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Should I apologize?

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hey guys,

I need your evaluation and recommendation please.

I had a phone call with my colleague/supplier last week who I am still crushing on and usually the mood is rather nice and fun and teasing when we talk. But this time we hit a bump.

It started out very nice and charming in the greetings.
Then we talked about an issue he is helping me with and I probably let him know in a teasing manner, that I had rather high expectations.
He did (in a teasing manner) answer me in the first sentence that I could also find myself another colleague and in the next sentence, that he could find himself another (female) colleague (He used the female word for colleague at this moment). I heard his coworker who he shares a room with laugh at that point (on the other side of the line)
I answered why he is being so crappy (exact wording), in a very serious tone. And he said rather quietly that I should not take what he said so seriously.
Then he tried to relax the situation but I was so confused that I cut the rest short.

So first, was I too extreme/harsh in my reaction?
It felt to me like he was threatening me with withdrawal of affection, so what he said hurt a lot and I did not find it funny at all.
Of course he does not know how I feel about him, so it might be unfair to react so harshly.

This is why I ask myself if it would be appropriate to apologize on my part for my wording.

Or do you think it's nothing and I should relax?

What do you think?

I am worried I hurt him or that he will think I am unprofessional because I used such foul language.
 

Hypnalis

Active Member
As written, it seems you've made a mistake, but so has your colleague. You both made different mistakes though, so it won't be easy to talk about it.

I can't suggest your remedial action because of the confounding factor that he's a colleague and you're crushing on him. A question instead: would you have reacted the same way if he wasn't a potential romantic partner?
 

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As written, it seems you've made a mistake, but so has your colleague. You both made different mistakes though, so it won't be easy to talk about it.

I can't suggest your remedial action because of the confounding factor that he's a colleague and you're crushing on him. A question instead: would you have reacted the same way if he wasn't a potential romantic partner?
No, if I would not feel so tenderly about him I would have reacted way more relaxed and not that serious. I would have been mean back at him but in a more teasing and forgiving way.
I would not have drawn the line so strongly then. I hope this makes it clear.
 
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Hypnalis

Active Member
In that case, there's a price to not apologizing, but making the apology may not be easy.

The price: if you say nothing, there's a good chance you'll have changed your relationship a little, but in the wrong direction. He won't want a repeat, so he'll have to adjust his responses to avoid it - in effect you'll have imposed a constraint on his natural behavior, which is probably the opposite to what you want.

A side note - this is the kind of thing that will make one of us ghost someone. With NT's it's less intense, but it does introduce a little tension where previously there was none.

Assuming you want to do something, an informal apology is a good option. Frame it so a formal acceptance isn't necessary. The mechanism here isn't certain, but ... if you're lucky they will not be entirely happy with the outcome either, and they will respond with a counter-apology (you say you over-reacted, and they say "actually I went a bit too far - I'm sorry you if were offended" etc (this can go back and forth a bit)).

I started writing a bit on how you could work the conversation, but it takes too much text so I removed it. We could discuss it a little if you want to.
 

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
So, first, i am 99,x% sure, that he is autistic and not NT...so I can only hope he does not start ignoring me.
Second, I am so scared. He will already have guessed by my reaction that I like him enough to be hurt by jokes. And if I apologize, it will be clear that I care for our relationship more than in a collegial way. I am scared that he will just brush it off as nothing and saying again that I shouldn't take these things so serious. I think I might be scared also because his reaction might make it very clear he is not interested .

Now, I don't want to put constraints on him. I want him to be happy. But I don't want him to hurt me either.

I will, if I find the courage, apologize for my overreaction/choice of words/offending him..... I am not completely sure how to specify my behaviour, yet.
Do you think I should tell him I was hurt by his words or will that creep him out?
 

Hypnalis

Active Member
I don't have much time, and you need to do this in the morning of the day after it happened (about 1 hour after works starts would be a good time.

BTW - don't delay, even if it's difficult. You're only bothering with this because of your crush, and because of it, you're better off reacting fast.
Tone-wise, even though you both seem to be playing the "pointless secrets game", or rather because of that, either keep this completely neutral, or close by asking him to lunch or coffee - nothing in between.

Something like:
"I want to apologize for over-reacting to what you said yesterday"

You don't have to add anything but something like ; "I took it too seriously" or "I (think I) misunderstood what you said" would work.

No more than that - in particular, don't explain in detail at this point (and probably not on this call). If he is, or might be, ND, you really don't want to introduce your emotional state as a mitigating factor at this point :)

Instead stop/wait (2-4 sec). You're hoping for a counter-apology (quite common) as above, or an informal acceptance.

An NT would react, but if he freezes, "I hope we can get back to my issue - can I call again this afternoon" or something like that (you want agreement to a continuation, but the details don't matter). If you schedule a follow-up, you can use it to exit "I'll call you at about 14:00" or whatever.

You have more options, but I don't have more time. I'll log on tomorrow morning - if our timezones are right you might see another post from me.

(sorry if there are typos - I did this very fast)
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Ohhhhhh, boy. Do I understand your reaction when your hope and emotion interprets an inept jest. When that happened to me I would close up and be avoidant, but I've learned a little since. I hope you will use the opportunity in two ways, if your work allows relationships between colleagues and you have a reasonable idea that he likes you. First you can apologize for being flustered and overreacting. Then, you can invite him out for a coffee or other beverage because you enjoy talking to him. At that time, if appropriate, you can explain that your like for him got in the way. Be sure to keep eye contact, watch his pupils because dialation indicates interest. And you can even signal that you like him by playing with your hair while smiling. YES, YOU ARE AFRAID OF PUSHING HIM AWAY, but you will not know if he is interested in you until you can advocate for your happiness. Good Luck. I wish you all the best.

There was a woman that I had a significant crush on, and if she even would have approached me for a little talk, I would have been in heaven.
 

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Thank you!

I am just on my way to work and my plan is to apologize in a short and neutral manner.

This alle happened last week, but I don't think it's a problem as he wasn't there the days in between.

And no I will not ask him for a coffee. I know "the game" seems kind of "pointless" but it's not. All filters open when we are in the same room so my brain doesn't really function that well, and I am not able to respond as I would like to. It has become better as I am able to talk now but it's a bit like driving drunk....

Thanks again <3
 

Hypnalis

Active Member
We seem to be in similar time zones - I'm CET, but I'm a night-owl, so start my day relatively late.

I have a slightly different suggestion than what you outlined in your last post. It's colored by how I would react to last week's events, so it may not be right for you, but it's literally the only thing that might work with me if I was in your colleagues shoes.

The setup will have to be too short, but it seems we don't have much time.

You have a cascade of problems, with associated objectives
  1. Recovering the work relationship. You must succeed with this, but this is definitely possible
  2. Recovering the friendly part of the work relationship. Not essential, but important. It can probably be done
  3. At least keeping the path open for developing the "crush".
(1) should be ok on what's already been discussed. Two additional comments:
  • The wait time I provided (2-4 sec) is too short for an ND. 5+ is better.
  • You can't know for sure if you'll get (2) back. A counter apology after the wait would be a positive indicator. An uncomfortable silence followed by e.g. "ok .... don't worry about it" a negative one.

(3), assuming it's already mutual, could easily get lost, and you'd never know.

While it seems odd timing, the best way to deal with the uncertainty is to meet IRL, and that means closing with an informal invitation to meet. I know you rejected this above, and with a good reason, but I'm suggesting it anyway, because of the fact that you'll probably never know if that part of your relationship has changed. There's no way (at least AFAIK) outside a breakup to say "I used to have feelings for you, but now I don't", and asking for that information is similarly difficult.

It seems you do meet in a work context? If so, I think you should suggest a meeting outside work, but during a work day. Lunch (but at a restaurant that's reasonably quiet, so not a busy "workers lunch" place), or a mid-afternoon coffee.

The goal may feel uncomfortable: you need to explain the real reason you snapped at him.

For now, prepare to follow the apology with something like "I'd like to take to to lunch to make it up to you". (or a mid-afternoon coffee, or anything else that woks where you live).

If you actually do this, I'd like to present a dissenting tactical approach compared to Gerald's.
 
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Suzette

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Honestly, don't make too much of it. You can appologize but keep it short and casual. "I am sorry. I think I miss understood your joke. I must have been having a bad day."
Then let it go. Just get back on track. Don't over think this.
Little miscomunications happen all the time simply because language is rather a limiting way to express ourselves. It really isn't a big deal.
 

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hey all.

So. I took (most of) your advice.
I did apologize and I did keep it as neutral and casual as I was able to while my adrenaline was up over my head.

His voice was tender or friendly all the time so I think it went well as in regard to objectives 1, 2 and perhaps 3 as defined by Hypnalis.

So for those of you, who are curious here is a detailed description of how the talk went:

When I told him I was sorry about how I snapped at him he first said he didn't remember and when I reminded him, he said he didn't believe at any point I was serious, so everything's ok unless I meant what I said.
Here I got super confused because, well, at that moment in the past I meant it seriously, but I (thank god) Automatically confirmed that I didn't think him shitty (which does feel like a lie to my brain) and told him I sometimes lack - here he completed my sentence with "self-control"- humor.
Well, he said again I should not worry and initiated the goodbye.
That day we had quite a few more encounters due to work (also in person) which we initiated 50/50, but he started. Then again he is absolutely professional and there was stuff to do so I am not interpreting to much here. Just that he doesn't seem to avoid me.

It's really sweet how you, Hypnalis and you, Gerald try to motivate me to finally talk to him more privately as you seem hopeful for me. Thank you for your optimism, it does give me a bit courage. But seeing how nervous I got just calling him on something that's is not strictly work related, I guess I am just not ready (which is kind of sad at my age, but then again I made real improvements in the communication with him during the last months so I will focus on this positive development).

Thank you again for your timely help, it made a huge difference for me.
 
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Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hey all.

So. I took (most of) your advice.
I did apologize and I did keep it as neutral and casual as I was able to while my adrenaline was up over my head.

His voice was tender or friendly all the time so I think it went well as in regard to objectives 1, 2 and perhaps 3 as defined by Hypnalis.

So for those of you, who are curious here is a detailed description of how the talk went:

When I told him I was sorry about how I snapped at him he first said he didn't remember and when I reminded him, he said he didn't believe at any point I was serious, so everything's ok unless I meant what I said.
Here I got super confused because, well, at that moment in the past I meant it seriously, but I (thank god) Automatically confirmed that I didn't think him shitty (which does feel like a lie to my brain) and told him I sometimes lack - here he completed my sentence with "self-control"- humor.
Well, he said again I should not worry and initiated the goodbye.
That day we had quite a few more encounters due to work (also in person) which we initiated 50/50, but he started. Then again he is absolutely professional and there was stuff to do so I am not interpreting to much here. Just that he doesn't seem to avoid me.

It's really sweet how you, Hypnalis and you, Gerald try to motivate me to finally talk to him more privately as you seem hopeful for me. Thank you for your optimism, it does give me a bit courage. But seeing how nervous I got just calling him on something that's is not strictly work related, I guess I am just not ready (which is kind of sad at my age, but then again I made real improvements in the communication with him during the last months so I will focuse on this positivee development).

Thank you again for your timely help, it made a huge difference for me.
So glad to hear this! It seems to me that you have been flirting a little bit conversationally, and I am hoping that you do not miss a connection like I did because I was not brave enough.

I had a crush on a cute and friendly animal caretaker that I was working with and developing procedures to keep her safe when I was working with potent carnicogens. Yet, for over a year I did not have the courage to ask her out. Still, I was on a road trip to Toronto with a couple of guys I thought of as friends (ended up not being the case), and one told me "You need to ask (my crush) out. She is a good lay (in cruder terms)" I felt deflated and worthless because I interpreted this as proving that she never even noticed me. For a long while I just felt regret that I lost any feelings for that lovely woman. Afterwards, I would complain that women only fell for superficial jerks. But, now I recognize that I never acted to give them a choice. What that taught me was not to hesitate when I recognize a nice person. Then I met and fell in love with my spouse and still value her highly.

I hope that you will find happiness forging a connection with that man.
 

Suzette

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Gerald Wilgus and all the lonely hearts:

There really aren't any missed opportunities when it comes to dating. If you can not find the courage to converse with someone then you simply aren't ready no matter how appealing the other person is. You haven't "missed" anything.

But you can use that episode to grow your skills and confidence so that you are ready when the next appealing person comes along.

And what's interesting is that as your skills and confidence grow you become aware of even more people that are appealing. So your available choice of partners grow! You get MORE, not less.

Then you realize that the cute person you did not have the courage to pursue often does not appeal anymore because they are limited in some way too.

Know yourself and become the person you want as a partner.
 

PinkPhilodendron

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Gerald, your wishes soften my heart. Thank you <3

I am sorry to hear about that chance you did not take. But I am happy your life turned out a beautiful shade anyway :)
It's weird how, looking from the outside, things seem so clear. But from the inside our feelings seem to distort our view like a special lens.

Yes, I worry that I might be too slow and too fearful. But then I remind myself how far I have come. It's the first time ever I have romantic feelings for someone that are purely positive and beautiful and not poisened by doubt, self-loathing, missing confidence and missing self-worth (It's my first time being single after my therapy). Ok I am so scared I did not know there was so much fear in me : D, but still overall, it's beautiful and I enjoy every minute of this. With my past it's a wonder I dare to feel this deeply for someone and risk being this vulnerable. So even if this should turn out to not work out it will be a beautiful memory of the first time I felt like this, or a step further on my path to learn happiness. I do not think I will be as bitter as you have.

But now I understand why you tried to motivate me to make a move. Thank you for sharing this story : )
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Gerald, your wishes soften my heart. Thank you <3

I am sorry to hear about that chance you did not take. But I am happy your life turned out a beautiful shade anyway :)
It's weird how, looking from the outside, things seem so clear. But from the inside our feelings seem to distort our view like a special lens.

Yes, I worry that I might be too slow and too fearful. But then I remind myself how far I have come. It's the first time ever I have romantic feelings for someone that are purely positive and beautiful and not poisened by doubt, self-loathing, missing confidence and missing self-worth (It's my first time being single after my therapy). Ok I am so scared I did not know there was so much fear in me : D, but still overall, it's beautiful and I enjoy every minute of this. With my past it's a wonder I dare to feel this deeply for someone and risk being this vulnerable. So even if this should turn out to not work out it will be a beautiful memory of the first time I felt like this, or a step further on my path to learn happiness. I do not think I will be as bitter as you have.

But now I understand why you tried to motivate me to make a move. Thank you for sharing this story : )
For once I am at a loss for words. The positive view you have of your relationship is beautiful. Hearing that makes me think that you will be able to meet the demands of a commitment. Some man will feel lucky to have found you.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Gerald Wilgus and all the lonely hearts:

There really aren't any missed opportunities when it comes to dating. If you can not find the courage to converse with someone then you simply aren't ready no matter how appealing the other person is. You haven't "missed" anything.

But you can use that episode to grow your skills and confidence so that you are ready when the next appealing person comes along.

And what's interesting is that as your skills and confidence grow you become aware of even more people that are appealing. So your available choice of partners grow! You get MORE, not less.

Then you realize that the cute person you did not have the courage to pursue often does not appeal anymore because they are limited in some way too.

Know yourself and become the person you want as a partner.
You are so right! And you are right that I haven't missed anything. I mentioned that as a positive of my ASD in hindsight was that my social deficits did not get me into a relationship that I could not emotionally handle. Once my social and emotional maturity improved I was primed to recognize a woman with the values and interests I harmonized with, and I was capable of beginning and retaining a relationship with her. So, 44 years later we are still enjoying things.
 
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