I went out to listen to music last night. A guy tried to chat me up. I told him that if he was looking for a sex partner, I wasn't that lady. He expressed offense and said he was looking for an interesting conversation. I went along with it even as I suspected that he was full of shit. We discussed a bit of the current political situation and then somehow the conversation turned to union. I mentioned that most major religions support this idea of a union between two people, and then I brought up Hinduism. [If you're a Hinduism expert and you disagree with my assessments, please let me know.] He said words about many gods and how that meant many partners. I said that I disagreed with his analysis. I said something about the conversation in the Bhagavad Gita and how it indicated union, and then I said something like, Ok, I'm ready for your explanation about how that book indicates many partners. Suddenly he had to go to the restroom! I watched him walk by a few minutes later.
He was looking for interesting conversation. Puh-lease. That man was looking for a conversation he could dominate. The instant I displayed more knowledge about a particular topic, he wasn't as interested in interesting conversation.
I felt offended for a few minutes. Like, wow, he played me. Then I thought, you know -- he didn't actually play me. I talked with him instead of saying, "I'm not interested." I entertained the notion that he could be interested in a real conversation. And then I discovered that my initial suspicion was correct.
Later, I retold the story to someone I trust. I said, "If I'd have practiced the same method in years past that I practiced tonight, I wouldn't have dated certain people. That's part of aging, I suppose -- learning these things."
So does this mean I say, "I'm not interested" to every guy who wants to chat? No. It means that I decide in each moment which conversations I allow to occur. Maybe one day I don't want to talk, so I say, "No thanks." Or, like last night, I may entertain a discussion. Feeling offense at the way he handled the end of the conversation is natural. That was an indirect and disrespectful way to end words. It was also the easiest route for him to take.
I want to say that I learned something from him. I didn't, really. I did learn something about myself through my conversation with him: I feel offense when people indirectly end conversations with me. This offense dissipates. Perhaps some of this offense stems from the idea that I shouldn't have talked with him in the first place. As in, if I'd listened to myself, maybe I'd be writing about something else now. The flip side of that coin is that, had I done it differently, I may not have had the other interactions I had last night. So instead of considering what if, I'll consider that I experienced a way to process offense.
My body got the chance to feel that emotion. My mind allowed my body to feel it, and then my mind started working on ways to alleviate the feeling. I chatted with a lady in the restroom. We briefly discussed men who are not comfortable with women who are smarter than them. Then, as I walked out, I complimented someone on her outfit. Apparently, my way to process offense is to talk about it and then act nice to someone else. I like this method.
Well hello there.