1325: "Rejection"

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moiraemachy
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby moiraemachy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:29 am UTC

Klear wrote:
Soft Hyphen wrote:Do you call this "emotionally immature"?

Yeah, kinda. Not extremely so, but a bit yes.
Of course not. In the situation described, avoiding contact with the person (no need for a "we can't be friends anymore, ever") seems to me to be the most mature decision. No matter how awesome a person is, or how good friends you were, if being close to someone hurts you, you have the right to not want to be close to that person anymore. You are all sounding so puritanical: "till death do us part" is bullshit in friendships, too.

Less gender-issues charged example: the woman reminds you of your recently diseased grandma.

Of course, if this person could change and became able to make his feeling go away, awesome. But calling people who cannot do this "immature" is bullshit, unless your bar for maturity is "being able to control one's own feeling".

Maturity is about how to deal with feelings, not about which feelings you have.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:32 am UTC

I think you put that far better than I was doing.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:39 am UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah but everybody's not sufficiently something. That doesn't mean that saying so is the same as saying they're "bad people".

You're right; that's why I edited out the idea of "bad person" - it doesn't really fit. It just seems odd that the idea of emotional maturity seems to require a limit on the pain one can allow themselves to feel. Beyond this point, you're no longer ... justified? ... in feeling any emotional distress. It seems sad, somehow.
I wouldn't say it's a limit on how much pain you're allowed to feel, so much as a limit on how much it affects your behavior, maybe?

And it also really is pretty subjective, and like I would never tell someone who'd had a traumatic experience of some kind that they shouldn't change their behavior too much as a result of that trauma. So there's definitely an aspect of it related to what caused the feelings in the first place, but I don't really know who gets to decide what causes are sufficient for what level of behavioral change.

moiraemachy wrote:You are all sounding so puritanical: "till death do us part" is bullshit in friendships, too.
That sure would sound puritanical if anyone were saying it. But no one is saying that there are no legitimate circumstances in which you should end a friendship. I'm sure every single one of us *has* ended friendships for any number of reasons. All some of us are saying is that ending a friendship solely for this particular reason is, at least a little bit, emotionally immature.

Less gender-issues charged example: the woman reminds you of your recently diseased grandma.
Yeah, see, even as someone with four dead grandparents and one dead parent, I have less sympathy for someone who ends a friendship over than that someone who can't deal with the unreciprocated romantic feelings.

Edit - And I can even explain exactly why:
You know what else reminds me of my dead mother? Literally every interaction I have with my family. So ending an otherwise wonderful friendship with someone because they remind me of my mom and that hurts a little bit would be approximately as justified and emotionally mature as cutting off all contact with the rest of my family because holidays have been tough these past 10 years. Which is to say, not justified or emotionally mature at all.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby moiraemachy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:20 am UTC

I guess going back to this will be more useful to the discussion:
gmalivuk wrote:And who's equating "emotionally immature" with "bad"?

The whole "maturity" thing revolves around stuff you shouldn't get wrong after some level of development that you are supposed to reach. So saying a person immature, specially if it is an adult, is not merely a bad thing - it's a "bad thing you should feel guilty for". Of course you can use "maturity" in another way, but I disagree that it would be the best word. In that case, "emotional competence" seems much more accurate and less loaded.

gmalivuk wrote:And it also really is pretty subjective, and like I would never tell someone who'd had a traumatic experience of some kind that they shouldn't change their behavior too much as a result of that trauma.
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, see, even as someone with four dead grandparents and one dead parent, I have less sympathy for someone who ends a friendship over than that someone who can't deal with the unreciprocated romantic feelings.
Everyone's dead grandparents are different in a myriad of ways, so I don't believe in assigning "reasonable pain" like this, and don't feel comfortable telling people that it shouldn't be traumatic.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby addams » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:02 am UTC

"emotional competence"

I like that set of words. You?
It is a nice goal and it can be an adult's normal operating mode.

Everyone fails, sometimes.
Even emotionally competent people will Break, sometimes.

But; To embrace and maintain emotional incompetence at all or most times is....normal, not optimal.
You said it well. We can and should feel bad about any area of incompetence.

Then we should Do something about it, if possible.
I believe I live in a nation that has normalized emotional incompetence.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby blob » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:44 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah but everybody's not sufficiently something. That doesn't mean that saying so is the same as saying they're "bad people".
How many people do you know who, after a break up, have zero problem immediately hanging out with their ex as a friend?

Because in my experience, unless the break up is mutual, the break-upper often has no problem, but the break-uppee requires some space away from the former object of their affections. Maybe all these people are emotionally immature, or maybe needing space away from someone who doesn't reciprocate your feelings is just a natural human condition.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby addams » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:05 am UTC

Hey.
A break up is not the same as a refusal to hook-up.

Look. I learned a new word.
Hook-up.

In the past, I heard the words hook-up and thought, 'mechanical stuff'.
I suppose it still means that. Mechanical attachment. (ho hum)
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:22 am UTC

blob wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah but everybody's not sufficiently something. That doesn't mean that saying so is the same as saying they're "bad people".
How many people do you know who, after a break up, have zero problem immediately hanging out with their ex as a friend?

Because in my experience, unless the break up is mutual, the break-upper often has no problem, but the break-uppee requires some space away from the former object of their affections. Maybe all these people are emotionally immature, or maybe needing space away from someone who doesn't reciprocate your feelings is just a natural human condition.
Needing some space for a bit is not the same thing as ending a friendship, though!
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:27 am UTC

moiraemachy wrote:I guess going back to this will be more useful to the discussion:
gmalivuk wrote:And who's equating "emotionally immature" with "bad"?

The whole "maturity" thing revolves around stuff you shouldn't get wrong after some level of development that you are supposed to reach. So saying a person immature, specially if it is an adult, is not merely a bad thing - it's a "bad thing you should feel guilty for". Of course you can use "maturity" in another way, but I disagree that it would be the best word. In that case, "emotional competence" seems much more accurate and less loaded.

What level of development are you supposed to reach at what moment? Do you think average level of development should count or do you judge each aspect of a person separately? A lot of things affect the level of development at a certain age, the most obvious would be the myriad of factors that induce a development disorder (for example a lot of genetic problems, intoxication at an early stage of development or physical trauma). Would you judge people whose gonads are not functioning yet at a certain age, as that affects aspects of both mental and physical development, probably including emotional development? Are these people supposed to be ashamed? I think they usually are, but I don't think they should be.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby moiraemachy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Are these people supposed to be ashamed? I think they usually are, but I don't think they should be.
I agree. Let me try to rephrase my point: when you say someone is "immature" and do not provide a reason for that (psychological trauma, medical conditions, being young), there is generally a connotation of "well, you should feel shame because you have all the means to become the better person you were supposed to be". Which is different from being "competent" because no one is supposed to be competent at, say, playing guitar unless they proclaim themselves so. I don't like the idea of holding people guilty of their feelings, though I am ok with holding them guilty of how they deal with these feelings.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:05 pm UTC

blob wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah but everybody's not sufficiently something. That doesn't mean that saying so is the same as saying they're "bad people".
How many people do you know who, after a break up, have zero problem immediately hanging out with their ex as a friend?

Because in my experience, unless the break up is mutual, the break-upper often has no problem, but the break-uppee requires some space away from the former object of their affections. Maybe all these people are emotionally immature, or maybe needing space away from someone who doesn't reciprocate your feelings is just a natural human condition.


Well, the situation which was described seemed to take quite some time. Enough time for the girl to find a boyfriend after the rejection, have him treat her bad and break up with him again, and then complain about it for some time.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:21 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:All some of us are saying is that ending a friendship solely for this particular reason is, at least a little bit, emotionally immature.

I suppose we just fundamentally disagree then.

moiraemachy said it best: Maturity is about how to deal with feelings, not about which feelings you have.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to be able to control one's own emotions, including when the emotions are painful. Making a choice to avoid such feelings, at the cost of losing some other, positive feelings, is, if made with thought and foresight, one of the most mature decisions a person can make.

You example of your family seems, at first glance, irrelevant, because you've already made the decision that continuing the relationship has more positives than negatives. But only you get to assign the emotional values; if someone else decides for themselves that the pain outweighs the gain, how is it immature to avoid the pain?

Again, unless "emotional maturity" can in some way be equated to "being able to control one's feelings" (not actions!) than I can't possibly agree.

I think ending a friendship because an attempt to make it romantic failed can be (though isn't necessarily) a perfectly mature response.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:I think ending a friendship because an attempt to make it romantic failed can be (though isn't necessarily) a perfectly mature response.


A year or more after the initial rejection? At least that's what I got from the presented case and it seems too long for not being able to move on and too long for ending the friendship all of the sudden.

Edit: I mean, it could happen that the friends just slowly drift away and the rejection could be for blame, but in the above situation it's that they are good friends for quite a while when suddenly the guy stops the friendship unilaterally.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:moiraemachy said it best: Maturity is about how to deal with feelings, not about which feelings you have.
Quite. And ending a friendship is a way to deal with feelings, which some of us believe is emotionally immature.

Klear wrote:A year or more after the initial rejection?
Also this. That's the impression I got as well, from the scenario described, which is why blob's "immediately" question didn't make any sense. We're not talking about hanging out as just friends for the remainder of the same evening that began with romantic rejection.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:51 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote: And ending a friendship is a way to deal with feelings, which some of us believe is emotionally immature.

Beyond that and "though it out and continue the relationship with is more painful than positive", I don't see many options.

What would you suggest? Hypnosis? Drugs? A lobotomy?

(Some of my snark showing through, but the question is genuine. What is an emotionally mature response?)

Why is length of time to come to the decision relevant? I took the "long route" example to better flesh out the feelings and affirm they're not just temporary, but the same decision can be made much more quickly - in fact, immediately - if the person in question understands themselves well enough to know that the long term result would be this.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:26 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Needing some space for a bit is not the same thing as ending a friendship, though!


I think I'm starting to see the bigger point of gmalivuk's and Klear's arguments, and I think this quote sums it up. The emotional immaturity can be thought of as stemming not from the idea that you need to continue a relationship that's more painful than positive. In general, I think people would agree that if the negatives outweigh the positives, you need to get out from that situation. The bigger problem, perhaps, lies in the assessment that emotions can never change, and thus that this friendship must end now and forever, because it can never be good again.

But I've been thinking a lot lately, and I realized that this is wrong. I'm not the most emotionally mature person, but I went through a situation a lot like this. When I was younger, I had very strong feelings for a woman who made it clear that she wasn't interested. And I went through that angry phase, which I regret now, and then through a sad phase, which lasted for a while. But when I look at her now, I still have some of those feelings, but they've changed. She's married, has two very cute young children, and generally seems to be doing very well. And that genuinely makes me happy and, in a way, glad that she didn't change her mind for me. I'm not sure I could have been what she wanted. But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was the regret that I just stopped talking to her. I lost what could have been a good friendship now because of the pain then that eventually went away.

So the emotional immaturity is in saying "this friendship cannot be salvaged. There is too much pain, and I know it will never subside, so I can't let it go on at all." But emotional maturity is realizing that feelings can change, and that the pain is not eternal. So, in the hypothetical, take some time away. That's a good decision. Maybe it takes a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years, but down the road, you may realize that the friendship was the better thing after all. And maybe you realize that the friendship isn't so damaged as you thought. But at least you left the door open to resuming that friendship, because you realized that there was something worth holding on to. Or, perhaps the other side happens - you take some time to get some space, and then you drift apart. But in that case, the friendship doesn't end because you can't stand being with her, the friendship ends because your common interests weren't as strong as you thought they were. And that's how friendships generally end. It's not a happy thing to have happen, but it's honest - sometimes paths diverge, and people drift apart.

Either way, one of the better take-home points that I didn't see just a day or so ago is that when someone says you're being emotionally immature, don't treat it as a final judgment. While it does mean that you're not at that stage of emotional development that is to be desired, it certainly doesn't mean that you'll never get there. You're just not there yet.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:40 pm UTC

Yeah, I think that pretty well hits the nail on the head.

Soft Hyphen wrote:
gmalivuk wrote: And ending a friendship is a way to deal with feelings, which some of us believe is emotionally immature.
Beyond that and "though it out and continue the relationship with is more painful than positive", I don't see many options.
One option is wait until it isn't so painful any more. Which is something that should happen with literally any event that causes grief. And no, you don't need hypnosis or drugs or brain surgery for that to happen, but if rejection is still too painful a year or more later, some sort of therapy may indeed be indicated.

Why is length of time to come to the decision relevant? I took the "long route" example to better flesh out the feelings and affirm they're not just temporary, but the same decision can be made much more quickly - in fact, immediately - if the person in question understands themselves well enough to know that the long term result would be this.
Waiting may make it an intellectually more mature reaction than deciding immediately, but it doesn't make it more emotionally mature. It's emotionally immature because it's still predicated on the idea that the pain of rejection will never lessen for the rest of time. It's emotionally immature because it's the position that complete avoidance is the best way to deal with the pain of a rejection that happened a year or more ago.

Edit:
moiraemachy wrote:Everyone's dead grandparents are different in a myriad of ways, so I don't believe in assigning "reasonable pain" like this, and don't feel comfortable telling people that it shouldn't be traumatic.
Perhaps, but I most definitely *do* feel comfortable telling people that a year-old rejection shouldn't be traumatic.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:23 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:if rejection is still too painful a year or more later, some sort of therapy may indeed be indicated.

To accomplish what? Salvaging the friendship? Doesn't have to be worth it.

It's emotionally immature because it's the position that complete avoidance is the best way to deal with the pain of a rejection that happened a year or more ago.

But complete avoidance is the best way to deal with pain of a rejection, in the case I described. How is it immature to take the most expedient path to one's goal?

You claim there is something better, but you haven't specified it beyond something vague about "therapy", and you seem to be focussing on the fact that you shouldn't be feeling this way in the first place, and thus implying that there is something wrong or deficient about a person who does. Which I think is unfair and unrealistic.

Perhaps, but I most definitely *do* feel comfortable telling people that a year-old rejection shouldn't be traumatic.

That seems emotionally immature to me: You don't feel the same way I would about something, therefore there's something wrong with you.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:39 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:if rejection is still too painful a year or more later, some sort of therapy may indeed be indicated.
To accomplish what? Salvaging the friendship? Doesn't have to be worth it.
There's a reason I said "may".

How is it immature to take the most expedient path to one's goal?
As I said, it may not be illogical or intellectually immature. I'm maintaining that it is emotionally immature. (Also, taking this sentence on it's own? Of course it is often immature to take the most expedient path to one's goal, such as if you value your own convenience over other people's well-being or long-term consequences. That could almost be a definition of immaturity!)

You claim there is something better, but you haven't specified it beyond something vague about "therapy", and you seem to be focussing on the fact that you shouldn't be feeling this way in the first place, and thus implying that there is something wrong or deficient about a person who does. Which I think is unfair and unrealistic.
Think of it like a physical injury, then: if you injured your arm a year ago and it sill hurts too much to move, you should seek medical attention. I'm not implying that there is something wrong with you as a person for your arm continuing to hurt, but I am contending that it shouldn't still hurt that much and that you should seek professional help if it does.

Perhaps, but I most definitely *do* feel comfortable telling people that a year-old rejection shouldn't be traumatic.
That seems emotionally immature to me: You don't feel the same way I would about something, therefore there's something wrong with you.
That would be immature, if it were what I said, or if that were my reasoning behind it.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:18 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Think of it like a physical injury, then: if you injured your arm a year ago and it sill hurts too much to move, you should seek medical attention. I'm not implying that there is something wrong with you as a person for your arm continuing to hurt, but I am contending that it shouldn't still hurt that much and that you should seek professional help if it does.

Fair enough I guess. But then "emotional immaturity" doesn't seem like good phrasing. I'd even go so far to call it misleading.

And if, post-injury, my arm only hurts when I try to open a tight jar lid with that arm, and I can either spend thousands on physical therapy or risky surgery which is not guaranteed to work, or I can buy one of those jar-opening thingies from the store for ten bucks and solve my problem that way, I don't think here's anything immature about weighing pros and cons and deciding on the latter.

Also, this analogy is shit and I know it. I don't think I can think up a better one right now.

That would be immature, if it were what I said, or if that were my reasoning behind it.

If that statement sounds like a strawman, it's because I really can't figure out how you can say "emotion X is an appropriate/inappropriate response to event/situation Y" without it being based in personal experience inappropriately projected onto someone else.

Well, okay, with the arm-injury thing, I guess it's more clear, but I still wouldn't call that "immature". That's like calling someone with a phobia of the ocean and deciding to live far inland "immature" for not instead going though a long and painful therapy so that they can enjoy swimming in the ocean, even though their new property backs onto a beautiful small river where they enjoy swimming every day.

I'm sure you can pick that analogy apart, too, but I actually like that one. :) Much better than the jar thing.

By the way, some of the words you use, like "traumatic" are strawmannish the other way. I never used "trauma" in my example and I didn't mean it that way. The fact that you use it tells me you're not really understanding what I'm saying.

To sum: I think we have different intellectual bins for appropriate and inappropriate human responses.

People react differently. I don't think it's right to tell a person there is a feeling they shouldn't have, or that their feeling shouldn't last as long as it does. That's for them to decide. "Emotional maturity" to me is being able to react to one's own feelings to optimize them in the longer term. Sometimes that just means waiting for an unpleasant feeling to pass. Sometimes it means getting oneself into therapy. Sometimes it does mean taking drugs. And sometimes it just means ending a relationship. An emotionally immature response is one that leads to greater harm, either to oneself or others, because of an inability to interpret or react to one's own emotions. And emotionally mature response is one that improves one's emotional well-being while minimizing harm to oneself and others.

Cutting out a person out of your life, not because they did anything wrong, but because of your own emotional reaction to them, is therefore not immature.

Anyway, this may be my last post on this topic. Actually reading the whole thread has been exhausting. Fascinating, but exhausting. And a little depressing. Reading about what people think is or should be appropriate behaviour, what responses typically cause emotional distress and which don't, just leads me to the conclusion that finding a romantic partner for myself is going to be ridiculously hard. I sometimes feel like I'm a different species to the people around me; they just don't make sense.

Nowhere is it more clear than ins communities like this, where the participants are clearly intelligent and experienced. I used to think that I was "different" just because I was a nerd who liked to read and just think about things a lot. But meeting other nerds, I realise I'm still different. I haven't had much luck in relationships. This thread has been an enlightening look into what intelligent people think makes for appropriate courtship and... well, let's just say say I'm screwed. Not in the good way.

So, it's been interesting, but I think I'm done for now. I'll go find something to cheer myself up with. IT does seem like the emotionally mature thing to do.

Though I'm sure someone will disagree.

Smiley face to end this on a positive note: :D

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:By the way, some of the words you use, like "traumatic" are strawmannish the other way. I never used "trauma" in my example and I didn't mean it that way. The fact that you use it tells me you're not really understanding what I'm saying.
What the fact that I used it should have told you is that I was replying to moiraemachy. (The fact that it said "moiraemachy wrote" before the quote box preceding my use of the word should also have told you that.)
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:31 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Soft Hyphen wrote:By the way, some of the words you use, like "traumatic" are strawmannish the other way. I never used "trauma" in my example and I didn't mean it that way. The fact that you use it tells me you're not really understanding what I'm saying.
What the fact that I used it should have told you is that I was replying to moiraemachy. (The fact that it said "moiraemachy wrote" before the quote box preceding my use of the word should also have told you that.)

Apologies. It was an honest mistake, and please disregard what I said.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:54 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:But complete avoidance is the best way to deal with pain of a rejection, in the case I described. How is it immature to take the most expedient path to one's goal?


So is suicide. I'm joking, don't.

Anyway, better than waiting it out is finding someone else. Do you remember Romeo and Juliet? It begins with Romeo being hopelessly in love, so his friends take him to a party where he meets Juilet and immediately forgets about the previous girl. And everything works out just fine hilarity ensues it works in reality too, sometimes even without the bloodshed.

Of course, when you are unhappily in love, this and all other advices will fall on deaf ears and it's normal. I'd say reacting to rejection with a cold though "oh well, here we go again, time to find another" is not so much a sign of emotional maturity, as of descent into cynicism.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Kit. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:11 pm UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:
Kit. wrote:There is no emotionally mature reason to break your friendship just because your request for closer intimacy was rejected.

Hypothetical:

I'm long-time friends with a woman. I realise that I have romantic feelings for her, and tell her so, hoping she'll be amenable to a more intimate relationship.

She says no; that she simply doesn't see me that way, and wants to remain friends. I say okay, because I genuinely think that's reasonable. At first.

Over time, I find that any time I'm with her - in my capacity as her friend - I continue to think of all her attractive qualities, of what my life could be if she were my romantic partner.
...
Do you call this "emotionally immature"?

Either that or just plain stupid. She said no.

You have good feelings that you can enjoy without making yourself neurotic about them. You have the life that you already live, not a life that "could be if" something in your past were a bit different.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby omgryebread » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:28 pm UTC

Let me put it this way:

If someone ended a friendship because I rejected a romantic relationship, it merely confirms that I made the right decision in rejecting them. Firstly, if you don't highly value me as a friend, why do you want to date me? If you don't want to hang out with me as a friend, why do you want to hang out with me as something more than that? The only answer I can really come up with is "to fuck."

And then, it poisons the entire friendship. If the friendship isn't worth maintaining after I reject a romance, was the friendship merely a warm-up to a further relationship for you? Again, was the entire point of hanging out with me to get in my pants?

I'm not begrudging anyone a little time apart to get over the awkwardness, but if you cut me out of your life because you can't think of me as a friend, then I do not want you as a romantic partner.


I think that's a pretty universal sentiment.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:38 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:I think that's a pretty universal sentiment.

Just popping back in to quickly say:

No, it absolutely is not. I wouldn't be surprised it if were in the minority. I have had discussions which seem like an evil-alternate-universe version of this one, where many, many people have argued with me that being friends after an attempt at romance can't possibly work and is unhealthy.

I don't hold this view myself, but it's there, and it's popular. So you're categorically wrong about that.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby addams » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:36 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:Let me put it this way:

If someone ended a friendship because I rejected a romantic relationship, it merely confirms that I made the right decision in rejecting them. Firstly, if you don't highly value me as a friend, why do you want to date me? If you don't want to hang out with me as a friend, why do you want to hang out with me as something more than that? The only answer I can really come up with is "to fuck."

And then, it poisons the entire friendship. If the friendship isn't worth maintaining after I reject a romance, was the friendship merely a warm-up to a further relationship for you? Again, was the entire point of hanging out with me to get in my pants?

I'm not begrudging anyone a little time apart to get over the awkwardness, but if you cut me out of your life because you can't think of me as a friend, then I do not want you as a romantic partner.


I think that's a pretty universal sentiment.

I agree with you.

Of course, human relationships are complicated.
I had a friend one time. It's true! I did.

I sometimes had to remind my friend.
"Remember. I still Love you."

I really can't listen to the details of your other friendships, sometimes.
It really is, just, you.

I can listen to other people's details and laugh my ass off.
People are fucking funny.


Is the friendship of value to you?
Are you of any value to your friend?

My friend liked being loved.
So; My friend was careful with my feelings.

That did not change our mutual interest is loads of other stuff.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Kite » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:14 am UTC

Soft Hyphen wrote:
omgryebread wrote:I think that's a pretty universal sentiment.

No, it absolutely is not. I wouldn't be surprised it if were in the minority. I have had discussions which seem like an evil-alternate-universe version of this one, where many, many people have argued with me that being friends after an attempt at romance can't possibly work and is unhealthy.

Yeah, this. It's not an uncommon sentiment at all, and plenty of 'normal' people share it -- not just sleazy PUA types or bitter internet misogynists. Honestly, the fact that you can't see a legitimate reason for ending a friendship after a rejection tells me you just don't get it -- either you've never been in that situation or you handled it so differently that you're finding it hard to empathize. This isn't to criticize you at all (though do I find the language used by others in this thread, not you, to be needlessly judgmental and to betray a lack of appreciation for the complexity of feelings and relationships), I just want to make it clear to anyone reading this thread who does struggle with this sort of thing that most people won't judge you for ending a friendship after you've been rejected. It's unfortunate but sometimes it's the right thing to do. On the flip side, if someone distances themselves from you after you shoot them down, it absolutely doesn't mean the friendship meant nothing, even though it still hurts.

Relationships are hard, feelings are complicated, and once that cat's out of the bag you can't always put him back in. To me calling someone emotionally immature for something that happens even to healthy, well-adjusted adults is unrealistic and excessively harsh.

(I'd be happy to write more about this if anyone wants to talk about it, but I'm trying not to dump any walls of text where they're not wanted.)

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:42 am UTC

Kite wrote:Relationships are hard, feelings are complicated, and once that cat's out of the bag you can't always put him back in. To me calling someone emotionally immature for something that happens even to healthy, well-adjusted adults is unrealistic and excessively harsh.


Once again, we were calling emotionally immature (or, to get my actual quote: "Yeah, kinda. Not extremely so, but a bit yes.") if you suddenly end the friendship a year or more after the rejection, being unable to move on all that time.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:51 am UTC

Klear wrote:
Kite wrote:Relationships are hard, feelings are complicated, and once that cat's out of the bag you can't always put him back in. To me calling someone emotionally immature for something that happens even to healthy, well-adjusted adults is unrealistic and excessively harsh.


Once again, we were calling emotionally immature (or, to get my actual quote: "Yeah, kinda. Not extremely so, but a bit yes.") if you suddenly end the friendship a year or more after the rejection, being unable to move on all that time.

Something still rubs me the wrong way about this kind of statement. If a year is too long, what's the statute of limitations, your honor?

As I said earlier, I do think you could make a case that it's emotionally immature to just cut off a friendship all at once because you think the pain will never go away, but at the same time, I think it's presumptuous to put time limits on someone else's pain, too.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:29 am UTC

As with pretty much everything in the real world, a distinction between two things can exist without being able to decide on the precise point when one becomes the other.

Is it okay to take home a penny you find on the sidewalk? Is it okay to do the same with a briefcase full of $100 bills? Can you see that one is different from the other without picking a precise tipping point?
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:51 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:As with pretty much everything in the real world, a distinction between two things can exist without being able to decide on the precise point when one becomes the other.

Is it okay to take home a penny you find on the sidewalk? Is it okay to do the same with a briefcase full of $100 bills? Can you see that one is different from the other without picking a precise tipping point?

Even if you're not setting a precise tipping point, you're setting one nonetheless: five days is OK, five months is too long. One week is OK, one year is too long. Even if you don't say "17 days", you've got a ballpark in mind, and who gave you the right to set such a tipping point for my pain? You mentioned dealing with a deceased parent earlier in the thread. If I told you that two days, or two weeks, or two months was too long to grieve, even if I fully believed that, who the hell am I to pass judgment on your grief?

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby blob » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:17 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:Let me put it this way:

If someone ended a friendship because I rejected a romantic relationship, it merely confirms that I made the right decision in rejecting them. Firstly, if you don't highly value me as a friend, why do you want to date me? If you don't want to hang out with me as a friend, why do you want to hang out with me as something more than that? The only answer I can really come up with is "to fuck."
Avenue Q features an entire song where a (female!) character decides she can't 'waste' any more time on a guy who rejected her.

By your logic, the only reason she wanted to hang out with him was to fuck. I find that quite amusing.

gmalivuk wrote:
blob wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah but everybody's not sufficiently something. That doesn't mean that saying so is the same as saying they're "bad people".
How many people do you know who, after a break up, have zero problem immediately hanging out with their ex as a friend?

Because in my experience, unless the break up is mutual, the break-upper often has no problem, but the break-uppee requires some space away from the former object of their affections. Maybe all these people are emotionally immature, or maybe needing space away from someone who doesn't reciprocate your feelings is just a natural human condition.
Needing some space for a bit is not the same thing as ending a friendship, though!
Sure, but it's likely to dial it down.

I've never formally 'ended' a friendship, yet there are plenty of people I see much less than I used to due either to circumstance (e.g. distance) or just mutual lack of effort.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Kit. » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:54 am UTC

blob wrote:Avenue Q features an entire song where a (female!) character decides she can't 'waste' any more time on a guy who rejected her.

By your logic, the only reason she wanted to hang out with him was to fuck. I find that quite amusing.

I haven't watched the show, but after reading the plot on Wikipedia, I find your comment quite amusing.

Not sure if you are serious, though.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

I stayed friendly with my ex for a couple of years, and then kinda drifted apart after that. I'm still not sure whether staying friends was the right decision (never mind emotionally mature/immature) - though if a similar situation came up in future, I'd probably make the same choice, for whatever that's worth.

If someone drags out a friendship for a year after being rejected before recognising that, like any open wound, it won't get better until it's allowed to heal without being picked at, then, yeah, I'd say there's a certain lack of emotional maturity there - but in dragging things out so long, not in deciding to walk away.

There are ways and ways of walking away - I'm not a fan of burning your bridges behind you, but there are situations where keeping a way back is the worse option since it allows the hope that they'll "come to their senses". And, depending on the friendship, "taking time" and avoiding them for a month or so can be functionally equivalent to ending the friendship entirely...

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:50 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:As with pretty much everything in the real world, a distinction between two things can exist without being able to decide on the precise point when one becomes the other.

Is it okay to take home a penny you find on the sidewalk? Is it okay to do the same with a briefcase full of $100 bills? Can you see that one is different from the other without picking a precise tipping point?

Even if you're not setting a precise tipping point, you're setting one nonetheless: five days is OK, five months is too long. One week is OK, one year is too long. Even if you don't say "17 days", you've got a ballpark in mind, and who gave you the right to set such a tipping point for my pain? You mentioned dealing with a deceased parent earlier in the thread. If I told you that two days, or two weeks, or two months was too long to grieve, even if I fully believed that, who the hell am I to pass judgment on your grief?


No, gmalivuk is perfectly right. There is no tipping point. And who gave me right? I'm describing what I think is emotionally immature. I'm not even talking about you, I'm talking about the theoretical situation posted by Soft Hyphen. Seriously, read that again. I think you're losing focus on what's being discussed. I don't give a fuck about your pain, mainly because I'm not talking about your pain and as far as I know there is no pain, as we are all talking hypothetically.

Oh, and another point - drifting away from each other, the friendship dying "on its own" and such is perfectly fine. We are objecting to the original hypothetical (linked above) where the guy suddenly ends the friendship out of the blue.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:29 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:Even if you're not setting a precise tipping point, you're setting one nonetheless: five days is OK, five months is too long. One week is OK, one year is too long. Even if you don't say "17 days", you've got a ballpark in mind, and who gave you the right to set such a tipping point for my pain? You mentioned dealing with a deceased parent earlier in the thread. If I told you that two days, or two weeks, or two months was too long to grieve, even if I fully believed that, who the hell am I to pass judgment on your grief?
No, some things really don't have tipping points. It's just not in their nature to have such a thing.

And in any case, let's return again to the physical pain analogy. Am I wrong to suggest that you talk to a doctor if, say, you feel intense nausea for a year? Or do I need medical training to say that?
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And in any case, let's return again to the physical pain analogy. Am I wrong to suggest that you talk to a doctor if, say, you feel intense nausea for a year? Or do I need medical training to say that?


I think it should be noted that the first step should definitely be "talk to somebody about it", doesn't have to be a psychologist right off the bat. Friends in particular have that in their "job description".

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby addams » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:12 am UTC

Klear wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:And in any case, let's return again to the physical pain analogy. Am I wrong to suggest that you talk to a doctor if, say, you feel intense nausea for a year? Or do I need medical training to say that?


I think it should be noted that the first step should definitely be "talk to somebody about it", doesn't have to be a psychologist right off the bat. Friends in particular have that in their "job description".

Yes. It is part of the "Job Description".
In my experience it is one of the fun parts of the Job.

If you require that your friends don't laugh,
You have unrealistic requirements.

When someone says, "A funny thing happened between us."
I am more than willing to take them at their word.


What kind of funny thing?
You did What??

Well...Do you think it will change your friendship?
Moving? Where? Why? oh.

It seems that is going to change your friendship with me, too.

Spoiler:
Have you ever lost a friend because they started sleeping with an Asshole?
Those Assholes might not look like Assholes in the right light.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby omgryebread » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:24 pm UTC

blob wrote:Avenue Q features an entire song where a (female!) character decides she can't 'waste' any more time on a guy who rejected her.

By your logic, the only reason she wanted to hang out with him was to fuck. I find that quite amusing.
When you're looking for models of healthy relationships, maybe a musical about people who are explicitly not emotionally mature isn't the best source. And besides, Kate isn't fitting into the hypothetical we're talking about. As far as I can remember, she and Princeton didn't have much of a pre-existing non-romantic relationship.

I've never formally 'ended' a friendship, yet there are plenty of people I see much less than I used to due either to circumstance (e.g. distance) or just mutual lack of effort.
I don't think anyone has a problem with this. I am talking about (I'm pretty sure gmal is as well) situations in which you explicitly avoid this person because they rejected your romantic interest.

Let's say I really want to player laser tag with my friend. He doesn't want to, though. I don't call him to hang out next time either, because I want to play laser tag. That's okay! It's even okay if we hang out less now, because I've been getting really into laser tag and he's now into experimental jazz operas. Maybe i don't call him for a while, because it's gonna be awkward, since we'd just be sort of pretending that I never asked him to laser tag.

Then he calls me up, and wants to go hula hooping, an activity we both enjoy. And I tell him "NO! I don't want to hang out with you unless we play laser tag!" Well then, that's pretty immature of me. Maybe I wasn't such a good friend in the first place. I ruined a friendship because of my inability to think of this guy as anything but a laser tag partner.
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