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Sunday, June 2, 2013

You're Right To Be Angry . . . But Do You Have To Be?

Hi All, Happy June!  Finally we get some GOOD weather, only to have it washed away next week -- go figure.

I'm gonna reach back into my tried and true repertoire of dealings with people/things/or both that get under our skin.  Not too long ago, I came clean to a few close, personal friends about how much I could not stand someone that they all knew.  I won't reveal who this individual is (I'll use the name "Alex Dumbass" for now), but suffice it to say, after I had come clean, I was no longer expected to pretend to be this Dumbass' friend.  I had made it more than clear that, given the opportunity, I would choose not to be in this individual's presence.

Because certain of my close, personal friends did not understand my reasoning, although I thought it would be obvious, I had to do like Ricky Ricardo and 'splain them.  I told them how Dumbass had shown me nothing but disrespect, offered me nothing to respect, and that I had been almost forced to be nice to Dumbass for reasons that I felt were insufficient.  It took some time for the 'splaining process to reach its desired result, and some of the 'splainees still did not agree with me, but eventually they told me that they would respect my opinion, and not expect me to pretend to be this Dumbass' friend.

One of my friends told me that he had felt almost the same way.  He disliked the same qualities about this Dumbass than I did.  And since he'd known Dumbass longer than I had, he admitted that he probably hated them more.  He was not going to preach to me the tired old song of "just ignore them," "don't stoop to their level," or anything else that left generations of children exposed to bullying and low self-esteem.  But he did question why I'd actually wasted the time I did to cultivate this active dislike that I'd grown.  

I won't lie to you, on the rare occasions that I express my dislike for someone, or an objection to their acrimonious or obnoxious behavior, I don't appreciate being "shushed."  I think it's way too arrogant and judgmental for anyone to minimize or disregard the reasons for my opinion of someone who's crossed my boundaries, simply because it "doesn't bother them."  If it does bother me, then I'm not wrong to be angry.

The question remains, assuming I'm 100% right to be angry, is it necessary to still be angry?  If I'm stuck with that person and they're about to cross another line, it obviously is necessary to be angry.  That way I'm prepared to take the appropriate action once they try to manipulate the situation.  That does not mean I blow my top or cause a scene -- that makes Alex Dumbass look like a martyr or an innocent bystander.  That means I block, bob, weave, or when I need to, hit back.  Just enough to shut them up.

But what if they're nowhere in sight, and none of their little helpers or enablers are listening in to my conversation to find something to twist or manipulate?  What if I'm around the right people, who aren't causing trouble, and I'm still somehow reminded of that individual?  

That's when it's gotta be managed a little bit better.  If I'm busy doing other things, then the Dumbass Factor never comes into play, but what about a slow moment?  Obviously, I can't get stuck thinking about Dumbass.  Instead, I'd have to (a) be mindful of my Dumbass-free time; (b) be thankful for it; and (c) cultivate as many non-Dumbass thoughts as I can.  Not because the "it doesn't bother me" crowd is feeling a little too superior, but because I have decided to do that.

Really a simply step, as you can see.  It's a shame that the Dumbasses of our world (a) get cart blanche to be that way without consequences; and (b) they're surrounded by apologists and enablers that help them stay that way.  But it's an even greater shame when we increase their undeserved power through resentment and grudges.  Better to act on them at the moment action is required, but dismiss them and delete them at all other times.  Trust me, "dress rehearsals" don't work on Dumbasses.

That's my deal, all.  Night, and enjoy an exciting, full, non-holiday week ahead!