Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How Not to be a Dick

Darlings,  I wish I knew. It's a daily mantra for me: Don't be a dick. And and important one. One can't always avoid it. It's human nature, I'm quite sure, to be mostly selfish, relatively grasping, as manipulative as one can get away with, and generally a bit of a dick to other people as long as it's making us feel good. Being a grown-up - or some iteration thereof - means recognising those moments as often as possible and, relatively if not equally often, trying to not be said dick. Particularly tough moments arise when we are feeling vulnerable, or defensive. In poly life, you can guess, there are many opportunities for vulnerable and/or defensive moments.

Here are two useful pointers (useful to me, anyway).

  1. You don't know what your partner is thinking. You may be convinced you do. You may know them so well that you can get a pretty good idea of what they're thinking. Still. Unless they say "this is what I think", and articulate their thoughts and/or feelings clearly and you confirm with them that you have understood what they said, you don't know. You have no idea. Don't behave as if you do. Especially don't be a dick because you think you know what they're thinking and it's making you feel vulnerable/defensive.
  2. Your partner doesn't know what you're thinking. They're not a mind-reader. They also can't divine the content of conversation you've had with other partners, or your sister, or your bestie. If you haven't told them something directly, chances are they don't know it. Don't behave as if they do, or should. Don't be a dick because it makes you feel vulnerable or defensive to have to share stuff with them.

We are not mind readers. Communication is key. Yes, we get freaking tired of the constant talking about stuff, and having to repeat yourself three times because you have three partners and each of them needs to be properly filled in on why you are thrilled to bits or a sobbing mess is boring, but it's very very necessary.

Here endeth today's sermon.

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