upon which he projects all of his sad-pants-feelings.  It's no longer about wooing her and now about winning the disagreement over whether he's a viable/worthy partner for her.

She does need to contact him ONCE, in reply to his email.  "Max, your refusal to hear my "no" means you have forfeited the right to my friendship.  Do not reply to this email.  Do not contact me again.  I do not want to see you anymore."

And then she needs to take every step possible to avoid him for the next few months, even if means not going to her favorite bar.  Yes, that's unfair, since her behavior isn't the problem. But safety isn't always fair.  She should expect him to escalate, maybe even show up to her apartment, so she needs to decide now whether she is willing to call the cops on him. (I think she should.)  And have a backup plan in place.  Also, she needs to let this guy she likes/is dating what is going on, in case Max lashes out at him, approaches him with his deluded tales.

All of this.  Seriously. 

Just reading what OP heard from her friend set off my hinky meter.  Especially the part about their shared poverty and abuse?  Even if it was true, NOT what you base any relationship on.  And part of me read it as "Yeah, Max... are you planning on abusing her?"

This is way into creep area.  And I think she needs to be pro-active or at least have some plans in place in case he escalates this.  (Calling the police, having friends know what is going on, having exit plans if she is out)


GlitterIsMyDrug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2013, 12:18:58 PM »
He said he was feeling such sadness because he knows she is not ready for a relationship now but he is the best for her.He knows what she wants and needs and would treat her better and love her more than any other man she knows.

I'm sorry, I was under the impression Jenni was a grown adult and could make her own decsions about what she did and did not need/want. I hate this "you're a poor helpless woman who doesn't know what she really needs, I am the big strong man who will give you what you need regardless of if want it or not because again, you don't know what you want or need you silly woman" line of thought. Jenni is a grown up. Jenni is not interested in dating him. Max needs to stop. Now.

Quote
They have to think you're a lesbian because otherwise they have to admit it's them you don't like. Thinking you just don't like any man that way is less threatening.

And yet I've had several over aggressive guys who when I say "Dude, I'm a lesbian, it ain't gonna happen", seem to think they can "fix me" or my problem is I've "never had real man". At which point I suggest they go find me one, as they clearly aren't one. A real man can respect a woman's boundaries, sexual orientation, and won't get their ego hurt because a woman isn't interested in them.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28378
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2013, 12:23:26 PM »
I think Max has been reading too many historical romance novels, honestly.

He's not Rhett Butler, and she doesn't need to be carried up the staircase.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

GlitterIsMyDrug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2013, 12:30:18 PM »
Last night she got home from a date with someone she really likes and had a good 30 paragraph email from Max filled with poetry quotes and song lyrics and talking about his melancholy over her not loving him back and how they can bond in their poverty and history of abuse (Jenni is not impoverished and I don't personally know about the abuse...not sure what that is about) and how can they not be together when he loves her so much.

Nope, nuh-uh, Max is a wackadoodle. Time to block all contact from Max, block in email, block is phone number, he no longer exists as far as Jenni is concerned. Jenni also no longer worries about Max's feelings, Max is clearly unconcerned about her's.

If I were Jenni (and maybe I've just watched Criminal Minds too many times), I'd print out the email and go down the the local police department to file a report. Just in case Max ups the wackadoodle and starts stalking.

The only response Jenni should give (and I'd do it in writing so there is proof) is "Max, I'm not interested. Leave me alone". 

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #67 on: December 06, 2013, 12:41:48 PM »
Ewwwwwww.

The only response I would give is "That is inappropriate, and unwelcome. Do not contact me again."
And only once.  Email block and route straight the "crazy evidence I might need later" folder. She shouldn't even read them.

I hope she doesn't get caught up in guilt- that is part of the vortex. Shut it down, walk away.  Stand strong, Jenni!

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1695
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #68 on: December 06, 2013, 12:42:08 PM »
Yeah, this has gone way past confusion and mixed signals.  As others have said, next time she sees him she needs to say Max, you obviously haven't heard me, I'm not interested, leave me alone.  And that should be the last time she talks to him. 

I agree that avoiding the wine bar might be a good idea, unfair, but a good idea never the less.  Alternatively only go with at least one other person, to avoid the situation of being alone if he comes in and tries to make conversation.  If there is someone there who she knows, it will be much easier to avoid interacting with him than if she's there alone.

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #69 on: December 06, 2013, 04:18:54 PM »
Quote
They have to think you're a lesbian because otherwise they have to admit it's them you don't like. Thinking you just don't like any man that way is less threatening.

And yet I've had several over aggressive guys who when I say "Dude, I'm a lesbian, it ain't gonna happen", seem to think they can "fix me" or my problem is I've "never had real man". At which point I suggest they go find me one, as they clearly aren't one. A real man can respect a woman's boundaries, sexual orientation, and won't get their ego hurt because a woman isn't interested in them.

DH and I are of different races. I've had guys of the same race as me say basically the same as the above. "You really want a [race] man, you've just never had a real one. But don't worry, your life is better now, because I'll fix that for you." It doesn't matter what the reason is, if they 'want' you, then you're in the wrong for not automatically 'wanting' them back. Finding a reason is trivial.

Some troglodytes* out there simply believe the world revolves around them. They decide that if they have an interest in someone, then that someone is obliged to return their interest. If they don't, then it's a tremendous insult, and is the fault of the other person. Some of these troglodytes consider themselves kind and respectful to offer to fix the other person's abhorrent fault. Seriously, they see their pressuring, refusal to accept 'no' as an answer, emotional manipulations, negging, etc. as a kindness on their part. If their incredibly generous and selfless offer isn't accepted, it's an even bigger insult.

I don't know if Max is this kind of person or if he's just plain old koo-koo. Whatever the reason, he no longer has the excuse of Jenni giving mixed signals. As others have said, she needs to tell him "no" and to leave her alone once only once more, without any reasons or JADEing, keep a copy of the email, and not go to the bar alone for quite a while. This situation is becoming legitimately concerning and I sincerely hope he backs off.

**I apologise to the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). I realise that they generally aren't nearly as screwed up as people like this are, and it's not fair to demean them by making such comparisons, but the word I really want to use isn't appropriate in polite company.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8448
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2013, 10:01:55 PM »

If your friend is feeling guilty/conflicted at this point, I have two very strong recommendations.

First - she should get some counselling, to help her learn how to understand and set useful boundaries. If she feels bad/is wondering what she has done wrong/doesn't want to be mean with someone who has gone this far over the bounds of reasonable behaviour, she's a danger to herself. She doesn't know how to recognize someone who is a danger to her, and she doesn't have the ability or judgement to protect herself before she gets in real trouble.

The second - he's escalating. I think she needs to talk to the non-emergency police line or legal assistance for advice, because he's gone past lonely socially inept guy to scary.

veronaz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2047
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #71 on: December 07, 2013, 10:08:22 PM »
Quote
The second - he's escalating. I think she needs to talk to the non-emergency police line or legal assistance for advice, because he's gone past lonely socially inept guy to scary.

Agree, but first she needs to send reply to his email and simply say: "Leave me alone.  I'm not interested.  Do not contact me again in any form."  Print/keep a copy.


« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 11:43:21 PM by veronaz »

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6519
    • Blog
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #72 on: December 07, 2013, 10:29:44 PM »
Wow. I don't really have anything to add to everyone's excellent advice. I agree that this isn't a case of "social cluelessness and mixed signals" but rather a case of "Max is a complete creep".

Jenni needs to email him back saying "Do not contact me again" (or some variation thereof). Personally, I'd avoid going to that bar for a few months. Yep, it's totally unfair, but I think it's best if she doesn't put herself in a position where she'll have any contact with Max.

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3494
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2013, 12:15:29 PM »
Is anyone else as anxious as I am for an update in which Jenni gives this guy a firm "do not contact" message?

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2441
Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2013, 12:36:39 PM »
Not anxious, but I'm hoping she did what I've done in the past after I've stated I'm not interested and the guy didn't take no for an answer -- simply ceased contact and blocked any further communication reaching me (this was online).  In person, I'd probably stop going to the wine bar for a little bit (a few weeks since OP likes going there -- longer if she can deal with longer).  If not that, I'd have to admit I'd likely enlist the help of a guy friend to start going with me (or even a female friend) so I'd have a buffer while still being able to go to the wine bar.

Not polite, but I did resort to yelling at some guy to "Leave me the f*** alone!" in front of a group of people when in high school because he just would not take no for an answer (he was mentally disabled as I recall).  He did finally stop screaming (yes, literally) my name across the campus to get my attention just so he could say hello after I yelled at him, but I noticed he started lurking around corners to stare at me (because I'd catch the quick movement to hide when I'd turn my head in whatever direction he was).