Person 1: ::on the phone:: No, I'd really like to go, but it depends on a few things. Yeah, I'll let ya know. ::Hangs up:: I gotta find someone to go with me.
Person 2: ::sits there staring. Person 1 walks off, or resumes the other business they had. Person 1 continues this in front of Person 2 until they go, a week later.::
I remember doing things like that in middle school. It was the best way to make someone understand that everyone is invited to join in the festivities, except the one person who wasn't asked. Translation: It was the best way to make them want so bad to go, and make them feel so left out in the end.
But, we are not in middle school anymore, for the most part. I am not, all of my friends have long since left that institution, so why then are people still playing these games? Translation: Why can't people just learn to say 'I don't want you to go' or 'I do want you to go but this is just a good friend thing.' Why do they play like they wanted you to go while they're gone, but before they leave it's like you don't even exist as an option?
And people who play these middle school games cannot use the claim that they were waiting for Person 2 to ask if they could come, or to offer themselves up, because most Person 2's wouldn't dream of inviting themselves along, which is exactly what that would be if they asked/offered. Most Person 2's have more dignity than that. If you're not asking, there's a good reason for it.
People can only make you do so much. Translation: people can only 'talk you into' doing something that you've already wanted to do, you just needed/wanted an excuse to do. Other people 'talking you into' it is a great one.
Once people have ‘talked you into’ doing whatever it was that you were doing, you are no longer allowed to long for that which you didn’t do. Translation: if someone ‘talked you into’ going out all night, you are only allowed to feel so much in the way of missing someone or something. Example: If you really wanted to stay in your own bed that night, but someone ‘talked you into’ staying out then you are only allowed to miss your bed so much, because it was your decision, in the end, to stay out.
When you do that to someone, when you leave them out of things deliberately and loudly, you must suffer the consequences. Translation: If Person 2 feels left out, hurt and alone, you must deal with them feeling this when you arrive home also. They are not going to hide their feelings so Person 1 feels better about the decision they made. If the event was not previously marked as ‘friends only,’ or ‘boys/girls night out’ or whatever then Person 2 has every right to feel hurt, lonely and left out and Person 1 must understand this, deal with it, and accept it.
If Person 1 makes a night ‘friends only’ then they must deal with the even worse feelings of Person 2. Translation: If something is made ‘friends only’ and Person 2 does not get invited, then Person 2 has every right to feel even worse than they would if it was given a different label, because that means that Person 1 does not think of them as good enough of a friend to be invited to a ‘friends only’ function.
Person 2 has every right to not sit around and wait for Person 1 to return home. Translation: They have every right to make sure that they are not home when Person 1 is returning, just so Person 1 then has to wait for Person 2, like Person 2 had been doing. Person 2 has every right to go out with their friends, or by themselves, and not invite nor tell Person 1 where they are going so when Person 1 gets home they will simply find them not there. It is Person 2’s prerogative to not be like a dog, waiting patiently for its master to get home.
If Person 1 comes home and starts giving the details of their night/day to Person 2, Person 2 does not have to care. Translation: Person 2 has every right to not inquire about Person 1’s night, as well as not care what Person 1 has to say about it. And if Person 1 does just offer up a description of the night, Person 2 has every right to tune them out, or stare at their forehead and concentrate real hard to pretend they’re listening, instead of actually listening.
Person 2: ::comes home:: Hey
Person 1: ::is doing whatever they’re doing at the house:: Hey. Where were you?
Person 2: Out. ::Person 2 sits on the couch, or in their room, or whever, and starts doing other things.::
Person 1: So, last night we did this, this, and this.
Person 2: ::continues to concentrate solely on what they’re doing. They may throw in a few head nods, ‘uh huh’s and ‘yeah’s but it doesn’t mean that they are actually listening, nor do they have to.::
Now, don’t get me wrong, Person 2 cannot stay hurt, mad or angry for an exceptionally long time, but they do have the right to pull this exact same stunt on Person 1 in the future. Translation: If Person 1 is going to do that to Person 2, and if Person 2 gets over it fairly quick, they have every right to do this exact thing to Person 1 later in life. Example: If Person 2 has a party that they’re going to, they have every right to find someone other than Person 1 to go with, talk about it in front of Person 1, and make it a loud point not to invite Person 1, without making the ‘friends only’ or ‘boys/girls night out’ distinction.
These are the Rules of Engagement as I see them, pertaining to this specific situation.<C