ASK Dammit

This has come up in my life for a while now and most recently this week. So I decided I need to write about it because it really pisses me off to no end. We all encounter people every day that lay out their feelings for us. You know the type… they give you a veiled statement but mean so much more to it than just the statement. I’ll use a real life example:

Kenz: Oh, I have basketball tonight
Me: Yup
Kenz: maybe I won’t go
Me: Ok
Kenz: but I kinda want to go
Me: Ok

Now, my son isn’t driving yet. He has no way of getting to or from basketball without me driving him. To the very opposite end of the city that we live on. So the conversation continues, now by texting (cause that’s what teenagers do)…

Me: I need to know if you’re going to bball
Kenz: *gives me name of gym and time
Me: Does that mean you are going?
No response
Me: I need a little help here Kenz (hint: Mom, I’d like to go to bball tonight. Can you drive me?)
*at this point I picture the light bulb going off with that ENORMOUS hint
Kenz: Yes, Mom can you drive me to bball tonight?
Me: Yes. Now, that wasn’t so hard was it?
Kenz: Nope *with a smiley face (cause that’s another thing teenagers do)

So in all of this, all I needed was for him to ASK me for what he needed. But instead he WANTED me to read between the lines on his needs. If I had not read those correctly, I can guarantee that he would have been pissed he had no ride to basketball and that would have came back as anger at me for not reading into his message for those needs. I say guarantee, because I have dealt with this before.

Passive Aggressive

I see it all the time. Partial statements on a Facebook status. People that tell you how they feel then get pissed off when you don’t take action. DRIVES ME INSANE. The social media statements just annoy me now and I don’t play into it anymore. I know you are looking for someone to ask questions when you post… “so pissed off” or “wow, that was an interesting conversation” or whatever other bullshit status you but up BEGGING for someone to take notice. Sorry, but I am not playing that game. You want me to know what’s going on, well then tell me. It’s quite simple really.

I read an excellent blog on this

I actually posted it to my Facebook page because it speaks the truth. Some people don’t like the truth so blatantly in their face. Meh, I really could care a less, I posted it anyway. And to be honest, I got a few likes on this. So there are a few other people out there tired of the game as well.

So I got thinking, why do people do this? Why do they throw out a statement such as “I miss you” then get mad when you don’t respond with trying to figure out a way to make it so they don’t miss you? I mean, you told me that YOU missed ME. That’s all you said… you missed me. You didn’t follow it up with a ‘we should get together’ or ‘can we go talk soon’ or anything. You just told me you missed me. No call to action on that statement.

Just my humble opinion on this but I think the reason there is not a call to action statement is that it would require YOU to take ownership of it then. You would have to put it out there that you require something from me. That leaves the chance for rejection. Opening yourself up to have to ask for something can be quite vulnerable. And it is. You have just let someone in to see that you have a need or desire and you’re hoping they can fulfill it. What if they don’t or can’t? Will you die? Will you keel over right there and die? Of course not… but it will hurt. Because we have been programmed to believe that if they say no, they are rejecting you. They may not be… maybe they just know their boundaries and it has nothing to do with you. Oh there’s a novel idea….

It
Has
Nothing
To
Do
With
YOU

So, instead of taking ownership of needing or wanting something from someone, we give that ownership to them but without them knowing. And then when they don’t respond they ways we expect them to, we are hurt. Which usually comes out in anger.

Another statement that drives me up the fucking wall! “If you loved me, you would understand my needs!” WTF?? How the hell is someone suppose to read my mind to know what my expectations are? I usually get back an “I am trying to be considerate of your feelings to not ask for too much”. Again, how do you know my feelings if you didn’t ask in the first place?? You are trying to relate your experiences to my life then trying to come up with a way that you would handle it if you were me. HUH???

WOW… that is a lot of thinking you are doing. A lot of extra work you are doing. A lot of assuming you are doing. And not once did you ask me. Hmmmm, call me crazy but if you had just asked me in the first place what you needed or wanted from me, I could have saved you a lot of time and energy on that. CRAZY CONCEPT, hey?

So this is how it will work best with me. You tell me your feelings. Give me some indication of what you need from me. Leave it with me so I can think about it. Rather than me trying to read between the lines and figure out what you want (which I will probably get wrong anyway), how about you let me know what you want from me. I will give you an answer, that I promise. It may not be the answer you want, but it is MY answer. It saves us both from playing the assuming game.

You let me worry about me and you worry about you because in the end if you play the guessing game, one of us will do some serious damage to our relationship. It works best if you worry about your needs and I worry about mine. So please ask me, I don’t play the passive aggressive game well.

I’ll tell you what I can and can’t do. All you need to do is ask. PLEASE.

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Debbi Serafinchon Written by:

Just an average ordinary woman being herself on this crazy ride we call life. I say what I mean and mean what I say.
I chose to bring along 4 crazy side kicks on this journey, my 4 kids.
The actual realization of my journey began after my divorce. Hindsight being what it is, I realized before my divorce I was just going through the steps. My eyes are now wide open to the path ahead of me.

6 Comments

  1. SumGuy
    October 24
    Reply

    I am a very private person – I seldom let anyone know what I am feeling. But if someone asks, AND I believe they are genuine in their question I will tell them….. my problem is… I find very few people truly want to know. It has become a social convention to ask “how are you?”

    • justmeDebbi
      October 24
      Reply

      I agree but my point is if you want or need something YOU need to take ownership and ask. Too many people expect you to read between the lines and figure it out. Then get mad when you guess wrong.

  2. October 24
    Reply

    Yes! A million times yes! Strangely we seem to live in a country where people are polite to a fault, no one wants to make waves, but they want what they want. This results in weird, passive aggressive behaviours. My eastern European friends say what they mean, say what they want and are often told they are too abrupt. My Mexican sister in law feels she can never get a straight answer from people and often is made to feel she’s in the wrong for speaking her mind and being forthright. It’s all very strange. You are doing right by your kids showing them that simply asking for what they want or need is OK. Hooefully future generations will have more moms like you to teach then to ask & not follow the passive aggressive cycle!

    • justmeDebbi
      October 24
      Reply

      It perplexes me to no end! It’s easy… just ask.

  3. USACritter
    October 27
    Reply

    It’s not an easy issue to get a grasp. So many social conventions, individual dynamics, preferences, issues, etc to be able to say one approach is better than the other.

    I don’t defend the passive aggressive approach and believe me I can do that very well. Nor do I defend the total openness and complete honesty approach. Every relationship is different. Everyone’s ego structure is built differently.

    What’s important (in a committed relationship I’ll qualify) is that the parties involved learn to trust their partners approach and be patient if it’s not in sync with their preferences.

    I’m involved right now with a wonderful woman – strong, intelligent and passionate and very open and forthright. She’s had a lot of experience. I’m a bit of an opposite – closed, private and without that experience. My social experience has been that I need to consider my partner first in all circumstances so when I have needs I have a tendency to wait for her to figure them out. This drives her crazy.

    But we’re in a trusting and growing relationship so she’s patient with me as I learn to assert my own needs and tell her. She’s responded with unconditional support. So I’m coming out of my shell and asking for what I need while I still try to put her first.

    A tricky balancing act. So while Just Ask is not a bad approach, it might not be right for everyone. Maybe the post needs to be Just Trust?

    • justmeDebbi
      October 27
      Reply

      Thx for the thoughtful response. You’ve given me some things to think about. I still believe asking for what you want is the right approach. Maybe its how you ask that is the trick.

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