- How can I tell if you are angry?
- How should I behave around you if you're angry?
- How do you want me to behave when you are hurting emotionally? How is it best to comfort you?
- Are there things we should not discuss?
- How should I treat you if you are physically ill?
- What makes you happy, that's in my power to grant as a friend?
- How would you like us to recognize your birthday?
- Are there any standing categories of presents that would be appropriate or unwelcome?
- Are there times of the year that are difficult for you? Please explain if you are comfortable.
- Are there important anniversaries that we should recognize in your life?
- Who are the most important people in your life to whom we should defer when making plans on your behalf?
I will be taciturn and sullen - non-animated, and virtually monosyllabic (this may also apply if I am tired, but if I am tired I will also be quite spaced and probably apologising for not being good company). If I am very angry I will go silent for a while and then burst into tears when I try to talk.
On the net, it is hard to tell because I generally just don't say anything and go and rant offline (or in a locked post). However, the reason I don't say anything is that I regard it as my issue to deal with, so I'm not expecting anyone to do anything about it.
If I'm angry with myself it's probably best to leave me alone. I'll want to spend some time alone, and when I return, don't want to be fussed over. I often seek out practical and useful tasks, so if you can offer me something like washing up or weeding to do, that would be welcomed (note that I quite often seek out these things when I am not angry as well - I just generally get pleasure and comfort out of being useful).
If you think I might be angry with you then ask if I am (I will reply honestly), and if you think I'm being unreasonable in my reasons for anger, then say so. I will be seeking to find some kind of resolution that satisfies me the situation will not recur (because one or both of us will change our behaviour, or our understanding of each other's behaviour), and I can't do that if you try to humour me.
If I'm angry with general circumstances (like a plane being delayed or something) wry commiseration is probably the way to go. I will in those circumstances be more frustrated than angry in any case.
Practical help, if relevant, is good.
Asking difficult/sensitive questions is also good - this helps to persuade me that you really do want to hear me talk about whatever-it-is, and are not just being polite/seeking to be reassured that I'm okay. I do frequently need persuading of this.
Don't make assumptions about how I'm feeling - in particular don't say "You must be feeling x.". I might very well not be; and even if I am, it'll be one element of something quite a bit more complex. Telling me how you felt in a similar situation can be helpful, so long as you don't assume that my feelings and reactions will be identical to yours. (Note that this paragraph applies when something good has happened as well as something bad).
Bear in mind that I prefer to work through things mostly on my own; I need my friends to be touchstones of validation and reasurance rather than constant companions on the journey.
No - though I do not react well to prolonged, even if affectionate, teasing.
Try to find me somewhere quiet, secluded, and comfortable to lie down if I'm not already there. Don't touch me (except to offer me an arm or something if I need support), particularly not with a tentative or delicate motion - don't stroke my hair or that sort of thing. Take control of anything practical that needs to be done - cancelling arrangements, finding a way to get me home etc.
If I'm feeling well enough to sit up, offer me cups of fruit tea; and magazines to leaf through. Having a radio to listen to is also often helpful. Try to avoid exposing me to strong sensory experiences (loud noises, strong smells) as these often make me feel worse.
When asking how I'm feeling, keep your tone of voice as matter of fact as possible - brisk and practical with a note of friendly concern is vastly preferred to "oh you poor thing" sympathy.
Writing interesting lj entries! Taking me into your confidence. Inviting me to meet up for an afternoon or evening just because you enjoy my company (rather than for parties etc. - though parties are good too). This last is one I am bad at myself, I know.
I don't make much of my birthday. I'm not bothered by whether I receive cards or lj 'Happy Birthday' comments, for example.
Nice smellies (bubble bath, soaps, face-masks etc.) are usually welcome (non-animal tested, please). Art materials, too, will be used, though possibly not for a year or more after receipt.
I wear very little jewellery, and tend to prefer to choose my own clothes, so both of those are high-risk items to buy for me. If you want to get me something along those lines, scarves and bags and things are the way to go.
I tend to get twinges of guilt when someone gets me a book and I don't get round to reading it, so this is something to beware of (this doesn't apply if it's a book I've specifically requested). Consequently, the safest unrequested books to get me are things like coffee table books and recipe books that don't require cover-to-cover reading.
Nothing springs to mind. I tend to get slightly mopey in late November, just because of the cold and dark, but no more so than a lot of other people.
None particularly. The only anniversary I celebrate is my wedding anniversary, and that's between me and vectorious - I wouldn't expect anyone else to do anything for that.
Well, as others have commented when doing this meme, I'd generally rather be consulted directly. If that's not possible, or you've got your heart set on surprising me, then vectorious is the one you should go to.