Just be decent – About Offline Communication and People

Today, I just vent a little about people I met offline. I may review something later. This post also has been a draft for ages now but I didn’t write about it until now because… I don’t know why exactly. Anyway, the draft was really just the title and me picking it up felt good timing-wise because something happened to me recently (see below). At the same time, thanks to Roger for writing about Draft Posts and inspiring me to finish a draft again.

So, as the title says, it doesn’t take much really to be considered “an okay person”. All people expect from others is to be decent. You don’t have the be the epitome of morality and a saint or whatever. Everyone is flawed. Just don’t be shitty. Be decent.

“Do we make out now?”

I had this encounter with someone that kept hitting on me at a party, I told him I’m happily taken and not interested in him, and he stopped for a while.

Later, he offered to walk me to the next bus stop given that the road there is dark and scary. That was quite nice of him. We exchanged numbers and I figured we could chat a little or something at another time.

Later, he then took jabs at my partner which I wasn’t cool with but he said that he didn’t mean anything by it. I dropped it. “First Strike”, I guess. If it were to come up again, I’d delete his number.

At another party that I went to where I met up with a friend of mine, he asked where I am and if we’d make out. I told him that I don’t want to and that I’m – again – happily taken and not interested in him. He then said that I’m “being a tease”. (More on that later).

I told him that these are boundaries. I’m not okay with him being like this. He said “it’s just a joke” and that I should “chill out”. When I said that I don’t think so, he said that “it’ll be alright”. That’s the second strike. Let’s just drop the “strike” metaphor. It’s a second chance. Fuck it.

I was being quite patient with it but at this point, I think I’ll just ignore him, delete the number, and just pretend that I don’t know him. I set boundaries. He violated them. He made me uncomfortable when I just wanted to be friends. Happens. Different expectations at what this was, I guess.

Maybe “I’m happily taken and I’m not interested in you as a man” was not enough. Who knows. Maybe that means something entirely in some people’s ears. Maybe it didn’t sound like a rejection at all.


“It’s just a joke.”

The “it’s just a joke” thing is something that ticks me off as it’s something that a lot of people bring up when they don’t wanna take accountability for the things they say.

There are people that justify bigoted things they say but follow them up with “it’s just a joke”. Those people are trying to play down the stuff they just said, no matter how hurtful they’ve been or how they made others feel.

Sometimes, these people will creep others out and make them uncomfortable or maybe the things that these people say would portray them as bad people… so they try to sweep it under the rug with “it’s just a joke”.


“You’re a tease.”

This is something that bothers me as well as it’s about some sort of entitlement. Some people will see a friendly conversation and interpret it as the other party trying to get in their pants.

Let’s take an example here (see above):

I chatted with this guy and complimented his earrings. That was me being friendly.

“I was thinking of getting tunnels myself.” That was me being chatty.

“But I don’t know if they’d look good on me.” That’s me asking a question indirectly to get an answer that is not yes/no but that rather keeps the conversation going.

Some people will just chat with others with the expectation of just chatting or possibly making a friend. In the example above, my expectations of this encounter/conversation were that I could get to talk about tunnels or even make a friend. Apparently, my complimenting this guy’s earrings set different expectations for this person.

This person set different expectations in this conversation and because of that, they were disappointed when I said that I a) am happily taken and b) not interested in the other party as anything more than a friend.

I’m “a tease”, I guess.

It’s simple miscommunication, right? Well,… about that…


What is flirting?

To answer the question about miscommunication, I believe that one should look at how to set certain expectations in the first place. If you’re not expecting to make friends but you rather wanna go beyond “the friend zone”, you’d flirt with the other party. If they also flirt with you, you’re on a good path, I guess.

Here’s the issue though: Some people don’t know what any of this means.

Flirting can be anything really from innuendo to ambiguity to eye contact, body contact, compliments, body language and whatnot. (I have a draft on a topic related to that as well though!)

If you don’t want that, though, you reject it. You set boundaries. You tell the other party that you’re not interested. That’s what most people do… and what the other party should then respect.

That’s, however, where being decent comes in. I believe that in the example that I mentioned above, I was setting clear expectations by rejecting his advances and by stating that I’m not just taken… but “happily taken“. Meaning that I don’t have any plans on cheating or making out with someone else.

But the issue here is that some people don’t care. In this case, these people will just keep going, thinking that they still have a chance or that they can change their minds.


“Why are you not interested in me?”

So, because people feel entitled to something and because people expect something different, a lot of this can come across as not being “flirty” but being “an asshole”. It’s a big difference.

I went to this place with a female friend of mine. We were drinking some beers and talking about Hermitcraft, of all things. Anyhow, this dude stopped by and started to talk to my friend and kept complimenting her. She wasn’t interested. He then kept touching her leg. I kept asking her if she needs help. She was fine. Alright. We left a bit later and she was glad I asked – but like, she can handle herself.

So, after all the rejections, this guy (while we were still there) said “don’t be like that”. She said “no”. He asked, “Why not?” – eventually followed by “why are you not interested in me?”

And that’s where stuff gets iffy. Nobody’s entitled to anybody. Nobody is owed an answer. When someone says no, that’s a boundary. Don’t cross it. No means no.


Conclusion

As mentioned above, it’s not that people are expected to be saints. Rather, people just want others to “be decent” – and that’s a very low bar, you know?

I mean, if you got told to fuck off, take it to heart and fuck off. You got told “no”. That doesn’t mean “yes” in a different language. It literally means fuck off. Regional dialects may sound like “feck off” or they may include “wanker” or “cunt” depending on where you live.

There’s this misconception that women and men think in different ways. There’s also the misconception that all people want to be conquered and that all people mean something different when they do certain things. There’s also this “playing hard to get” stuff and whatever that PUAs (short for “enemy of women”) tell others to do…

It’s the same with how people dress and what people expect from others because of the way they dress. People dress for themselves and that’s totally fine. Just because someone is dressed in a certain way, they don’t wanna get hit on, catcalled or approached in any way. Nobody is entitled to anything just because of the way someone is dressed.

This one is a whole different barrel that I don’t wanna open in this post but if interest is there, I’d love to share my thoughts on how people dress and how men shouldn’t tell others how to dress.

And again, if you’re just a decent human being, that kind of entails that you don’t do stuff like that. It also entails that you treat others with the respect that you believe that you’re entitled to.

That’s btw a good sense of entitlement because everybody deserves respect! Even you! Love thyself!

It doesn’t take much to be decent in IRL. Online stuff is different in a lot of ways but if we at least attempt to treat others with the respect we think we deserve and if we at least attempt to treat others like how we want to be treated ourselves, then this sort of stuff should be somewhat easy to fix, right?

And yes, there are cases where messages or tones get under but open communication is important. The other day, something I said offended a friend of mine online and I apologized for it because I didn’t mean much by it. It’s good to explain stuff like that and to talk about it and stuff. But nobody expects others to be a saint. We all make mistakes. Just respect boundaries and make sure you don’t harass others – see above.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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