|I'm going to be the skunk at the beach party on this thread: |
I am the only one so far who is basically on the side of the girls or the one girl (if..and that's a big if...you left nothing out.)
People who know you feel free to offer advice, to voice disagreements about living, etc. It's a sign of caring, of openness. People just out of college constantly do this with their peers, friends, etc. They are debating and exploring how to live.
It should often be viewed as a sign of respect that they don't have to pull punches, can tell you what they think.
All your friend (apparently) did initially was give you well-meaning advice about nutrition. Whether she was right or wrong about eating (she was right,which is an important consideration), "that's my call, so don't bug me" is a rather rude, abrupt, hostile response and isn't likely to generate a pleasant visit.
As were your long series of responses: "What in the world is it to you, anyway?"..."Who in the world asked -you-?"..."I don't care what you think about it. I don't care what you feel about it."... "[no right to express your opinions] in my home and not in my car."
For some reason there is a lot of emotion and anger associated with their advice and their differences of opinion with you.
Your story doesn't make it convincing to me why.
[Maybe it has to do with your recently having broken free from God after a long struggle and asserting an emphatic independence and not wanting anyone -else- to tell you what to do.]
Friends feel free to tell you exactly what they are thinking and it's not always pleasant, but can be valuable. I would have interpreted it more benevolently, not as an assalt on my autonomy. Unless it was delivered from the start in a hostile, unfriendly manner.
Once you start off the weekend by being rude, you can expect it to escalate. But YOU seem to have been in great measure the cause of this. People when treated that way then tend to bristle and be quarrelsome on other things. That sounds like what may have happened. Someone slaps me down that way, I am likely to respond the way the girls did and be less tactful and diplomatic in the subsequent conversations.
Was it really days and days of butting in and criticism or just occasional suggestions? Other than getting off on the wrong foot, did they seem to be wanting to do *nothing else* than criticize you, try to improve you? Were there other values, other enjoyment of each other's company...or would there have been if things hadn't started badly? Or had Lorraine always been this way even before the visit?
I've seen Objectivists write people off, break long term friendships by "taking offense" and reacting super harshly over in retrospect rather small or time matters. Hence (in part) all the splits, schisms, broken relationships they are party to. Being antagonistic or offensive on rare occasion happens in any relationship: It's called getting up on the wrong side of the bed.
A single bad weekend or angry or disrespectful exchange or crossing "personal space" boundaries is hardly reason to refuse to ever speak to someone again, when the instances are on the incredibly trivial level of the ones you mention.
And especially if your impoliteness or taking offense bears a great deal of the responsibility.
You hurt her when you suggested you would never speak to her again. The fact that she cried suggests that she cared about you and certainly wasn't intending to show contempt for you or just visit to have a place to stay.
Callous "parasites" seldom do that.
"It only got worse -- much worse." But you only list somewhat waspishly disagreeing over atheism, advice that you should get out more. Hardly a big deal(unless you believe in automatically cutting off relations with any old friend who are religious).
My best friend in college was a Christian Scientist. Other friends have tried to improve me (and they weren't all women). My view is I generally appreciate that they care about me. It makes me feel closer to them rather than more distant (assuming they aren't constant sources of negativity). I don't feel my autonomy or space has been violated. And we can have a discussion and I can say many things. Including I disagree and I do or do not want to discuss it. I don't feel pressured. I just politely respond or I change the subject, or whatever. I have not the slightest problem either shrugging it off or taking good advice to heart if that is needed. Whichever. No biggie.
I am often stunned at the harshness and the bitterness with which Objectivists take offense and primly, righteously "write people off" for things far, far less than dishonesty or theft or immorality. And assuming a kind of perfection which they themselves are not examples of. Give me a nice, mellow "forgiving" Christian any day :-)
I wasn't there and perhaps I'm reading too much into it given my sensitivity on this issue, but I definitely get that feeling in the tone or flavor of your story.
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 5/22, 11:24pm)