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On Choosing Not to Get Mad vs. Telling everything you're feeling
December 29, 2005
5:54 pm
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Shaney,

It doesn't seem like you should be the one having to adapt to your mother's and others' loose schedules. I used to do this, and it wore me out.

You're alovely forgiving person, but to do this is so enabling of how they are treating you, you know? Not sure what a better more loving healthier way to do it would be, though. I guess the way you handle it is OK if no one is bothered by it!!

December 29, 2005
6:07 pm
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Lass
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Also, I had a girlfriend for many years who was still drinking, and she had a real problem with making time commitments. She never knew how she was going to be! So, rather than put ultimatums on her, or lose the friendship, I simply determined that she and I would never make plans. If she chose to show up to do something, and I was available and there, then great. If I wasn't, oh well. But I would never set a date with her again. And she started to show up! Sought me out, according to the times I said I would be such and such a place. I never got mad at her again either. This really worked for me.

LL

December 29, 2005
6:29 pm
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gingerleigh
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There is another issue at play here: basic compatibility. People who are appointment-driven versus those who are not. We appointment-driven people don't like to have vague times to be somewhere, nor do we like to be given vague timelines on when to expect someone. Those who are not appointment-driven just don't get how much it irritates us.

To compromise or get around this, some non-appointment driven partners will say "I can't commit to a specific time, so I'll try for this time, but don't hold me to it." And in theory, this should work. They have the best intentions. He didn't commit to the time, so no big deal that he didn't meet the goal. But whether it was committed to or not, this still irks the other partner.

In my experience, neither partner can adapt to the style of the other. You either agree to suck it up and live with it (and whether you choose to waste your breath complaining about it is entirely up to you, although again in my experience it's been a complete waste of my time) or you cut your losses and find a partner that shares the same time management values you do.

I know it sounds somewhat extreme, but I find that people who share simliar time management values have less conflict in the day to day stuff. It's just easier. They say opposites attract, but really it's more true that birds of a feather flock together...

December 29, 2005
6:36 pm
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glittered when he walked
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I skipped most of the posts..so forgive me if this is a rehash.

As I see it...there is no right, there is no wrong in this case.

The time issue isn't that big of a deal to him, but it is to you, so how do we resolve this conflict?

I think out of respect he could try to be a little more punctual because it's important to you. perhaps you could do well not to "just sit and wait" busy yourself with what you'd like to do. perhaps you could agree that the time window should be 10, 15, 20 minutes whatever. If at that time either party is a no-show...you're off the hook to do/go as you please. That is unless there is communication regarding the tardiness or abscence.

but these are just suggestions.

December 29, 2005
6:43 pm
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Shaney
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Personally, I tend to choose my battles. Although, it is important to me to have someone be on time, it's also important to me to be able to continue on, and not let something like that ruin what should be a good time. When it is vitally important to me for someone to be on time, I make it a point to express those feelings. I'm usually not disappointed. Not to say that I'm not guilty of being overaccomodating - I'm definitely am at times. That's one of my new years resolutions is to not put myself in the position of being taken advantage of anymore. It depends on what or who it is, and we all have our breaking points. I'm a firm believer that in any relationship, it all comes down to what we're willing to tolerate.

December 29, 2005
8:59 pm
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angel4U
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Shaney - The way you handle the situation with your mother made me laugh. My brother tried this with my sister and mother, and when they caught on, they both started tacking an hour on to whatever time we told them (both would even say: "They said it starts at 4pm but I know that means 5p" ... and they were still late!) It was actually hard to turn this around, and I had to stress strongly that the time I was giving was the correct time.

As I was reading all the posts I was trying to do some introspection as to when it bothers me, and when it doesn't. I understand what some of you are saying about people being different in how important this is. And I certainly don't expect perfection (afterall, I have been guilty of it myself and it is nice to be let off the hook sometimes). But when someone does this consistently, the feeling (for me) is that you can not count/rely on them. As Shaney shared, I believe choosing our battles wisely is smart. And I do believe I am pretty flexible/understanding most of the time ... but I have my limits.

It doesn't bother me so much if the situation making them late is an emergency, if it doesn't impact me, if they show me consideration by calling to let me know, and if it happens occasionaly.

It becomes frustrating to me when I have planned a time to get together with someone - and therefore schedule my activities around that time, only to end up having them show an hour or 2 late (especially if they do not call to inform me and leave me sitting there waiting and wondering if they are ok). Sometimes doing so means that I have cancelled getting together with someone else for that hour or 2 that I would have liked to talk to; or cancelling errands I could have otherwise done; or arriving late somewhere and losing out on part of the event I was looking forward to; having dinner get cold; or becoming hungry because we planned to go out to dinner at 5p, not 7p; or having the special time set aside to spend with the person that's late cut short.

With friends, it's easier to work through this ... you don't make plans with them only, drive separate cars to a group event, and simply meet them out (Lass, I've done this as well). Or if you do plan something soley with them and they don't show by a certain time, leave. But I do think it becomes more emotional when it's a partner you can't rely on. And for some reason the feeling that I'm not important or that I am being taking advantage of comes into play when a partner does this consistently. It may not be true, but that's how it feels.

Great thread you started, artist2. Thanks!

angel4u

December 29, 2005
9:09 pm
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Lass
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I went out a few times with this great guy, really into me... but more into himself... in a bad way. He would show late, and say he went for a bike ride. I would say, well great... if I had known you would be this late I could have gone for a bike ride too. But I didn't get to. I was ready on time instead. He didn't get this at all. He said, "I just felt like going on a bike ride. Why does that upset you?" Clueless!

December 29, 2005
9:24 pm
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angel4U
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I'll 2nd that one, absolutely "Clueless!" If he would have even said "I'm sorry, I lost track of time", I might let him off (this time ... 😉 ... but no acknowledgement that leaving you wait is wrong is, well, wrong.

I wonder where some of these people got their values ... Sounds like the "How to Take Care of Me Only, and Have No Consideration For Others School".

Sorry, don't mean to be judgemental, here. But totally selfish/inconsiderate people really amaze me. I just don't get it, nor do I think I want to.

December 29, 2005
10:07 pm
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Anonymous
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Whoa! Great advice on this thread from both sides of the argument. You guys know your stuff!!!

Who's right?

In my opinion you did the right thing by admitting to yourself and your partner how the behavior makes you feel...

Had it happened once or twice, it wouldn’t be worth not mentioning. But if you recognize a real pattern, it could be related to a bigger issue like an aversion to commitment. I remember dating a guy was so sensitive to commitment that firmly set dates and times (even for fun stuff like a vacations) made him feel boxed in...(Allen, I hope you got over that buddy!)

If your guy uses the flexibility of a time windows to alter plans or break plans then might be trying to put himself in the one up position and you in the one down.

About your guy’s response at the end of your post, does your gut say it made in the spirit of helpfulness or an attempt to trivialize your feelings?

December 29, 2005
10:30 pm
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hopeinhim
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Skipped some of the latest posts myself too.

Well - I guess put yourself in his shoes........if I am running late I anticipate the feelings of those who are expecting me.

I certainly will try to call, and I will apologize and try to not make too many excuses if I am late.

However - if I am non-commital about the time I might be able to avoid being accountable.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Hope

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