And my framing of the situation wasn't manipulative either. It certainly wasn't intended to be.
I didn't intend the "doing a nice thing" to be a get-out-of-jail-free-for-being-a-jerk
card. And if you read my whole post, I don't think you'll see it that way.
My basic point was, "When I do nice things for people, and show them how much I care about them, I hope that they will remember that -should- (not when) I ever make a misstep (not "be a massive jerk")."
Or, you know, this:
If someone has a pattern of being kind and loving and supportive to me, but does or says something hurtful one time, I'm likely to chalk it up to "she's having a bad day -- no biggie.
I included the phrase "hurt your feelings," which I see as not being the same same scale as "doing or saying something hurtful"--a language difference, I know.
But I was thinking of the sort of accidental tricks of wording, or something minor--not actually being a true jerk. In fact, I should have included the word "accidentally"; it's what I meant.
I live this w/ my MIL. She pushes boundaries all the time--she's not nasty, it's just that to her, the natural position of the boundary is in a different spot. So I don't get all pissed off when I feel I need to reassert the boundary; I just reassert.
And I had a specific, real-life example in mind: I was telling my MIL about my wedding dress, and how I was saving money, and she offered to buy my dress for me. I was nearly insulted--it seemed that she was telling me my plans for my wedding dress were not good enough.
But I remembered what kind of person she is (the kind who would come sew curtains in your house, and care deeply for you), and I was able to hold the annoyance and anger at bay long enough to hear what she was really saying.
That's what I meant.