Friends, Defensiveness, Anger, and Lies.

So I mentioned yesterday, I started writing a book. Actually, I picked up about a page of text that I had hashed out last week sometime and started going somewhere with it.

Yesterday I took about 1700 characters and turned them into 40,000 characters in the span of about 8 hours of writing time.

It's the very early beginnings of a novel about the future of mankind, and life on this plant, and on another.

I think it might actually be good.

Maybe I'll post some excerpts from it here sometime, but I doubt it.

In the meantime, here are some other musings.

Is it ok to, on an intellectual level, disaprove of someone's actions, while on an emotional level not minding them at all?

Say that you got to a party with a friend. Now, in the past, the relatiosnhip has been rocky, some good days, some bad days. At the party, the friend makes a funny joke at your expense that other people at the party find humorous, moreso because they don't know the whole story.

Now, lets say that you personally don't mind the joke, or the insult that you wind up having to field, because getting offended about these sorts of things just isn't your bag.

But, on an intellectual level you recognize that you'd never be so impolite as to do something like this to one of your friends, and if you were the parent raising a child that did something like this, you'd explain to them that you felt it was innapropriate.

Now you've got a quandry, don't you?

I mean, you're not angry about the situation. You're not offended. You've got no personal reason to buttonhole your friend after the party, in private, and correct that person for mistreating you, because you aren't really bothered. But on a professional, human level, do you have an obligation to express your disapproval to your friend in order to let them realize that what was done was (in your eyes) wrong?

But what happens if the person comes to you later and says "Hey, man, I totally didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable at that party."

I mean, you know that friend meant to make you feel bad, maybe not as bad as it was, in the end, but pretty bad, because that person wanted the crowd's approval.

So what do you say to day? "Oh, hey man, it's no big deal, I didn't even notice." That's bullshit, because of course you noticed.

But instead should you turn around and say "Well, yeah, you did. I don't mind, and I'm not angry, but be honest--you did make the joke at my expense intentionally."?

And then what happens when the friend gets defensive and thinks that the point should be argued and gets in your face about it? And of course this person will dredge up all of your past sins to justify the position taken.

This happened to me recently (the situation, of course, isn't exactly as listed above) but I did what I usually do, I called it like I saw it, and of course, the friend got angry with me, and now probably thinks I'm an asshole.

(sigh). I'm sorry, friend. I didn't mean to offend you, but I'm not going to continue to be a pushover. Either stick up for me, or don't. It doesn't make me angry when you don't. But don't lie to me about it. That is the part that bothers me.

Monday, August 16, 2004


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