Alrighty, let me describe some interaction between D, A, and myself, the three of us together. D was proposing and planning on having our group go out and socialize with homeless and other “down and out” people on the streets. Mostly just talking with and listening to them, but also giving them a lunch and some info on where they could go if they wanted help (like the local Rescue Mission). I had mentioned before that I'd rather do something else, but he didn't ask why. By the way he was talking, I knew that he had jumped to the conclusions that because I am reserved around strangers and that I've had a “sheltered” life that was just being immature and close-minded. He's only used those types of words a couple of times, but the same general attitude toward me has surfaced more often than I can easily put up with. He's four years older than me and has “experienced a lot more of life” than I have, so evidently that gives him the final word in any matters of dispute. I should add at this point that A is older than D.
Now, I approved of the general idea and goal – the idea is to love people, not preach to them. But the way he was planning it and talking about it, combined with the current make-up and attitudes of the group members as well as other various logistic variables (weather, local, etc.) I wasn't feeling too comfortable with it. However, I was having a hard time explaining myself to him. It seemed that everything I tried to say was filtered through his pre-set perception of me. Which just made me more frustrated and less coherent.
At this point, A came into the room and asked what we were talking about. D told him what he was planning. (The funny thing is, though D and A have been sharing a house and evidently talk to each other quite a bit, they often don't know what the other is planning. I guess they like to discuss ideas and goals more than their practical applications.) A indicated that he wanted my opinion and I stumbled something out about it being a good idea but not right now. He said, “Yeah, I don't think it's a good idea, either.” D's body language changed immediately (to more submissive), looked a little surprised and asked why A thought that way. A said that the goal was good, but he didn't think the group was ready and that it might be a good idea to work people up to it by giving them examples and having the less-gregarious people practice some. D looked disappointed, but he didn't argue. I felt bad about that – that's partly the reason I didn't fight against the idea as hard as I could have – he was so enthusiastic and I didn't want to dampen that. It seems I failed.
He's been less enthusastic since then about planning his own ideas.