Overlooking the obnoxiousness of someone who is so relaxed he can’t even remember being stressed, I genuinely answered his questions. The condensed version went like this:
- Running. Regular running usually takes care of any general stress I may have accumulated during the day. And when I'm running regularly, I often don't get to the point where I need to escalate my stress handling. If it does, though, we go to (2).
- Toss up between alcohol and good friends. Usually one or the other helps, or often I find the combination especially useful in at least offloading (if not finding solutions to) extra negative energy.
The trick to me is, sometimes I don't want to be consoled. I just want to vent and yell and be fussy. Usually when I am in that mode I opt for alone time, see below, because my well meaning friends want to tell me things will be fine and I won't have it.
- Alone time. I need a decent amount of alone time in general, I have a tendency to start to feel smothered when I am constantly surrounded by people, so when I'm really stressed I usually need a break and I hide out a bit. Sometimes canceling plans and just doing whatever I feel like doing completely re-sets me.
- Cleaning. When my house is clean my life is in order.
- Food. Usually in combination with alone time, ordered directly to my casa. This is not a preferred coping mechanism as it negatively affects my waistline while only marginally making me feel better.
- And finally Crying. When I have not appropriately handled stress over a period of time I usually end up crying.
Here’s what he wrote back: Well I hope to be part of the solution whether you're venting down the phone or in person, need a running mate, a dinner date or just a snuggle bear.
Did he just write snuggle bear?! What about the above list could he possibly have taken as an indication that I wanted to be smothered? Did I not, in fact, explicitly indicate I have a tendency to feel smothered? And I’m pretty sure I was clear that alone time was key. Why would I want him to go with me on my runs? And what about actually responding to my coping mechanisms? I took time to write actual personal insights and he just wants to be part of the solution. But he's clearly going to be a problem.
I’m starting to get a bad feeling about him. Especially since I have to leave to meet him for lunch. Right now.