Miscommunication surrounds us.
People rarely say what they mean and the addition texting and emailing leaves even more to the interpretation.
One of my favest podcasters and all around awesome personas, Dan Savage, claims that most people act like those surrounding them should be fucking mind readers. This statement goes for relationships, but can also be applied to part time lovers and friends.
How can people meet our needs if we never express what those needs are?
People can be amazingly intuitive and know you really really well and still have absolutely no idea what it is you actually feel when you answer ‘Nothing!’ to the ubiquitous ‘What’s wrong?’.
The truth is, you have to be really specific about your expectations, and if you do not announce them, you do not really have the right to be angry or disappointed when things do not turn out the way you wanted.
Women are specifically bad at this, as we have been conditioned to hide our feelings. Some women do not like to appear too demanding or a pain in the butt, therefore they remain silent when they should be communicating. Most men, on the other hand, are generally oblivious to the subtleties of a woman’s mood.
But this issue can be addressed for both sexes.
To have your expectations met, you have to SPELL THEM OUT.
I don’t even mean hint or act discreetly.
I mean express very specifically what it is you need.
This can be applied to anything: if you want your partner to do the dishes, if you need some time alone, if you want to be more than part time lovers, if you really want that bling necklace for Christmas, if you need him or her to get you off a certain way. Your partner will be thankful for not having to have to decipher your deep sighs, your moping, and your aggressive cleaning (or whatever).
If they do not appreciate you being so direct you should probably surround yourself with different people.
Note however, that if you have to constantly tell your partner how to act with you, he or she is potentially disinterested in your needs. Time to look for another partner.
This week, I give you all the assignment to say what you mean!
Love, Modern Hussy
We all know it, we all do it.
Passive aggression is a horrible monster that rears it’s ugly head everytime we feel misunderstood or hurt but don’t have the balls or common sense to speak about it with our friends or lovers.
Passive aggression is futile because not only does it not work, you always end up losing in the end.
It’s kind of like the equivalent of girls faking orgasms. It results in repeatedly being in uncomfortable and awkward situations.
Let me give you an example of how passive aggressive behaviour has failed me in the past.
Example 1: Some years ago I realized that I was the only one taking the garbage out at the house. To teach my roommates a lesson I stopped doing it to see how long it would take them to take care of the mess.
Result: my roommates did not care. Living in a house that reeked of rotting food and throwing things into a very clearly overflowing bin did not seem to be a big deal to them. They let it stand for so long that by the time I eventually did take it out, there was a fresh, perfectly repulsive family of maggots living at the bottom of the bin. In an act of fury and disgust I drowned the maggots in Javex and ended up spilling bleach on my new favorite pants.
Passive aggression : 1 / Modern Hussy: 0
Example 2: Fast forward a few years to a recent episode. My roommate and I had a deal to take turns purchasing coffee and milk. This system worked very well and there was always coffee in the house… Until one time, when the roommate was very busy with work and didn’t get any coffee. ‘No big deal’ I thought and purchased another half kilo. After we went through that, I patiently waited for a couple of days for him to get more beans.
I decided to drink green tea for a bit, in case he forgot or had not had a chance to go to the store.
Still no coffee.
‘How inconsiderate’ I thought, and decided to make a point by not buying it.
Result: A month later I had spent five times as much money getting 5$ coffee in pretentious cafes, and our house remained caffeine free…. Or so I thought. One Saturday morning I awoke to the glorious sounds of the grinder! Finally!! My point has been made! I sauntered into the kitchen to make myself a long deserved cup… Only to find the grinder empty, and the beans nowhere to be found…
My roommate had started keeping secret coffee!!!!
Did he forget that the last two bags were bought by me? Did he decide he didn’t want to share coffee anymore? Did he just get a bag of Kopi Luwak coffee as a gift from a friend who recently vacationed in Indonesia?
I guess I will never know.
Passive aggression : 2 / Modern Hussy: 0
I feel like boys are better at this kind of stuff than girls. Girls overly analyze, discuss the events with all their friends, don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and passive aggressively blog about it.
Boys on the other hand will say ‘Dickwad, it’s your turn to get coffee’ (or butter, or beer, or WHATever) and all will be okay in the world.
So as of this week, I have decided that I don’t speak passive aggressive, and will get into the mindstate of a frat boy- just say the things that are on my mind.
Open communication is a good thing!
I know that you looooove your data phones as you won’t stop telling me how amazing they are. Yes, I appreciate the fact that we can google the latest funny youtube video and watch it on the stupidly tiny screen with no sound. I also see the benefit of googlemapping the next location on our night out, while we are lost in the party district of a new city. Yes, the light sabre app is cool for about 2 minutes, and I do appreciate taking jpg photos that look like vintage polaroids and uploading them to facebook as the fun occurs.
I am not going to lie here, the Modern Hussy is not the biggest fan of data phones. I like my phone to 1. call people, 2. text people, and I believe that the internet should stay at home where it belongs (please note, I LOVE the internet). I also realize that people adore their new technologically enhanced toys and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. Fine.
However if I have to sit through another lunch or dinner where the only thing people are doing is texting, twittering, uploading, and streaming I am going to scream. If you make plans with someone, how about you actually put your phone away for 20 min. and spend some quality time with your companion? I have a rule: I put my phone away during meals, and ignore anything that might be coming through. Nothing terrible will happen if you let an sms simmer for an hour, as opposed to replying to it immediately. If you are so bored during a social interaction that you would rather look through your facebook newsfeed, WHY DID YOU BOTHER MAKING PLANS TO BEGIN WITH???? Next time, how about you stay at home, as you quite obviously have very little interest in spending time with the people around you.
Technology is powerful and amazing, but I think it should be used in a mindfull manner. You think your ability to communicate has improved just because you can answer an email while gossiping with friends and chugging back gin and tonics, but in reality you have only given yourself ADD and have no idea how to really connect with people. The Modern Hussy encourages unplugging occasionally and giving 100% attention to a conversation. You might just learn something new and interesting. How about we just sit, and talk….?