This may be an odd thing to write about, especially seeing as to many this could be viewed as a very basic concept, but I must admit it is one that I have been poor at for a long time. In my teens I went through a common communication loop where every reaction I had was in the negative. If someone asked if I wanted to do something, my teenage angst self would reply with “no”, and then I would wait to be talked into doing it. I was reluctant to accept anyone’s ideas or thoughts outright and needed to be swayed. I was skeptical and close minded about all new things and ideas. To this day I still find myself falling into this pattern. Just last weekend, when asked a direct question, without even thinking I said no, and then pathetically tried to talk myself out of the no because it was not even close to the appropriate answer.
But here I am trying very diligently to break this habit and start forming new ones that integrate directness with accuracy, and no longer default to my habitual negative reactions. What is surprising me most about this quest, is my interactions with men on the online dating community. When a guy I was not interested in would message me a few years ago, I would react with a negative answer, or I would just delete the person from my message folder. One is negative, and the other some would argue is even worse, being just passive aggressive. Neither made me feel very good, and on some level I knew that I had to change my reactions to something that would not leave me in that bad mood I was left with.
So a couple of weeks ago I tried something different when a similar typed male who would message me. I tried being direct, clear, concise and most importantly removed the wishy washy language, from my return messages. Shockingly, by simply saying, “thanks for the message. You are not my type, but best of luck to you”, I am getting the most amazing replies. Instead of having guys try and argue their way into my head, or get angry or wounded by my rejection, they reply with a simple “no problem, and have a good night”. It baffles me just how wonderful this new feedback loop is. I remove all emotion or vagueness from my replies, and I receive in return simple replies back without any animosity. I can appreciate right now if you are reading this and going, “well duh K, what did you think would happen. Have you honestly never dealt with men before?” And yes if you are still reading to this point you are welcome to judge me for such a simple fact that I feel like I have just discovered, but consider this.
My entire adult life, I have been working on seductions, love, building relationships and improving communication with people that I was really interested in. Not once did I really stop to think about all the relationships out there that I do not want, and how to react to those in a kind, but firm manner. And that is the point of this very specific skill set that has been brought to light for me. There is importance in learning how to close a door, and likewise value in learning how to just walk past a door without even looking in. I get lost in the middle, whereby I look at the door, contemplate the door and then either wish that I had never looked at the door, or stand there blankly when the door gets opened for me. So finally figuring out that there can be a positive outcome to just closing down a conversation with someone right from the get go is a huge thing for me. Direct communication has made me insecure for a long time. It is not a form of communication that I ever thought needed practice or even a second thought. And wouldn’t you know, I was obviously wrong, and can only start practicing this missed opportunity on a go forward basis.