Thursday, December 4

It's Not You, It's Me

Today, I'm going to talk about rejection. Before I do I have to qualify this all a bit first - I've never asked anyone out before, and so as a result have never been rejected. However I have been approached a few times by girls who, for some bizarre reason, have found some kind of interest in me. These have all been lovely people, each way too good for me, and as flattered as I was, I was also probably an idiot each time I declined their respective offers. Out of respect for these people I've never talked about them or what they managed to do so bravely, not even in general terms like I will today; but the fact remains that this really is the only exposure I've had to the dynamics of that dreaded beast called rejection.

The first time someone someone said they liked me was way back in college. I foolishly rejected the advice from friends that I was sending out the wrong signals (however innocent they were), but the fact remains that I was slightly responsible for her coming forward - a lesson I still haven't really learned even now.

I told her that my parents were planning on finding me a wife, possible from Pakistan, and that I wasn't the type to date. A bare faced lie of course, but one I managed to get away with nonetheless. The truth was that I just didn't see her in that way but didn't think it was right to just say that for some reason.

To be fair I did conscously make an effort to remain friends with this poor girl, but something was never quite right - either she was still getting a bit too close or I was all of a sudden more sensitive to her behaviour. I totally overreacted to things like her stealing my topi/headcap (at least 80% of you will be raising your eyebrows at this point. Let's just say that my time in college could create not just a post but a whole blog on its own), and eventually we (or perhaps just I) had to drop contact altogether. Thankfully we were to leave college anyway.

The second time a girl was intersted happened a few years later. This time I didn't take any chances, choosing to drop contact cold turkey even before she had the chance to make her feelings known on her own terms (I had discovered them via other means). I didn't even explain what I was doing, and even though she probably figured it out anyway it was grossly unfair and pathetic on my part since she never even had a chance.

It was from that point on that I promised myself to be as honest as I could be during these situations, whether I was being asked or doing the asking, and no matter how much damage the truth could cause. With honestly on my side there's no way I could be in the wrong. Of course this doesn't mean that tact and diplomacy both go out of the window, two things I need to work on still now. And in the absence of being able to dress up your reasons adequately and constructively, telling the truth is the next best thing. It's certainly better than lying anyway.

And so far this policy seems to have fared me pretty well. Without being too proud I can say that the truth has always been more appreciated than otherwise, and that it made it possible to fully talk about the situation and resolve it to the satisfaction of all concerned, something I make myself available for. In most if not all cases, something positive does come out of the situation, and I hope I'm not wrong when I say there've been little regret on both sides (well okay, perhaps once or twice from my position).

I've even managed to remain friends (sometimes very good friends) with everyone since those first two girls, sometimes even after they marry and find themselves in a better position than they ever would have bein in with me. I even get along with their new husbands, that's how fully resolved and comfortable the situation is. I'll always be flattered that such great people once had an interest in me and seeing them with the right people vindicates my actions in some ways.

But if you still can't find yourself being able to tell the truth then you could always try picking your nose, scratching your crotch, telling rude and inappropriate jokes or simply perving on their sisters while they're letting you know how they feel. After all, if its them rejecting you then all the effort of being truthful and tactful suddenly falls on to them; and you may as well make that easy for the poor buggers, eh?

On the other hand you could just try growing a pair; who knows? After the dust settles it may do you both a great big deal of good.

Originally drafted 18th April 2008

4 comments:

  1. HotRod13:29

    Was dating etc being contrary to Islam not an issue> Sure, what we do and what we should do are different things, its the ideal nonetheless afaiu

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  2. Anonymous22:46

    HotRod - probably not an issue for "good old" Shakil. Many asians are culturised into islam with their own demented twisted interpretations. This is an example of one of them :)

    PS: love the bit about marrying in Pakistan. It might be reality!

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  3. Fug,

    Don't make me post certain MSN convos man...

    HotRod + Anonymous,

    Not really sure what your points are. This post isn't really talking about dating or even Islam, and further I'm hardly the best Muslim around so am not qualified to have spoken about that even if I wanted to (as you rightly point out Anonymous).

    Perhaps your respective wives fell out of the sky, but the rest of us have to make initial approaches and efforts. Anonymous, if you are lucky enough to be in a marriage, care to outline which approach you took? It could be helpful to those in my position.

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