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Usually they pursue me pretty hard, inviting me to things and politely but persistently trying to schedule friend-dates. I also wonder why I seem to attract oblivious quasi-groupies when I am definitely not the cool one in my friend group and also I am really not that nice to people I don’t like.Usually we are socially connected so there’s no ghosting on them forever (also that’s mean), and also it means bearing the burden of showing up at a real friend’s party and having not-my-friend be super excited to see me and be all “it is so awesome to see you, we need to catch up! Like, I’m not an asshole (I hope), but no one could claim that I lead these not-friends on; it’s not like I say “omg we def need to catch up but I’m just soooo busy rn,” I’m more like “sorry, can’t make it! Got a script for saying “no I don’t want to hang out with you and it’s not that I’m busy, I just don’t want to” without making it a Huge Deal?
You’re not a robot and socialization runs deep, so it’s okay if psyching yourself up to say “no” and/or hearing “no” to an invitation stings your feelings, as long as you understand that it’s your job to manage your own hurt feelings here.
We are socialized to see saying a simple “No” to something we don’t want to do as possibly “being mean.” It actually takes practice and effort to get past this socialization. It’s something that definitely becomes more pronounced along power lines, for example: Men have got to learn how to hear it from women.
Some other ways to say a direct “No thanks:” ” responses for the people where you’d actually love to get together another time. White women have got to learn how to hear it from women of color.
Hi I don’t know you so I definitely don’t want to see your vacation photos nor you to see mine.” We have clear scripts for “I don’t want to date you” or “We are broken up now” with romantic partners but not “We are friend-broken-up or never-friends in the first place.” Why African Violets?
They are lovely plants with no hidden “I don’t like you” meanings as far as I know, I just have a terrible personal history of getting them as a gift from my green thumb mom or grandma or aunts and then killing them stone dead.
They are fiddly and require too much maintenance (for me) to keep them alive.