Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Small Bold Move

To tell a person immediately that I'm getting annoyed with whatever they're doing, instead of letting irritation pile up and then blowing up to the surprise of everyone.

Why is that so hard?

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mamie said...

The other side of that involves the person with whom I am irritated: If they take it as a small thing, deal with it, and let it go, then it's easy. But if they become immediately defensive, get irritated, and turn the tables on me, and I know this is the way they react, I tend to wait. And of course, it grows yeast-like in the psyche. I empathize.

kenju said...

I've been called passive-agressive, and that is the way P/A's act.

Janet Roper said...

And the answer is.....?

For me, it's the invitation to learn to care for myself by learning to speak up in a way that is respectful to all involved, including myself.

Wouldn't it be easier if Life came with a Life 101 booklet?
Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it.

Peggy Payne said...

Bringing all three of your thoughts together, Mamie, Kenju, and Janet, makes an interesting picture.

It's a matter of how to frame the situation in part: view it as self-care to speak up appropriately and passive-aggressiveness not to. And then keep the other person's patterns in mind.

I also realize that it worries me to startle people with a change in my pattern. Anyone used to me speaking up only about big things will for a while get the idea, should I change, that the little things I mention are big things.

K.B. said...

I have the opposite problem -- if something irritates me, it's normally my natural personality to just pipe right on up and say so. (A friend once told me he thought I was just aggressive-aggressive.) So I have to be more careful about not hurting people's feelings, since things just naturally -- blup -- fall right out of my mouth.

It doesn't help that in high school, an English teacher that I admired used to rant on about how saying "In my opinion" was a silly thing to say, as of course it was your opinion, or why would you be saying it otherwise? So I stopped saying "In my opinion" and just blurted my opinion out.

It's been interesting with my partner. We've both had to do a lot of adjusting -- him because he's both British and by nature more P-A, me because I have to remember to let him know that if I'm irritated and/or low-blood sugar or whatever, I have to tell him that the irritation or anger has nothing to do with him, it's all about me, baby.

He often tells me that it must be nice to go through life so confidently, which always makes me laugh, as I don't *feel* like I'm any more confident than the next person. I suppose that I am, though, or so many people wouldn't tell me so. :)

Peggy Payne said...

K.B., you do have the benefit of not wasting time choosing the right moment and place and mood and words in which to say something.

I often discover, though, that I've just brought up, unconsciously,automatically, the worst possible topic to bring up with a particular person.

Once I saw my extremely sensitive husband immediately bring up the worst possible topic with a person he'd never seen before and knew nothing about. It's uncanny what we know and do without awareness.

K.B. said...

There's also the Poof Theory, which a friend of mine named for a tendency within the theatre building we worked in. It had very long, echoing corridors that curved, because the theatres were built largely in the round, so you couldn't see anyone more than a few yards away in the corridor. You'd say something mean-spirited, nasty, private, controversial, you name it, something you didn't necessarily want to share with more than the person you were talking to, and...poof, around the corner would walk the subject of the conversation, their best friend, or possibly your boss...