Friday, September 3, 2010

Even if it is just me...

During each of our lives, I am sure there have been many times the predominant thought has been "OK, enough is enough!" I give credit to those who are quick to A) Recognize when the moment arises and B) Put a stop to whatever it is that there has been enough of. I am a creature of the thought pattern that goes something like this: I don't like it...Maybe it's just me...I really don't like that...I should do something...But what if it's just me?...pout, vent, stew...repeat. Perhaps this sounds familiar and I have some soul sisters/brothers out there? (Or it just sounds familiar because you know me?)

I get the concept that we can't change another person's behavior--just our own. However, most efforts at self-preservation really seem to have the potential to make someone come across as a broom-rider. It seems really obvious now, but I just realized that while there may be explanations offered for a person's behavior, I am not obligated to accept the excuse. There was a woman I knew who, quite seriously, attempted to excuse an entire six months of unfriendliness due to being pregnant. Let's face it, some actions are just inexcusable. I fully accept responsibility (or at least recognize that I should) for things I have done to elicit less than pleasant responses from others involved.

Of course there is always the adult version of the typical playground scenario-"who gave the dirty look first", or "who used their nasty voice first". I know that I tend to lean towards replying in whatever tone I heard coming my way. Yet, I am the same person who tells actual children that their cold and prickly voices are not necessary. The dirty look business gives even greater impact to the complete negative vibe package. I am always amused when I hear the comment "Oh, that's just how so-and-so always looks"...Yikes! How unfortunate! Another alleged misconception I've heard about involves the silent treatment...I have an expectation that when coming across someone, there will be an overlapping of salutations. It is a little bizarre, in my opinion, to have a situation where nobody says hello...even more bizarre still to lay blame with one another for saying nothing...absolutely bonkers if someone says "hello", and gets no response.

Sometimes for the sanctity (and sanity) of the group, we might try to sort of wipe the slate clean before each gathering. There are absolutely some occasions where it just feels easier to put on some big girl panties and get over it. Where do you go from there if you still get the feeling there's a "kick me" sign on your back, and you're pretty sure you know who put it there? Is that when enough is really enough? Can you dig deep down within yourself and decide whether you are strong enough to withstand some unpopularity, but still know you are an ok person? Does it feel any better to be superficially popular, but have a stress headache the size of Texas to show for the performance?

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