Here’s how I did.
I recently got an OkCupid message from a dude who had been peppering me with “small talk” messages for two weeks. It had gotten to the point where seeing his name in my inbox made me heave a belabored sigh.
As a raging introvert. small talk is something I hate under the best of circumstances. Two weeks straight of non-stop messages on the online dating site that gave me nothing to hold onto was like slow water torture.
I’d been running into more and more guys who want to exchange daily, “Hey, how you doing?” messages.
I’m not one of those people who says, “Let’s just meet right away, none of this extended message stuff!” On the contrary, I like to get to know people a bit before we meet so that when we do we can jump right into talking without the awkward small talk (which we’ve established I hate). But these endless messages that say nothing hold no interest for me.
Consequently, I had simply stopped answering this particular dude. Rude? Probably. But life is short and I just can’t …
Anyway, then I opened my inbox to find this:
Clearly, the gentleman didn’t like being blown off and decided to (what?!) yell at me about it.
Did he think he would change my mind by insulting me and making me feel bad? What?!
First I was annoyed.
And then I was pissed.
I thought of every guy online who’s messaged me over and over, making me feel like they were trying to bully me into going out with them.
I thought of every time I’d ignored strange men talking to me/yelling at me/telling me to smile on the street only to then be asked, “What’s your problem?”
I thought of the guy who, after being told I didn’t want to see him anymore proceeded to ignore my words and continued to text me, demanding that I “stop dicking (him) around.”
And you know what? Fuck’em. ALL of them.
No one deserves to be harassed and everyone should have their boundaries respected, but I’ve been thinking lately about my own specific boundaries. In my quest to better understand people in general and myself, in particular, I’ve been learning more about introverts.
I’ve come to understand a lot about why I am the way I am, but I’ve also been thinking about all the times I’ve been called a “b*tch” for not engaging with men the way they want me to.
I’ve thought about how often I turn up the volume on my iPod or bury my nose further into my book in an attempt to be invisible.
I’ve thought about how often I’ve apologized to men who try to get what they want by berating me for not acting in the way they’d like.
And then I cried (I am me after all) … and blocked this douche, which is something I’d never done on OkCupid before.
I realized that I’ve been blocking folks on Twitter for a while.
Every week or so someone will take offense to my assertions that women are people or that gay people are people or that people who have sex are still people, etc., and try to goad me into one of those ridiculous internet fights.
But that’s not how I interact with people. It just causes me to shut down because I hate it, so I stopped tolerating it instead. And it took me until this final douchebag on OkC for me to carry that action into my real life.
I’m done with feeling shitty for being a “bitch” when I don’t feel comfortable with the way people approach me.
I’m done with living in fear of folks yelling at me. I’m done with all the shit. This is who I am and if it makes you angry that’s your own damn problem.