Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flirtatious or Fickle?

     The gurus of Transactional Analysis have told us that in order for a psyche to thrive, there must be stroking — that is, some kind of reaffirmation of membership in the human race. That reaffirmation can take various forms generally described as positive stroking: kudos, congratulations, compliments or pats on the shoulder.

    However, those same gurus have added that even negative stroking such as criticisms or denunciations or whippings, verbal or physical, can contribute equally to the health of one’s psyche.

    It is the total absence of stroking that contributes to the loss of self worth and personal comfort and confidence. Witness the rocking behavior seen in infants neglected in a nursery — no nurturing behavior by the caretakers (can they be called nurses in this context?)

    Since its recent inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary the term friend zone has come into many everyday discussions and it seems to describe a kind of social pariah-hood. It relegates some people to a no-man’s land (or no-woman’s land) of non-relationship.

    Instead of the uninterested person simply saying “I don’t find you attractive. I don’t want to get close. You may be handsome (or beautiful) but you don’t appeal to me. Let’s just be friends”.

    Whether a fear of a possible violent reaction prevents honest openness or whether it’s simply a fear of being openly honest, it’s disrespectful to the human who wished to be a part of another’s life.
    I wrote these words recently to a woman who upon learning of my interest in her relegated me to a total vacuum of no stroking at all. Apparently she couldn’t be a friend with a man who found her appealing:

        I can deal with joy; I can deal with sorrow; but,
        I have trouble living in a communicational vacuum.

    The vacuum persists.

    I have read women’s complaints on Facebook about guys who say they’re interested and will call but never do. I have enjoyed social contact with several ladies recently who said they’d be happy to meet again. We exchanged cell phone numbers and “friended” on Facebook but after no response to a few text messages or emails, it became apparent that the flirtation was probably fickleness instead.

    There’s a fine line between being enjoyably flirtatious and being fickle.

    Flirting is fun but don’t be cruel by teasing when you have no intention of letting a pursuer or suitor out of the “Friend Zone”.
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