Let's talk about words.
They're very powerful things.
With a single word, you can change someone's life. Whether for the better or the worse is up to you.
Now. Words are tricky little buggers. There are words that are synonyms, but have different connotations.
Example: Love versus adore. They're often used interchangeably. They do have very similar meanings. But to adore something gives the connotation that whatever that thing is (or person, whatever), it is on a pedestal. You are placing it above everything else. It is something (or someone) you admire. Love is much more basic, in that you are on the same level. You may put it ahead other things, but it is because of affection, not admiration.
Maybe you can see where I'm going with this. Maybe not. I don't know. It's late for me, and I'm typing this as I'm in the middle of a... discussion.
I "hooked up" with a friend of mine. Is it really hooking up if you don't have sex? I don't know. I don't understand the technicalities of this stuff. Anyway. He had told me that he likes me, has since he first got to know me, blah blah blah. I have no feelings for him that way. He's my friend, nothing more. We fooled around because I've missed it, and you know what, I'm 19. If I want to kiss a guy, I can. As long as I'm not stupid about it, it's not anyone else's place to judge me.
Now, before you go and say that I shouldn't have done that when I knew he liked me and I had no feelings for him, just stop. I checked and checked and checked with him to make sure he understood my point of view, and that he was okay with it. Sure, he could lie. And if he did, oh well. He knew where I stood. It's not like I'm coy. I'm a pretty blunt individual.
So. We did this, and it was fun. I enjoyed myself, and he enjoyed himself.
Well, the topic of his usual "type" came up. And guess what? Like every other annoying man, he likes dumb blondes. Which I most certainly am not. When I mentioned that, he agreed that I wasn't, and that he was interested in me because I'm different from that. So of course, I asked what in the world appealed to him about idiots. I personally can't stand them, no matter the hair colour.
He finds them sexy, and they make him feel smarter. Okay, all right, I can understand that. He likes feeling better than these girls, and likes how they make him feel physically. But he apparently likes me, because I'm "different." Did that mean that he thinks I'm normal (not sexy), and make him feel like he's got average intelligence?
Yes, yes it did.
Girls, you can appreciate just how AWFUL that was to read. Yeah, whatever, he likes that I'm not like everyone else he's dated. But he also just said that I'm not attractive to him. No girl wants to hear that. Hell, no PERSON wants to hear that. I asked if I was just some sort of experiment, and he said "pretty much, lol."
First: I hate the phrase "lol." I'm not sure why. It's just so... stupid. Seeing it irks me. Second: he really must not understand girls at ALL, because he's just making things worse for everyone involved. I'm feeling like an ugly piece of trash he just picked up to prove to himself and his friends that he can be deep and shit. Now, I know him. He's really not that much of a jerk. He just doesn't know that what he's saying is hurtful. I don't have to be interested in him romantically to be hurt by the fact that he thinks I'm some sort of toy with no legitimate emotions.
When I explained this to him, he said he hadn't meant it that way. That he thinks I'm pretty (not the same as being found sexy, aka physically attractive in a useful way), and that he's interested in me, and that I should know he wouldn't use me like that.
I don't know that. I don't know that at all. I have lot of trust issues, especially with men, as I've mentioned before. It's my problem, something I have to deal with. But I'm not going to sit here and get told that I shouldn't have to worry about him hurting me or using me or whatever. If I don't, who will?
The moral of the story: think before you say/type something. Look at it from all angles. You can never have a truly neutral statement, but you should strive to NOT say something that's EASILY taken as more than it is. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. That means you use the correct words for exactly what you want to say. You don't say, "I like you" when you mean "I think you're interesting and want see if there's anything there". And if you DO mean what you're saying, if you DO mean that you think the girl isn't attractive and you're just trying her on for size, be up front about it. Don't hide behind platitudes and attempts to smooth her feathers when she gets upset.
Just say, "It is what it is." Honestly, it's the lack of understanding that's upsetting me here. If he's not attracted to me, whatever. If he's just trying to see if he could like a girl like me, whatever. He just needs to own up to it. I would feel a lot less... lied to and cheated if he had said all that from the beginning.
Sorry for the long rant. People these days just don't seem to understand that every word holds power, and this was a prime example. Just a few phrases bandied about by a guy you don't even like can affect you. If people could fathom that, there'd be a lot less confusion.
So be blunt, people. Tell it like you mean it, the way you see things. Yeah, people might not like you. People might call you mean, or a bitch, or rude. But at least they'll know where you stand. And your real friends will know that they can trust you.