The friend zone and self defence

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If you are easily offended by generalisations and stereotyping – stop reading now and go back to your safe space, the rest of us will continue generalising however much needed to keep ourselves safe.

My friend invited me to an incredible sounding party the other week, but I told him I wasn’t feeling so hot, so, as keen as I was, I wouldn’t be able to make it.


Pop question hot-shot, why didn’t I go? Hands up if you answered “because I didn’t feel well”. Beeeep, wrong answer. I didn’t go because my friend is actually kind of an asshole and I don’t enjoy his company that much anymore. So why did you think it was because I wasn’t feeling well? Oh, right, it’s because I said that. So when some douchebag asks you for your number, and you say you can’t give it to him because you have a boyfriend, what do think he believes is the reason you’re saying no? He surely doesn’t think it’s because he’s a creepy looking weirdo. In fact, he will confidently infer that you having a boyfriend is the only reason you can’t give him your number (can’t, as in you’d like to, but you can’t). So many a guy will interpret this to mean that you’re actually in to him, it’s just the pesky boyfriend thing. And you wonder why the guy hangs around waiting for you to dump your boyfriend?


Three things.

1 – I say that the guy will “interpret” what you say… to mean whatever he wants it to mean. Every interaction we have with the world is viewed through our own personal world-view glasses that colour everything with a tinge of what we already expect. So the self-defeating geek, convinced she’ll never say yes to a date, walks up to the chick all slouched over, looking miserable and defeated (the opposite of smiling and looking like he’s fun to be around). And he wonders why she says “No.” to him. Actually, he’s already “knows” why (she’s stuck up/doesn’t “get” him/something self-serving and wrong).

2 – The friend zone doesn’t exist. One of the main reasons for its “existence” is girls giving soft let-downs so she doesn’t actually have to be honest. This allows the guy to delude himself into thinking he’s got a chance. So he hangs around the girl’s periphery, waiting for the day that she’ll realise that he’s actually the perfect man (without him having to put in the effort to become that perfect man). Or at least until the day you break up with your boyfriend and get tearful and drunk and sleep with him out of inebriated bad judgement gratitude for him always hanging around in the periphery. (It’s his fault for self-deluding, and the girl’s for giving him the excuse he wanted. “No,” is harder to twist into self-delusion than “My parents don’t let me date.”)

3 – “I don’t want to” would be better. Actually, that still involves giving a reason (which implies you feel you need to account for/apologise for your own desires – which means you’re manipulatable, and psychos, date rapists, and abusive people know this) So, if you don’t want to give a guy your number, try saying “No.” If it feels uncomfortable, so much the better. Overcoming this kind of discomfort can be vital in trying to escape/prevent a date rape. Try keeping this in mind when dealing with people (including people you already know): Every time you offer an excuse or a reason, you are giving a date rapist an opportunity to manipulate you.




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