Last night I was with some friends in the squat we usually hang out and something happened that triggered a reaction within myself. Let me explain the whole scenario.
Some of my friends were already there, so by the time I got there, they were already wasted. As usual, I had my guitar, because I love playing outdoor. Suddenly, one of the guys there, a guy that I had never seen before started saying “dude, you play the guitar really well”. I felt a bit awkward, but I said “Oh yeah? Do you really think so?” and X said “lol Do you really think so? That didn’t sound humble" in a sort of joke. I didn’t laugh because it wasn’t funny. Instead, I continued playing my guitar.
Then, X started screaming “Jesus, oh you all mighty, my saviour!” kidding just when some people were coming in. I thought “This dude wants to get the attention, but it’s okay. He is not insulting anyone, he is just pretending he is a preacher”.
X then wanted to buy some drugs, so he asked me “Hey, can we go by car?” and I said “No. Wanna know why? Because I have taken you there too many times and I don’t want to have troubles”. He then insisted “Does your decision have a price?” and I said “No”.
Later, there were no more drinks and X decided to buy his drugs and some beers by foot. He was about to get out of the place and he said “Guys, the store is closed. We will have to go to another one”. So, X came back and said “We should all go. Shall we?”. From the entrance you can see the store, so it was true it was closed.
So, when I saw X coming back, I thought “This guy wants me to take him/us there by car and he will use this as an opportunity to ask me to take him to buy drugs, because we will be already in my car and the store is very close to where he buys drugs”.
X started asking what we wanted to do. He said “Pablo, do you want to drink more beers?” and I said “Not really. I am cool here just playing my guitar”. He said “But, we can go by foot”. I started feeling pushed and under pressure/stress. I thought “Why is he saying that if he knows I came here by car. Does he think I don’t want to give them a ride. Oh no, he wants me to give him a ride by saying what he has just said. Why is he so evident?. So, I said “Ok, I’d better go home now” I grabbed my guitar and I wanted to say bye to Z by holding hands, but he said “Let’s say good bye outside, because we are all leaving”.
That’s when I felt totally pressured, stressed, manipulated and overwhelmed. Because as X and Z wanted to continue drinking, and as we were all leaving the place, and my car was in the entrance, what I thought was that they wanted the situation to go natural, like a coincidence, but with a tacit intention behind. So, I said “Ok, see ya” and I abruptly left.
Within myself I was angry. But what I realized was that there were many factors that started building up energy within myself since the moment I got there. It was basically having to deal with drunk people. I just wanted to play my guitar, they were screaming, they asked me to play a song and then they didn’t even pay attention to the music, X offering me money to take him to buy drugs, kind of bribing me, then feeling pressured due to X insisting too much and finally Z kind of pausing me there kind of not wanting me to leave as he was colluded with X’s intentions.
The question anyone could ask is “Why didn’t you want to take them in your car?”. Simple, when people are too drunk, they can throw up. One of the guys there – the one I didn’t know – could barely walk and he couldn’t even notice that his hands were standing on broken glass and that he was probably bleeding a little bit.
Another point that I could notice was that X wanted to accomplish his goal and as he is good at persuading people, he wanted to get his goal by approaching it from a different angle. His first attempt was to directly ask me. And then by inviting me, he wanted to ‘buy’ my will to move. And as I had my car there it was obvious that if we all get to the entrance, we will see my car and as usual we would all get in.
So, instead of reacting by trying to talk to them and as I noticed I was uncomfortable, I just left. But, after I left I was thinking “I bet they are talking about me right now. They are saying that I am this and that”. Then I thought “What could have been perceived as wrong within what just happened if we see it from the outside?” and the only thing that I saw was that I didn’t hold hands to say goodbye, which is basically not ‘respecting’ a social code, so it’s not a big deal, but what I realized was that I couldn’t handle the situation without reacting. Probably leaving was the best that I could do, but there are emotions and lots of backchats that activated that I need to take responsibility for.
This is a pattern that I hadn’t seen in a long time within myself. Actually I used to leave without saying anything in the past in my relationships with girlfriends. There were times where I felt overwhelmed and angry due to different situations, so instead of starting an argument, I decided to leave. The ‘upgrade’ that I developed within that reactive pattern was to say “Look, I am really angry right now. I want to leave. When I am stable again, I will call you and we can talk about this. But not now”, which is something cool, just being honest and share the way we feel through communication. But that didn’t happen last night.
I noticed that there was also this positively charged thought of “This is for them to realize that I am not an easy-to-manipulate person. I do what I want and I don’t give a shit about leaving without saying anything. And if they call me selfish they know I am not, because I have invited them thousands of times to eat hot dogs and I have given them rides hundreds of times in the past without even asking them money in return”. Kind of justifying my reaction lol.