Hello. How are you? You look beautiful. What are you doing? Are you in a relationship? Where do you live? What’s your name? Hey, beautiful, what’s your name?
Private and direct messages can be a nightmare for most women. As an empath (or Hightly Sensitive Person) who has strong introverted tendencies, I find these messages to be a terrible drain on my energy. It’s not because I don’t want to connect. I love connection! I love conversation! But these messages aren’t about connection or conversation. They’re all about what you or I can do for someone else.
People aren’t here to be used. We’re here to be loved. We’re meant to connect on some level. I used to think these messages were the outpouring of a desire to be connected to another person. Usually, when I get a message from another woman, that’s exactly what it is. I’ll be able to tap into a friendship or connection without any ulterior motive. They liked my work and want to talk about it. They enjoyed my photographs and wanted to share something similar. It’s simple, and I value those connections and conversations. There’s no sense of demand, only an inquiry that suggests a true human connection.
When I get a flood of messages from men that bat small talk back and forth in an endless, and pointless, game, the message sender is demanding something- time and attention. Both are precious commodities. The circular nature of the inquiries shows that they aren’t interested in my responses. My responses aren’t the point. Only the time and attention.
When I get a flood of messages with compliments on my appearance, the message senders are demanding something- appreciation and flattery on my end and more of my time and attention. It’s a hook. I complimented you, and now you owe me something. Now you have to pay attention to me. But when we love ourselves, we generally like how we look. While compliments are appreciated, compliments from people we don’t know by way of a direct message are usually unwelcome and intrusive. Want to pay a compliment? Put it as a comment on the page and require no response.
When I get asked my name, I almost immediately block those messages. My name is my profile. My name is in every part of my bio on my page. I can’t understand how that’s even a question. It’s the same about where I live. It’s not a secret. I’ve posted pictures of my town and talked about doing things in my state. Those questions show no desire for true connection because the message writers didn’t even do a little courtesy check of my page to get the basics before bombarding me with questions. I never did like to play 20 Questions.
Whatever we’re here for in this life, it’s not to be an object for other people to see themselves reflected back, preening at their own reflections in a narcissistic trance. We’re not here to be used and discarded. We’re not here for demands to be made on our time and attention by strangers we owe nothing to and have no connection with. We don’t owe anyone anything, although it would be nice if we were kind anyway.
But I’ve found kindness is a tool they use against us. If we’re kind, they’re encouraged. If we’re straightforward, it’s turned against us. They launch into a personal attack or gaslight us as if we were the problem for not enjoying their banter of hello, how are you all day. If you’re beautiful doesn’t lead to an instant friendship with a stranger thousands of miles away, something must be wrong with us. Kindness is viewed as weakness, and these messages are predatory. We can’t afford to be weak.
Whatever we’re here for in this life, it’s not for this.
We, who are longing for
Have no time for these time-wasters, this