Is a little tact too much to hope for?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:11 AM GMT
    So, where to start? Well, OK, first off, I'm in the process of making new friends. All my close friends have moved to new towns in the last two years. The second important piece of information, I've met a guy I really like.

    So, I told some of my new friends about the guy I like. And there response was "Really? Ewww!" Which basically, I verbally bitch slapped them and told them to fuck off.

    So, this isn't a "should I go for him or not" thread. Cause I like him.

    The question is, whatever happened to common sense? Thinking before you speak? Simple Tact? I mean seriously, I've had really close friends, and I didn't approve of their signifigant other. I still kept my mouth shut. The closest I ever got was maybe when we were all drunk saying "You know, I don't like the way your boyfriend slurps his drink..." But I would never say his boyfriend is gross. I'm pretty sure that Ms. Manners is dead. Lets all have a moment of silence....
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:13 AM GMT
    Obviously, that should become a benchmark for the new friendships worth keeping.
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:25 AM GMT
    Since just about all my mates are str8. There has been a lot of women in my life, that I have just hated. But I do my best not to be rude to them, or put them dawn to my mate. But then. I too don't have to be verbal to say anything.

    But I myself don't really care, what others may think. As I am my own boss, captain of my soul. A lot of my friends find it hard to understand, how, One can have two long term boyfriends. But.....they know me, and see the paradox, in this.

    But when my Russian bf. was last dawn in Oz. People just loved him, and were very sad, when he had to go back home to Russia.
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    Apr 29, 2008 6:35 AM GMT
    Tact died back when Michael Jackson was black.



    Good question though. I think that there are a few people left in the world with a sense of decency. We should gather them all together, start a community or something.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Apr 29, 2008 7:20 AM GMT
    Maybe it's just me, but if I ask my friends a question or opinion, I want them to be brutally honest and, trust me, they usually are.
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    Apr 29, 2008 7:35 AM GMT
    My close friends usually do away with tact and the social tango. Which is good. Where else would I be able to get honest opinions?
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    Apr 29, 2008 8:12 AM GMT
    "Tactless": its what happens when the brain leaves the body before the words leave the mouth.

    I remember when I was stuck in traffic one night on is a small tourist Georgia town on a main strip. A woman honked her horn at a redneck in front of her .. he yelled back "HAVE SOME PATIENCE YOU G*D*MNED BI*CH!!"
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    Apr 29, 2008 8:13 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidMaybe it's just me, but if I ask my friends a question or opinion, I want them to be brutally honest and, trust me, they usually are.


    Oh, here we go again: the thread about "is honesty in all things a sign of integrity or just stupid narcissism?"

    I thought we settled that. It's narcissism, and nasty stuff at that. Using one's own "purity" as an excuse to indulge in the pleasure of making someone else feel bad while we get to feel all virtuous.

    Ugh.
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    Apr 29, 2008 8:18 AM GMT
    Hm... there IS a difference between being tactless and being honest.
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    Apr 29, 2008 8:25 AM GMT
    This should be prefaced by saying it comes from my experience, which may not be everyone's.

    An untested friendship is like the Bush administration's policy on terror, bullshit.

    At its most fundamental level friendship IS a process of testing, of revelation. Intimacy is not something to expect (like right-of-way) it is something to build and then to give like a very fine present.

    Surely there are less dramatic ways to test friendships but the three best are a) change in economic circumstances for either party b) death of someone at close distance to the relationship c) getting into a serious relationship.

    What happens in serious relationships is that there starts to be a phenomenon of reflected light. The light from the moon is different from the light from the sun (and I think there is a reason that love songs talk about moonlight so often).

    When a relationship becomes more than the sum of its parts then it stands to reason that the parts change too, and that change really puts friendships to the test.

    In my own personal experience few relationships have survived into my long term partnership either for me or my partner. In some cases this effect has been immediate (a lot of people who didn't like me or didn't like him) and in other cases it has been much longer and more subtle.

    Is Miss Manners dead? "I verbally bitch slapped them and told them to fuck off."

    If what I wish to obtain is confirmation of my choices, support in my happiness, etc. then it is up to me to be extremely judicious in protecting my own feelings.

    I can hardly blame people for giving me their opinion when I have asked them for it. Neither can I allow myself to believe that someone else's failure to lie to me about their opinion is tantamount to a lack of tact on their part.

    A better question, in my opinion, might be do I need outside validation for my relationship choices and why?

    The last bit comes from me experience as well. Relationship choices aren't democratic. We are gay men living in modern (maybe post modern) Western civilization (if we wish to call it that) and it is impossible to imagine that a relationship choice is subject to the rules of presentation and consensus.

    I chose my partner and he chose me. We have to live with our choices and we have to live the consequences of our choices including the disapproval of friends and family and/or the long, slow slog of earning the trust of people who really do matter (it took me eight and three quarters years to obtain an invitation to his parents house for Christmas.)

    The beauty of Miss Manners (as opposed to Emily Post) is that she never pretended to be nice. Her approach (brilliant actually) I would describe as good behaviour and politesse as a DEFENSIVE strategy. How to maintain an excruciatingly correct and discreet distance from uncomfortable problems of tact.

    I doubt Miss Manners would ever have discussed such a delicate topic with her "friends" (if that word wouldn't make her cringe in its modern incarnation of California, huggy, Esalen-drunk, group therapy). I rather suppose Miss Manners would have stuck to a discreet statement of fact.

    This is Bob, he will be here from now on. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Best of luck,
    Terry




  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 29, 2008 10:28 AM GMT
    Sounds like you have got yourself some pretty katty friends
    my first impulse would be to be just as katty back and say something about their lack of good taste in men
    but that would just be perpetuating the overall lack of tactfulness
    BUT
    I would let them know that they had crossed the line by saying something like Why... thank you sweetheart I can always count on you to to be tactful when giving me advice
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 29, 2008 11:48 AM GMT
    I find Matterych's experience pretty wild. I can't imagine friends of mine being that catty. I could see them offering comments about some "observed behavior" they witnessed or giving an opinion on something I requested.

    If someone said "eeewwww", they probably wouldn't be
    held in the degree of esteem they had been previously, unless they were just kidding.
  • Hagan_F

    Posts: 210

    Apr 29, 2008 5:39 PM GMT
    Michael Jackson was black?!?!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 5:57 PM GMT
    It does not matter who you are speaking with, there is always room for tact. You can be brutally honest and still maintain some bit of respect and decorum. I think you friends should be a little more specific about why they don't think this guy is right for you. It might be cause they don't think he is right for them. If ewww is all they have to provide, then its likely their issue rather than yours. I do think it is important to take into account how your friends feel about your mate. They know you well, probably. But some relationships take a little longer to gel amongst friends, so do not rush to conclusions and have a knee jerk reaction.
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:32 PM GMT
    Matterych saidSo, I told some of my new friends about the guy I like. And there response was "Really? Ewww!" Which basically, I verbally bitch slapped them and told them to fuck off.


    Eh...yup. That's gay dating in Moscow/Pullman. In tiny lil' communities everybody's got an opinion, and everybody's just dying to share it.

    Just ignore it. If everybody was as disgusting, awful, or otherwise as 'ewwww'-worthy as we're led to believe by everybody else's informed opinions, none of us would ever be dating anyone, would we? For every nasty comment anybody's ever made to me regarding someone else, I can usually think of somebody else who's said as bad or worse about them.