Communication - Is it really that difficult?
Posted by tim in Confused on April 28, 2008

Anyone who has talked to me for any length of time knows my stance on communication: Regardless of the type of relationship, communication is mandatory for success. Here lately though, I've found myself lacking in several areas, the first being how I handle frustration and anger.

When I first started this blog, it was to be a place where I could vent without fear of offending someone. For the first couple of months, I was able to do this. However, my reader base started to grow to a point where I had to watch what was said. I mean, I found myself in a bit of a bind with a lady-friend who I was starting to get a little close to. You see, things happened in our relationship that frustrated me, and I had nobody to really share it with. So what did I do? I blogged about it. I soon found out though that this friend read my blog, and even though I never mentioned her name, she knew exactly who I was talking about. When she did realize this, she sent me rather nasty e-mails and instant messages, chastising me for my actions. At this point, I began to censor myself. The result plagues me to this day: I have not spoken to this girl since the last "big incident", and it has led to the other communication problem I'll talk about later.

The second big occurrence was when I was leaving my previous job at the quick lube. This was a rather large step in my life, as I was moving out on my own for the first time. Along with this came a lot of complicated scheduling of my final days in Rensselaer. I found out that my soon-to-be former employers were looking to have a bit of a "going away" party for me after my final shift ended. While I was not at all offended at the gesture, I was frustrated because this forced me to shuffle my schedule. I couldn't voice my frustration to my co-workers, because they were already in denial over my leaving. I couldn't share it with my parents, because they were already emotional about their youngest leaving home. With nowhere else to turn, I turned to my blog. Shortly after posting the entry, I received an e-mail from my boss, clearing showing how much I had offended her. It was a mess to clean up, and I think to this day it still isn't right.

I don't know how to deal with anger and frustration anymore, so I will either bottle it up, or I will find releases where nobody is affected. Here lately, I find myself yelling at my monitor at work - at the invisible customer on the other end who cannot hear me - which accomplishes nothing.

My other problem is approaching a female who I may be interested in. I don't see this as being the typical "fear of rejection" that nearly all guys experience at some point. Rather, I have absolutely no idea how to go about it, and while the fear of rejection does exist, I'm more worried about the way my peers will respond to it. I mean, I value the opinions of my family and friends above anything else. The problem is the teasing that others do. I remember back to when I was in grade school and had a "girlfriend". Even today, my family teases me about those girlfriends, and while I know they mean well, it is kinda embarrassing. (Sorry guys, don't take it personally.) Now that I'm 26 years old, I don't know that I can handle that, and it really detracts from the overall concept of "dating" for me.

But beyond the initial approach, I don't know what to talk about. The few phone calls I have had with a female (other than family or business) in the last few years have be incredibly awkward and leave me feeling inadequate in the social aspect of life.

So this leaves me back where I started about 6 years ago: A social "retard", unable to start a conversation, regardless of the amount of advice I have been given. What am I to do? Do I tell my boss when I'm mad about something at work (I sort of have over the last few days, and I feel guilty for it)? Do I throw caution to the wind and just tell that one girl how interested I am in her?

 
Comments

Something I have learned is that the internet is not something that is actually anonymous. If you need to rant and not let certain people know, you tell one of your good friends or you write it in a journal that is not publicly available (like the pen and paper variety). Blogging to let loose might be nice, but if youre concerned about what people will think about your thoughts then dont write it in a public place. It comes across as a cowardly,indirect way of telling people what you think despite your intentions to begin with.

As for your questions. Do you tell your boss? Yes! If they havent addressed something, they probably dont know its a problem. Bring it up to them. They are not in a position to be your friend, they are in a position to run a company well (whether or not they do is a different matter). Any input you have as to problems or possible improvements should be met with objectiveness. If thats not what you get, thats their problem not yours. You should not ever feel guilty about voicing your opinion if its warented.

And do you tell the girl? YES! Unless you want to be stuck in the friend zone forever or not considered at all then you should tell them how you feel up front. Honesty is the only way to go. You will either get rejected or you wont. If you do nothing you'll just wonder and you'll make the both of you feel awkward. Just say "hey i think youre nice. would you consider going to dinner with me sometime?" thats it. Its non-committal and its a compliment to her. If she turns you down, then you'll still probably be in the friend zone which is fine at that point and you can move on.

It may be weird to hear me spout the same stuff I dont do, but its been years and a lot of suck that have taught me these things. I try very hard to do them too. Its hard, yes, but it seems to be the only way to get anything worthwhile to happen.

  • Posted by TsunamiNoAi (Guest) on April 29, 2008 at 06:49:57AM

Ditto.

  • Posted by Fufu (Guest) on April 29, 2008 at 10:14:00AM

Yo, you know that I will not make fun of you if you started dating a girl. The only reason I did that as a kid was because it was something I saw mom and dad doing and I thought that was the normal thing to do. I know now different after having boyfriends and then getting married. Dont let past teasings stop you from finding your soulmate. You are an adult and dating someone is part of being an adult. Go out, have fun, figure out who it is you want to be with and who it is you do not want to be with.

Arslow, I agree with Tsunami....just say "hey i think youre nice. would you consider going to dinner with me sometime?" It is simple, and if they say no, they say no. At least you will know not to waste your time on them and that you can move forward, instead of sitting there wondering what could be.

My "friend" Ryan from camp (the bass player) kicks himself today because he didnt make it known that he liked me and he wanted to date me. He wishes he had said something. Dont let that be you with a girl you like. Be brave, and make the first move. You are the guy, so you will have to. It isnt so hard to do once you do it a few times. You will become more confident in yourself and it will be as easy as talking about the weather outside. You can do it! :) :) :)

  • Posted by Jennz0rz (Guest) on April 29, 2008 at 12:06:28PM

Ditto again. :-D

  • Posted by Fufu (Guest) on April 29, 2008 at 04:14:26PM
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