How would you have handled this?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Magwitch, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    I had an awkward situation with a female team mate at an out of town weekend club competition. The situation started a couple months before when I sent her a friend request. At the time I sat on the same bench as her, and she was friendly when I spoke to her the time before the friend request. The next time she was totally different, and as soon as there was a brief pause in the conversation she started scrolling on her phone, so I walked off. It was obvious she had the idea I fancied her, though she had thin evidence to go on.

    I tried to make the issue go away in the following weeks, avoiding conversations, shifting my seating position to a different bench, and mainly avoiding getting on the same court as her. The teams were then announced. I turned up at the next session to practice with the team. Things went back to normal when I was with her on court, but since this was only on court my suspicions were that this was just a team thing.

    We took a van down, and I was concerned when I found she was the second last on and I was the last on. I figured this meant we might be forced to sit next to each other, which could be problematic for her.

    I expected if we had to sit together I would see some indicator she wasn't happy about it, but I never expected she'd do what she did. The van door opens, everyone else but her says hi, and she doesn't even look at me. It was then a question of where I would sit. There were only two seats not occupied by a person. One was in the back, and it had a big bag on it that couldn't be moved without blocking exits. The other was next to her, and she had a bag on that seat that could easily be put in front of her. It was clear from her body language that she did not want to vacate the seat. I knew how problematic sitting next to her would be, so I didn't want to look keen to sit by her. Eventually someone told her to move her bag. I then sat down and said an individual hello to her, which she ignored.

    I was already prepared for a frosty reception, so I went into damage control to try and save the trip. The idea was that I'd act exactly the opposite to how she expected on the way up. I made one or two very brief comments to her right at the start, one being to show her a picture from a badminton tournament I had just been to after showing it to one of the guys. The rest of the several hour long trip I didn't speak to her, apart from saying something when she wanted to be let out when we came to a stop. I spent most of the time watching live matches at the badminton tournament I went to with headphones on. I was trying to communicate the message that I'm way more into badminton than her. Her body language the way up was just bad. She sat on the far edge of her seat, never looked remotely close to me, and always had her phone facing away from me when she used it. It made me quite uncomfortable, and despite it not being warm I had to reapply deodorant a couple of times despite showering before I left.

    When we went for dinner I waited for her to sit down on one corner, and then sat on the other end of the table. Sitting far away from her when possible was something I did the whole trip. Aside from I think one brief comment to her and another team member about a team match, the only other time I talked to her on the trip after we got there was when we were playing together. I was trying to diffuse the situation by avoiding giving evidence that might suggest I like her.

    There was quite a difference to how she behaved around me when we played together to the rest of the trip. When we played together she morphed into an unrecognizably different person, who was chatty and comfortable around me. The rest of the time she avoided talking to me (unless you count twice telling me I played well after matches with other team mates), avoided being near me, and kept her eyes away from me when I came towards her to discourage me from speaking to her.

    Just before bed the night we got there I spoke to the team manager privately about the situation, and my concerns that it could hurt the performance of both myself and her if not resolved. He asked if there was anything he wanted me to do about it. He didn't offer anything specific, and in retrospect I think I should have asked him to speak to her. Whether she would have admitted to anything I don't know, but she would now know her actions were being watched.

    The next morning before play I was still quite upset, and since I expected my performance to be affected if nothing was done I was getting a bit desperate, and decided to message her about the issue. I mentioned my observations of how things had got uncomfortable after sending her the friend request and why I thought that was, and said I am not going to ask her out. She replied thanking me for the clarification, and saying we should just focus on our games. Although she made out things were now fine, I noticed no difference in her that day. Things weren't worse, but they weren't better. At first I thought maybe something about the message made her uncomfortable, like she might be worried I'd bring up the matter with her in front of someone else. As it got to evening, this just didn't seem plausible, and it was clear to me that she just pretended that things were now fine and told me what I wanted to hear.

    By the second day I was pissed. I didn't warm up for the first rubber and my play was definitely affected. Her being so friendly during play only made things worse, as she was only doing so because it would help her win. She obviously noticed something was up and told me to concentrate. If I had thought of it I might have said "If you want me to concentrate, try being friendly all the time, not just when we're playing together." When I heard we made the final I was horrified. I managed to get a grip for the final, and played well.

    I think this shows the problem of spending an entire trip communicating to another person on your team that you aren't interested in them. You have to either be friendly to team mates who are friendly to you or don't come at all. The team manager told me when I spoke to him that she is engaged or at least in a long-term relationship, which makes the situation all the more ridiculous. If I did ask her out she has a good excuse to say no that wouldn't require her to reject me, so I don't see why she felt the need of doing what she did. During the latter part of the trip I was upset with her and wouldn't have gone out with her even if she were single and asked me out.
     
  2. michael5098

    michael5098 Regular Member

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    I think this belongs to the chit chat section since it's not badminton specific. But honesty, this reads like a high-school drama crush and sounds like you're in denial about liking her. If you were actually more into badminton than her then you wouldn't type out an essay to detail every micro interaction you had with her. You need to understand that she's your teammate first and friend second. It's painfully obvious she doesn't want to get too close on a personal level and that's fine.

    That's literally the whole point of a competition, to win!!! You caught feelings for her and now you're upset that shes being distant. She hasn't done anything malicious that would warrant a talking to and that's probably why your coach didn't say anything to her. He can't force to her to be friendlier to you because is already being friendly where it matters - on the courts.

    Yeah I can see why she's being distant with you.
     
    #2 michael5098, Jul 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  3. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    The first conversation I mentioned before things got bad was the first conversation I had with her off court. I didn't know her well enough when this started to really say whether I liked her. If I were more into her than badminton I wouldn't have spent the trip up watching badminton rather than taking the opportunity to get to know her.

    Given how she acted in the first minute I got into the van and that we were on the same team, I was not at all impressed with her behaviour, so I'd be surprised if I had any attraction to her at this point. I unfriended her as soon as the event was over.
     
  4. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    This is an issue of the context of her behaviour. During the couple months when she was acting like that at the club when we weren't on a team together that's totally fine. It's typical girl behaviour and I have no problem with it. However in the context of a team event far away when you are on the same playing team, it's detrimental to team spirit. If one team member acts uncomfortable with another, the other becomes uncomfortable. Then there's the possibility that others in the team would notice, and it could adversely affect them as well. We sent two teams, and if she hadn't been on my playing team this is not something that would have been an issue.
     
  5. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I don't understand why you sent a friend request over a social media plattform, when you are not close enough and are not able to talk about this? I know some people have social media friends they just met once in their life, but maybe she has a different understanding. Or you send a wrong signal.

    I personally think that you did something wrong with your pull and push method(friend request and parry for weeks, ignoring) without ever asking how she feel. You was cold to her and had maybe asked her weeks ago "how are you?" Maybe she has a difficult period in her life. I would also be not in the mood for chit chat and I hate small talk. Don't overinterpret her acting. Some people have bad days, simply don't like you or you hurt her.

    You also made a mistake to involve the team manager. Why not asking her? I mean you are friends according to social media. ;)

    In the end it could also not you, it could be her relationship. Sometimes everyone will have a fight with the partner. Maybe you are not the problem, Maybe it is the drama at home, at work etc. which influence her mood.

    In life you will always come across people who don't like you the same like you and vice versa. Even the same sports, club or what ever don't make you friends. I needed to play with people inside a team which I would never invite to drink together a beer in a bar.
     
    #5 ucantseeme, Jul 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  6. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    It seemed pretty obvious why her behaviour changed. I'd assume talking to her about it would make the situation worse if anything. I did eventually address it with her before the competition by message. She replied indicating my message had resolved the situation, when it obviously hadn't. I tried to resolve the issue through communication, and she avoided communicating her feelings.

    I think if I had thought of the idea beforehand I would have tried another tactic: referring to my girlfriend in conversation just after getting in the van. Surely the knowledge I had a girlfriend would have changed things considerably.
     
  7. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Really? I didn't read here the part where you seaked a serious conversation. You feel rejected, because of some childish "she don't want to sit next to me, look away when I look at her". I think @Borkya and @yuquall would also disagree here with you. I mean you are 42 and not 17 and I guess she is also closer to 42 than 17. I personally see here not a clear boy meets girl sexual thing when a man talks to a woman. If you want a view of your situation like it makes only in your head sense, I'm out. I don't see here any issue where she did something wrong.
     
    #7 ucantseeme, Jul 6, 2020
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  8. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    That's not quite it. I didn't want to sit next to her, and was sorry when I found out we'd be on the same team. The issue is that she began the trip by trying to stop me from sitting on what she must have known was the only viable seat. To sit on the seat with a big bag on it would require the bag to be moved, but unless something was found to secure the bag it would be hazardous and blocking the exits. She was the only one not to say hello to me when I go in, and didn't respond to my individual hello. I consider that behaviour rude personally.
     
  9. michael5098

    michael5098 Regular Member

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    Ok worse case scenario she hates your guts and was being fake or a snake or 2faced etc. Then its her fault for losing a potenial friend, move on and don't interact with her. It's very simple.
     
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  10. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I tried to make the issue go away in the following weeks, avoiding conversations, shifting my seating position to a different bench, and mainly avoiding getting on the same court as her.

    Maybe you thought you let look this like coincidences. But maybe she noticed what you did and thought that you have other intentions that to make it go away. It seems we can't help here. What you did is not rude? You have your reason, but maybe she, too. Find out.
     
  11. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Red alert :p. If you said something of the kind in her presence, something she heard, (it's an example you could have said something else) may be she felt uncomfortable. I'm not sure it's the right mindset to have nowadays regarding genders. All women are different. So are men. Women do not like their behaviour to be tagged as "typical" or because of their menstrual cycle.

    Anyway, not knowing her, I'm not sure the issue is coming from you either, may be it's simply that she had a bad time, or was in her thoughts, or you took notice of her behaviour more than you imagined. Best is to talk it out with her and explain each others side.
     
  12. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Okay, let's have a typical "girl" perspective. ;)

    Seems to me that she had no intention on being on a "friendly" terms with you outside the court and that was all. No more no less. You were the one overthinking this and making things complicated for yourself.

    From what I understand, you had been avoiding her weeks prior the trip over some friend request for no reason at all from her point of view and she (probably or almost certainly (mis))took your behaviors as rude. Then how could you expect her to be the one who "initiate" on being nice after your behavior toward her, avoidance, ignoring etc. You were the one distancing yourself from her. She is probably as annoyed as you are. As far as I can see, she is doing the right thing for being nice on court to you despite your "cold" behavior toward her off court.

    If she was a member of this bc, she might as well have started another thread complaining about "this difficult guy" she had to team with.:p
     
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  13. wannaplay

    wannaplay New Member

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    before wasting time thinking about why she doesnt want to play with me, second guessing the situation or writing a long ars essay on BC, i would most certainly go tell my mom. maybe my mom can have a word with her mom to sort thing out.
     
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  14. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    Here's the thing that immediately jumped at me reading the OP: Could it just remotely be the case that -in one small and hidden corner of your brain- you were just slightly more interested in her than only being social media buddies? Cause hands down, why would you even be bothering that much and oberserving her behaviour at such detail just because of a meaningless friend request? You are team mates. So what? As long as you perform well on court and don't scratch each others eyes out off court, everything should be fine and perfectly acceptable amongst grown ups.

    And speaking about "girl behaviour", I'm not so sure whose behaviour had a higher "girly factor". Looking at the facts:
    - you send her a friend request that she doesn't reply to
    - without even considering anything else, you immediately conclude that she might assume a romantical motivation behind that request and ignoring it because of that
    - to prove her the opposite, you start actively ignoring and avoiding her, which is a very rude action given that she hasn't offended you in any way

    Just to remind you, ignoring friend requests and reducing conversation to a (polite) minimum is everybody's good right and the reasons for doing so are absolutely none of your business. Apparently, you have zero idea what is going on in her private life, so there might be endless possibilities why she did act the way she did. And even if there aren't, it's her choice as long as she doesn't do anything to offend or harm you. Frankly, you're 42 years old, you must have learned by now that some people simply don't react in a way that we would expect them to and most of the times, we will never find out why.

    The rest of the story is nothing but a simple and logical escalation because hands down, you were handling the initial situation sub optimal to say the least.

    Have you ever heard of partners with trust and control issues? At least I have a guy-friend who is borderline obsessed with his long-term girlfriend's social media activities and get seriously irritated by each and every new male-friend she makes. To avoid the constant discussions, she got more and more careful how she acts with other male friends, colleagues and club mates, especially in public situations. She never gave him an real reason to distrust her, mind you. And I only have to project your team mate's situation onto those two and I would have all the answers I need to give a possible explaination for her behaviour. Not that she needed one, just to say that once more.
     
    #14 s_mair, Jul 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  15. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    @kwun where is the triple-like option for @s_mair 's post?!:mad:

    I played in several teams and the criteria for any team is the same level and not the personal relationship. It's very seldom the case that your team is a circle of friends. I played several years in a team which had their inner circle of friends. Some team mates and I were not part of their circle activities etc. They didn't let any of us in and that was absolutely okay, because we simply not vibe with them. I personally vibe with some people at my club which are lower level than me or higher level with me but can't make a team with them.
     
    #15 ucantseeme, Jul 7, 2020
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  16. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    In my experience and that of others, if a girl gets the impression a guy likes her and she's not interested/in a relationship you'll typically see avoidant behaviours on her part to discourage conversation. Leaving the girl alone and giving space always seems to be the quickest way to make things better. I would doubt many girls consider it as rude if someone they clearly are trying to discourage talking to them doesn't talk to them. You don't avoid people when you want them to talk to you. I didn't avoid her entirely. When I walked past her on the way out I said goodbye to her, and occasionally joined a match of hers. I said good morning to her as I got on the bus one day of the competition. Anyway, a few weeks after the event when walking towards me at the club she smiled at me (and I hadn't smiled at her), so that was a sign of a thaw. I haven't seen her since.
     
  17. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    You don't appear to have read my posts thoroughly. I didn't mention in the original post that she did accept the friend request, but implied it in a later post. Also, I concluded that she saw a romantic motivation from the friend request because of how differently she reacted when I spoke to her the next time I saw her. She was very friendly the previous time, then very unfriendly the next time. I know my conclusion was correct because as I said I mentioned the issue to her during the competition, and her response showed she was acting that way because of interpreting the friend request that way.

    You say it's fine as long as you perform well on court, but my performance was negatively affected some of the time. Hers didn't seem to be, but I couldn't have known that before play started. Professional sports organizations do things to promote team spirit because while pretty much anyone can act like friends while playing together, if there is tension or animosity between team mates performance of the team is worse. A lot of posters here are clearly of the impression that if players who despise or are uncomfortable with each other just act friendly on court that's enough to perform well. That's nonsense, and there was a recent thread here where others said they don't play as well if uncomfortable with team mates. You don't become comfortable with team mates because people pretend to like/be comfortable with each other only during play. The problem with the trip is that when someone tries so hard to discourage a team mate from interacting with them, it's because they don't want interaction. If I tried speaking to her lots it would make the situation worse, so I'm put in a situation I don't want to be in, which is of barely speaking to a team mate outside of play. I spoke to her more than she did me, though.

    I don't know if it's exactly accurate that I started actively ignoring and avoiding her. I noticed she largely started avoiding being on my court, so I responded in kind. There are multiple courts, so it wouldn't have even been possible for her to know that I was intentionally doing this. I also always tried seeing if she would make eye contact so I could say hello if walking towards her, but you could see she wanted to avoid interaction. I always want to be civil, unless the person is abusive or something.
     
  18. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    I tried to look at the actions only. You've assumed and concluded quite a lot from the beginning which didn't improve the situation really.

    Speaking of actions - just tell me in a short what did she do, that was clearly wrong, offensive or rude towards you or anybody else here?

    Did she act weird at some points? Yes, I'd say so too. But people sometimes act weird (a lot of times actually...), that's just the way it is. There is no obligation to make everybody else happy. If she decided to reduce friendly contact and conversation with you (for whatever reason she might have), then that is to be respected. Did that make you feel uncomfortable? Yeah, probably. But again, it is what it is.

    Your actions then trying to solve the topic (even if you had the best intentions in mind) in fact only made the whole thing bigger and a lot more uncomfortable than it was worth it. You could have simply forgotten about that stupid friend request and act normally towards her - ignoring he supposed "weirdness" in behaviour. It might have taken some weeks, but at some point she might have learned that there was nothing more to it and just forgot about the topic herself. If that was a TV show, I just loved to hear how she would describe the whole situation from her point of view. Do you really think she didn't notice your behaviour as well and might have rated it as weird?

    I'm sorry, but that is your problem and your problem alone. You can keep trying to frame her as being the one who triggered the whole situation, but that's just doesn't make it true.

    There is a huge difference between players who really dislike each other and openly show that and team members who might not be best friends but still try to keep their relation on court on an acceptable and respectful level. I'm dead sure that all of us have met team mates who you rather would not want to spend a minute of your freetime with. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to perform well on court with them. Just keep it a bit professional, mate.
    And thinking about it, there's the opposite option as well - there are people that I really enjoy being around off court, but their behaviour on court is driving me mad. And having to choose between the two options... darn it, that's a tough call to make tbh.
     
    #18 s_mair, Jul 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
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  19. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    I am having a difficulty understanding what you really want to achieve from this? You kept defending yourself and wanted to make her the "bad guy" and that she was the sole source of the problem.

    In my experience and being a female myself, what you did there was actually what had given the impression that you were romantically interested in her and that you were bothered by her "rejection" a lot from your behavior no matter what actually your feeling was at that time. So first of all, you handled the situation "badly" when it first arose. It's dangerous to presume this or that and expect things would be solved accordingly to your plan or what you expect.

    If you really had no such intention then you could have just acted normally without having to "give space" etc after her first discouragement. Showing her that you were okay with her not wanting to get any closer than you had been and that you only sent her the friend request because that's what you usually would do with everybody else and it was nothing more than just a mere "friend request". You could have just joked about it and asked her why she hadn't responded to your friend request, for example. In other words, your idea of leaving her alone or avoiding her failed miserably to clear the misunderstanding.

    Frankly, I don't know her nor you and how things actually happened as we only hear this from your side of story. Maybe there was something in your approach that made her felt a little bit uncomfortable to the extent that she had to keep you at a distance at first to let you know that she had no interest in you. Whether she had mistakenly taken your friend request/friendliness as something a little bit more (or whatever your reason to do it) didn't really matter. This kind of thing is really tricky and it happens quite a lot and what or how people think of one matter is something you can't really control. But you can control your own action and how you respond to situations.

    And this she smiled at you and you didn't smile at her thing clearly showed to me that this all things were probably only in your mind?
     
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  20. Magwitch

    Magwitch Regular Member

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    I don’t mean to give the impression that I defend everything about how I attempted to make the situation better. I started this thread for just that reason, because I wanted to learn from others how I might have handled it differently.

    As far as not acting normally after the friend request, I had only had one conversation with her when this started, and since I didn’t really know her yet, there wasn’t a ‘normal’ as to how I acted around her before for her to compare it to. I had only started sitting on the same bench as her just before, so I switched to a bench a lot of guys sit at. I mainly played matches on a different court by my bench, so we more or less didn’t cross paths. I joined matches on her court at least as often as she did mine, and was quite friendly with pleasantries when we got to the net. Maybe I was a bit too friendly with the pleasantries actually, though I was just trying to make things more friendly. And when the team was announced, I played with her a lot and was very friendly on court. I think the reason things were so bad on the trip was because she knew she had to be friendly with me for the team, and thought I’d mistake that as a sign of interest.

    There is a huge difference between players who really dislike each other and openly show that and team members who might not be best friends but still try to keep their relation on court on an acceptable and respectful level. I'm dead sure that all of us have met team mates who you rather would not want to spend a minute of your freetime with. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to perform well on court with >them. Just keep it a bit professional, mate. [/QUOTE]

    I don't disagree with you that it is up to the individual how they respond to something like this, and that yes it's possible I could have managed to perform my best the whole time anyway. However I'm also asking how this should be handled in case something like this happened again, when it might not even involve me. I could notice tension between two team mates and notice one or both of them is playing poorly. Not everyone can just make themselves play well in such a situation, and I wouldn’t know how to give someone a pep talk to make them do so.

    You mention relations on court. I’m sure what you and others here mean by saying that it’s fine as long as team members are friendly on court is not just that they should be friendly during matches but during the entire time the team is on court. I didn’t actually say this, but that’s not what she did. Maybe 25% of the time she was friendly, just during matches I played with her, unless you count twice saying I played well immediately after a match. The rest of the time it was avoidance. I made one or possibly two brief comments about a match she played, which she ignored. Just like she was the only one who didn’t say hello when I got on the van, didn’t say hello when I individually said hello when I sat beside her, and didn’t respond when I said good morning to her later. Numerous people here have claimed she never did anything rude to me, but not replying to something like a hello is universally considered rude, and she began the trip by doing so to someone on her team. Team spirit is about camaraderie. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fit the definition. Choosing not to say hello is telling the person you don’t want them on your team.

    I find it interesting that everyone here seems to think I’m a douche and a team wrecker because I mainly kept my distance from someone who started acting fearful of me. I’d consider that respectful. How would regularly talking to someone who doesn’t want to be spoken to make me a better person? How does avoiding sitting near someone at a meal only in response to seeing them do that to me constitute rude behaviour? I also sent her a message to resolve the issue just before play started, and her response indicated things were now fine. I do not have the opportunity to change my behaviour to make the situation better if someone chooses not to communicate with me.
    [/QUOTE]
     
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