This is a touchy subject... how do you deal with a gift or an action that is inappropriate, or not 'right', poorly timed, or is otherwise unfortunate?
I don't consider myself to be a horribly picky person... but over the years, it's been pointed out to me that I am rather particular about some things. Like food... I don't care for lettuce and I really dislike melons in a mixed fruit cup/bowl... to me they're cheap and gross and a waste of space... if I'm going to pay for a fruit salad somewhere, I want fruit I enjoy and that's worth paying as much for as you have to pay for a fruit salad. So, I'll ask waiters and waitresses what fruits they have and if I can have no melon, just the other stuff instead, or just a cut up fruit... like a grapefruit half or a banana or something. Or I'll order something else as the side. I have been known to eat melons... but it's really rare.
I'm picky about fabric and color as well. I've relaxed quite a bit on the color issue since becoming a mother... beggars can't be choosers and James doesn't care what I wear. I'm Mommy and therefore beautiful in his eyes. :) I used to, however, never ever ever wear pink or salmon or peachy pink. Being a girl, that was a huge color problem while growing up... it was a cause for tears and screams and secret destruction or hiding of certain items of clothing. I do occasionally wear things in that color range now... but not much and it's still not a mainstay in my closet.
I'm seriously picky about a few things, but for the most part, am flexible. If something isn't right to a point where I feel like I have to say something about it, I'll raise my voice in protest... but then, more often than not, whoever I've complained to takes whatever it is away or just stops doing it entirely. So, I lose any chance of either getting the thing I wanted OR the sort of incorrect/uncomfortable (but sometimes mostly right) version of it. I feel like I'm being punished for being communicative about my needs/ wants, for trying to be understood better.
I know it's something to do with the way I do or say things. The way I say, "Thanks, but next time could you ___ instead?" or, "Thank you so much, but I prefer __ instead," whatever it is I'm doing. I guess I have some tact issues... and I'd like to fix them because the current results are, at best, annoying to everyone (me included). I think it's the "but" part... but how do you manage to thank someone for thinking of you, and at the same time express a preference for something similar but not what you have been given or what has been done to you... or let someone know what you really like or prefer without offending them?
I feel like I'm not unintelligent... it's just that there are different kinds of intelligence and this kind isn't my strong suit. I can read people really well in many ways, but when it comes to how I come off... I'm blind.
Some people's solution is to just say "thanks" and leave it at that, and yeah, I suppose that would work... but what if the other person just keeps giving you the wrong things or doing the wrong things to you or something? Won't it be worse later if you correct them after they've done it more often and believe that you really enjoy it or find it completely acceptable? Isn't it sort of like hiding something about yourself from them if you don't tell them what you actually want? Do people not actually want to know you better or give you things you like/ need/ want?
I just... I don't know. This is one of those areas in life where I feel like a Martian anthropologist.
Anyone have any ideas?