Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, ... please don't let me be misunderstood

Am listening to Nina Simone sing this song (title of the post), and it reflects some emotions I had over the weekend. Dealing with friends or family, one has to navigate some emotional landmines, and sometimes the best road to take is to avoid butting heads when a problem comes up. It might be a form of Asian non-confrontational manners; or it could be laziness. Shouldn't we sit someone down when they're being hypocrites? Take friend A, who was hosting a party for friends of ours. He specified that he only wanted core groupmates, and no new faces. Earlier in the week we reviewed the list and set it at 14 friends. On Thursday he texts in the final list, slipping in the name of someone completely new. I take this matter up with A, and he defends himself by saying that he didn't know how the fellow heard about the party, and that he'd just tell him that that dinner was cancelled. Given that the new guy was A's friend, who else would have invited him? If it was going to be a free for all, and just invite anyone, then A was taking advantage of his own rules for someone he considered a friend, not one of our core mates. He probably got annoyed at me for this, but I seriously wanted to take him to task for being so two-faced. Instead, I didn't raise it any further once the fellow was dropped from the guest list. But this is not the first time A has taken liberties, and usually with his own rules, paradigms. He plays the diva, but demands our understanding when he's being temperamental. I've lost patience in the past. But have never forced him to face his own duplicity. I sometimes wonder if I'm not doing him a disservice by staying silent.

Another friend B, has also been vexing of late. I've asked to meet him a few times to pass on his Christmas present. But he keeps coming up with excuses, and I've decided not to raise the issue anymore. I noticed that everytime I try to provide a gift (birthday, xmas) he finds excuses not to accept it. As he's one of the few people I tried to find an appropriate gift for, I find his rebuffs insulting, and raises the question of whether I want to spend time with someone like that. I value friendship a great deal. But if someone isn't keen, it's easy enough to take a hint and avoid further interaction.

Perhaps these are the reasons I have a crick in my neck. Physical manifestation of emotional stress. Or I just need better pillows.

1 comment:

Katrina said...

If a friend is close enough that I can take the risk of causing offense, I find that texting is a less confrontational (therefore, causes less defensiveness) way of bringing up a sensitive subject. It can take many back-and-forth texts to settle a matter, but I think the fact that you're not face-to-face, as well as the fact that you can take your time to think about what you say, re-read, and edit it, means less hurt feelings all around.

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