Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guarding Your Boundaries

My theme for today's post is managing your personal boundaries. This is, as in many other social areas, more problematic for humans than dogs. We tend not to issue those unwanted, hard-to-refuse invitations, for instance, although we often have to make snap decisions in nose-to-nose situations about whether to lunge or sniff.
Moira consulted me recently on an issue that troubled her in the past and which she feels she's never resolved. [Moira Waugh is the human writer who is currently working on a novel called 'Small White Dog' in which I appear.] She used to be a regular at a sports club where she encountered many women in the changing room who didn't have jobs to go to and who were extremely loquacious. They often invited her to have coffee with them. Moira did not want to spend time with females who talked incessantly about themselves and weren't willing to play the listener, but couldn't think of a polite way to say 'no'; especially as she'd been pretending to be friendly and interested when she wasn't.
Here are three possible responses. Please feel free to write a comment telling me which you think is the correct one; or offer a response of your own:
  • "No thanks, you're boring."
  • "I'd love to but I'm busy for the next five years."
  • Cancel membership at the club.
I will tell you the answer I'd give next week.

Thought for the Day
Biting should always be the last resort in any dispute.
Favourite Things
Film star:    Jack Black
Film:          Sexy Beast
Book:        The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Food:        Egg-on-beans-on-cheese-on-toast at Winchester Bus Station Cafe
Song of the Week
I Miss You by Melissa James
From her album Day Dawns

10 comments:

  1. I wish I'd known you back in the sports club days, Tony. I dealt with the issue by leaving the country.

    Moira xx

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  2. That was a rather drastic resolution to the problem, if I may say so.

    Thank you for reading my latest blog post.

    Your affectionate friend
    Tony Russell

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  3. Bonjour Tony ....

    The leak, without thought rear is also one of a solution, not recommended here, but that Moira has adopted. Is not it .... and if I understood everything.
    But it is true that it is very difficult to get rid of this kind of gossips (commères in French) .... As a plaster pasted on a finger as we try in vain to removed, for to find pasted on another finger .... Sorry for the comparison but it is a bit like that, it's distressing.

    Bonne fin de journée ....

    Dan

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    Replies
    1. Je suis très heureux que vous avez retourné à lire mon blog, M. Dan. Vous avez beaucoup d'empathie et de compréhension, particulièrement avec les chiens. Nous sommes des âmes sœurs!

      Je vous ai ajouté à mon petit chien blanc cercle d'amis. Moira a tort de ne pas avoir déjà fait.

      Je vous envoie de bonnes pensées et lèche beaucoup!

      Tony Russell

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  4. I'm the type who easily accept an invitation in a state of shock they actually asked and then have to call and cancel because of a sudden throat infection, bad stomach, been throwing up all night, Malaria or whatever.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Timberman. It's good to see you've come back to my blog. Thank you.

      Yes, Moira mentioned to me that she's used excuses of ill health but they only postpone acceptance of the unwanted invitation. Look out for my perfect answer next week.

      With warm friendship
      Tony Russell

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  5. My dear friend Tony.

    I accept, heal your fellows since many years .... It's probably why I've a certain complicity, and also a knowledge of your behaviors .... But I confess, that I'm going to of surprise in surprise every day with, your congeners .... you are so unexpected sometimes. This gives some "spice" to life every day ....
    I hope this new week, we will have, other anecdotes, equally tasty.

    Friendships ....

    Dan

    PS: Forgive me if sometimes my English is not very academic.

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    1. Vous êtes un bon ami, M. Dan. Je voudrais parlait couramment le français. Je pense que je parle avec un accent belge parce que j'ai été enseigné par un griffon bruxelles appelé Robbe.

      Avec une profonde affection

      Tony Russell

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  6. Ahhhh... the ol' question of proper social conduct. Well, I believe the right answer is likely- "No thanks, you're boring." I will wait in suspense for your answer in a few days. I must admit that I would personally use the avoidance method with these ladies. The problem is that this type person tends to find their prey regardless of all precautions... And so, I'd likely accept the invite and try to build the guts to tell them the truth some day.

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    Replies
    1. Hello again, Ms Kara. The best thing to do is answer honestly right away. Otherwise humans become too afraid and have to use strange evasive behaviour (like Moira).

      Best wishes

      Tony Russell

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