Based on emails we receive and our own experiences two of the biggest fears lifestylers have are 1) having to say “we’re not interested” and 2) being told “we’re not interested.”
Let’s start with “we’re not interested.” This is so difficult for some they choose to go ahead and interact (define it how you’d like) with another couple rather than deliver the bad news. This rarely ends well.
One listener told us recently they avoided the issue and talked themselves into by thinking it will be okay. It will get better. It won’t be as bad as I think. Nope. Sometimes we imagine we will hurt feelings but because we are not honest we end up really hurt feelings. And, those hurt feelings may include the other partner as well as the other couple. If only we’d been honest…
People really do not like hurting the feelings of others.
Okay let’s move along to being told “we’re not interested.” Ouch, that really stings. Was it me? It can’t be my partner. Am I too old, too tall, too this or too that? It has to be me, right? Why don’t they like us (me)? What’s wrong with me and why does this continue to happen? It’s starting to make me mad and wonder why we do this.
The irony is that WE don’t want to hurt feelings but we tend to forget that when the bad news is coming our way. People don’t want to hurt us, that’s not their intention. We CAN’T control how others respond to us and we CAN’T control what we feel when that happens, but we CAN control how we react and respond to that news and those feelings. It’s not personal unless we allow it to be personal.
Again, honest communication delivered in a direct yet considerate way rules the day! We really don’t want to interact with someone who doesn’t want to be with us. Right? We don’t want to hurt the feelings of others so delivering an honest and respectful “we’re not interested” will actually avoid such hurt feelings. Right?
Yes, it makes sense on paper but dang it, we are human and this stuff is hard to do. But if we choose to send and receive honest, direct and respectful communication with others, over a period of time it no longer hurts (as much). Then we can move forward and focus our attention on other opportunities to meet that couple we WILL connect with instead of wasting time, energy and emotions only to end up with hurt feelings and discouragement all around.