pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
[personal profile] pktechgirlbackup
One of the really valuable things I learned as I grew up is that almost any time you say "I was hinting so hard and they STILL DIDN'T GET IT", you are doing something wrong. They may well be doing something wrong too, but any time you feel they are violating social conventions enough that you have a justified expectation they pick up hints, you also have a justification to tell them whatever it is straight out.

What took me a while longer to learn is why this is. I naively thought it was because it wasn't fair to expect people to pick up on hints, you had to Use Your Words and then they would respect your clearly stated boundaries. This turns out to not be true. A lot of people who ignore hints will also ignore direct statements. Nonetheless, using your words is the superior option because: 1. There are exceptions, and it's nice to give people the chance to demonstrate that their boundary violations were accidental. 2. Complaining about someone who kept doing a thing after you directly told them not to (e.g. "I said I wasn't going to talk about this and they kept asking") is WAY MORE satisfying than complaining about someone not picking up your hints. When all you've done is hint, there's still some ambiguity. Maybe this was a good person having a brain fart. Maybe your hints weren't as obvious as you thought. Maybe they're autistic. But if you say it directly there's no ambiguity. There choices narrow to "stop doing that thing" and "become a Person Who Violates Boundaries"
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May 2014

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