I was having a late night catch up call with one of my partners after a couple of really busy days and the conversation was flowing really well until I asked for some input into a decision or at least some indication of direction. I was greeted with a simple answer of “I don’t really mind”. This pretty much cut the conversation dead and really annoyed me for some reason, so I went to sleep wondering why.
The next morning I was walking to the station on my way into work and I started thinking about why such a simple statement had annoyed me so much and then it dawned on me. It was not what was said, but more what I heard. In my brain “I don’t really mind” had been translated into “I don’t really care and I’m not really interested”.
I’ve also been thinking back and this innocent statement has been used a lot in the past, so I guess it comes across as a combination of apathy and disengagement. It’s like having a conversation with someone who’s really not engaged or interested.
So I decided to take my usual approach and bring up the subject with my partner at the next possible opportunity.
From there perspective, “I don’t really mind”, means that they are just happy to go with the flow and leave the decision up to me. On the face of it, that appears to be okay. However from past expexperie, it’s not uncommon for them to voice an opinion at a later stage when a decision is made and their position changes to “Now I do mind”.
From my perspective, I consider this negative behavior and it rapidly starts to feel like I’m being ambushed.
I don’t have any immediate solutions to this issue, but I’m going to try asking for a follow up on the “I don’t really mind” statement with a “Is there any specific opinions you do mind?”. I suspect the net result is, unfortunately, likely to remain unchanged.