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I think that when people approach you, particularly unsolicited, and ask questions AND demand answers, that is as close to bullying as you can get without actually bullying. Is it? Once you are put in an awkward position of dealing with a question that you’d prefer not to speak about, no matter how you respond (unless you are a lot more clever than I am) your response is indicative of something that perhaps you didn’t want to reveal.

Now, personally, I used to just say, “deal with it” when I am put in that situation, but I find myself increasingly in this position. In fact, what is most awkward is that I can’t actually go farther than this point before someone will be offended, or misinterpret what I want to say, and so on. Lest I am not clear, there are some times when folks simply do not wish to engage, do not want to share their opinion, do not want to be part of the conversation. And just as people find it unseemly when folks are uninvited and interject themselves into a situation, it seems no different to be dragged into it.

But I am finding myself in that position more and more these days – in a position to either have to lie (which really doesn’t feel all that gratifying or is really not that polite), or be made to say something that I don’t want to say.

Does this happen often to you? Or am I such a raging jerk to people that I can’t help but put myself in a position to be put into that position more than most people?

3 Responses to “Bartleby the Scrivener”

  1. Mike says:

    You are very normal. The same stuff happens to me all the time.

  2. Gabriel Wittenberg says:

    I agree with Mike. But Amy Alkon, the brilliant advice goddess, had some great advice on speaking ones mind about politics (naturally, she’s a libertarian). http://www.advicegoddess.com/archives/2012/02/12/i_should_have_k.html

  3. Harry says:

    I think it is great how WC has evoked Bartleby, whom he may have met as a student in his Catholic Brooklyn high school, under stern supervision of a Jesuit or Carmelite English teacher.

    We, as idle commentators on WC’s blog, implicitly give WC research assignments on which he has to spend time to read. Meanwhile, WC often gives us often a digest of information from the BER, relieving us from having to wake up Monday morning and do the work, publish it, etc.

    I, for one, appreciate it. Tell the lazy bastards, “I prefer not to.”

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