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25 July 2013 @ 10:10 am
Followup to yesterday's post/email: The guy responded right away to apologize, take responsibility for his actions, acknowledge that didn't have a clear memory of the evening, apologize again, and generally be a stand-up person in the aftermath of a fuck up. I'm very satisfied with the result and glad I wrote the email, and it supports my impression that he was a basically good person making a misstep, rather than a Bad Character.

I also (oh, social training, fuck you very much) find myself feeling bad for him, and vaguely guilty for making his life harder. He was a kind of socially awkward but pretty nice person who seemed a little insecure, and I imagine that this is going to make him MORE socially awkward and that makes me feel bad and wish I could give him a hug and pat him on the back and say, "Oh, it's totally okay now, everything's fine, don't worry about it!" I'm not going to, because it's not my job and I'm not responsible for his experience, but it is SO HARD for me to remove myself from doing that kind of social facilitation sometimes. Ugh.
I'm feeling: productiveproductive
blkblk on July 25th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I was wondering how your awesome message would be received.

And I definitely hear you on the social training stupidness. I'm not sure I would be able to remove myself from that end, even though I know it's not good for anybody.
cheveux sable with earworm rampant: gospel of pantslcohen on July 25th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
it's not your job, but also it would totally undercut all the good work that you did. i think that ... a lot of people who are probably mostly women often do that--take the brave step of calling someone on their behaviour and then at least partially negate the message by rewarding the offender with caretaking.

your e-mail to him had a lot of positive feedback about him being interesting and fun to talk with and you having an enjoyable experience, initially. i hope that can be part of his postitive takeaway.
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on July 25th, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
that was an impressively clear, kind, and thorough letter that went above and beyond necessary social interaction. i'm so glad it was taken in the best way possible.

and yes, it's so hard to let go of that feeling of responsibility for other people's experiences.
harimad on July 25th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
oh, social training, fuck you very much

So true! [multiple examples removed as unnecessary - we all know what we're talking about]

Good for you for not saying "it's OK now." Because while he likely will do better in the future, what he did in the past wasn't OK and you would be doing him a disservice if you let him think otherwise.
Chris Xnminusone on July 25th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
> [...] vaguely guilty for making his life harder.
>[...] and I imagine that this is going to make him MORE socially awkward

I don't know the guy but based on his response I'd guess he was pretty glad to get your honest and straightforward constructive criticism. Not many people would've been so kind. If the resulting growth includes pain that's just life, not your fault at all.
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on July 25th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update--I've been curious, too.

Glad you're resisting the urge to soothe.
Kcatkcatalyst on July 25th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know what happened. And good job resisting the "make it nice" impulse!
Ees Mee: selfimvfd on July 26th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
I imagine that this is going to make him MORE socially awkward

Maybe. Or it might have the opposite effect because he screwed and then got a compassionate email from you about it, letting him know what "the rules of social engagement" are. Knowing the rules can make a lot of awkward go away. And if he read the piece you linked to and internalized it, that's likely to help too. People who are overtly into consent are kinda hot. You did a lot for this guy, so hoping that your brain gives you a rest from feeling bad for him.
metaphortunate sonmetaphortunate on July 27th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, I came here to say that too. Yay for doing the hard thing and having it work out!
veek on July 26th, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
What a lovely outcome.

And while the guilt can go DIAF, the feeling bad for him and the compulsion to help him feel better sounds like compassion to me!
Madame Blue aka Pygmentsweetmmeblue on August 1st, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
Ok, I'm here where you are
I was in one of these, kinda, last night and I feel badly for him and want to give him the benefit of the doubt and find a way to make it better and see if this is about me. I'd love some advice on how you went about writing him in the first place as I have to write one of these emails, if you have any.
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on August 5th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Ok, I'm here where you are
Basically, in writing the email, I tried to be gentle and assume best intentions/ignorance rather than ill intent or malice on his part, and within that framework, I tried to make it clear a) what wasn't okay with me, b) why it wasn't okay, and c) what I wanted him to do about it.