On the art of keeping my big mouth shut

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Ugh.

I’ve had enough drama in my life, how about you?

I don’t go seeking out drama. The problem is…the problem is, that I always, always, react. I have the hardest time just walking away. I’ve been like this my entire life, and my sister can confirm that, with a sad shake of her head for all the trouble I could have avoided. ‘Just ignore them, they will get bored and go away’ has never been a real option for me.

Personal injustices eat at me. Indeed, I hate those nights when I can’t sleep and I dredge some nastiness out of my past. I’ll rehash the incident until my adrenaline is over the limit and there’s no chance of my sleeping again. I feel like this:

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Using words as my lance, I want to skewer my opponent or knock them on their fat ass. You really don’t want to keep pushing me past the point when I am able to use my words, either. Blind unthinking rage isn’t far underneath my surface.

Today, something happened. A bit of condescension toward me, a big dose of childishness on the other person’s part. I was willing and able to let it go. Until a third person chimed in, and insulted me in a couple of ways.

Well, I didn’t want to let that go. Let me set the record straight, biatch!

I spent way too much brain power cogitating on responses: intelligent, snotty, insulting, funny, off-hand, etc. I thought about this for a couple of hours while I did housework and puttered in the garden.

None of my cleverly crafted responses made me feel any better. Because I realised something: this time, at least, walking away was the only solution. You can’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. I wasn’t going to ‘win’ by arguing my point (which was already well made, not my problem they were too thick to understand it properly). I wasn’t going to make my opponents less childish or condescending or insulting. In fact, I realised, it would mean more hours of thinking up responses to their responses. Drama.

So perhaps I’ve grown up a bit, finally. I walked away without a word. Buh-bye.

My only worry now is this: am I now going to turn into a passive-aggressive snot-nose whiner? I mean, I’m here, posting about ‘the incident’ without going into detail or naming names – isn’t that what people mean by passive-aggressive? Cuz I really prefer to just be aggressive.

I’ll take the drama over turning into a big sissy.

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14 responses »

  1. It takes guts and inner peace to walk away, Spiders. Writing here is the way to dispel the nasty left-overs: you’re not immune to the idiocy, but you can choose how to feel. You decided to feel calm.

    I believe you also have a powerful knowing: sometimes there is no good reason to engage, that you and the other will not be having the same conversation and that is just tiring.

    It’s not necessarily easy to lift oneself above the naming-names, but it’s powerful because you have stepped back a bit, rather than being embroiled in the moment. You’ve looked at the surroundings instead of just the conversation.

    Keep writing until the feelings dissipate. Talk as much as you need to. It’s a great pressure-relief valve and it is NOT whining or passive.

    Stand up straight when this stuff swirls and fend it off with your Spiders-powers!

    With admiration,
    Laurel

    • Thank you, my dear! I also got irritated this time as it wasn’t even a ‘big’ deal, but my brain didn’t want to let it go. Seriously hard work to be calm, when you aren’t set up that way naturally!

      Thanks also for saying I wasn’t/amn’t being a wuss πŸ™‚

      • Practice does work. I think it rewires the neuronal paths, so we have options more easily available.

        You amn’t being a wuss!

        Socks mentions the experience with passive-aggressive. It takes a meanness of spirit, not in the I-hate-you way, but in the way where that personality is always holding back the vulnerable part of themselves and has a sledgehammer in hand to take on life.

        The crap with my sister recently was an exercise in being calm, finding my centered self, and moving on.

        When does this shite stop? NEVER! agggggghhh!

        Along with these moments of choosing come wisdom and humility–that we aren’t perfect, but we try hard.

        • I LOVE how both of you latched on to my “amn’t”!!! That’s a contraction I’ve only heard in Ireland – it drove me nuts when I heard it! Now I think it’s funny.
          I don’t carry a sledge, my weapon would be more like the William Wallace claymore sword I have here in my living room. I would never swing first, though. Everyone gets an equal chance to behave properly – after that, I feel free to put the smackdown on.

          In this case, it wasn’t worth wiping their blood off my blade πŸ™‚

          You have it much worse with your sister. I’m in awe of your, and Socks’, ability to be the big girl when family are the problem.

          • Life’s short and can be so brutal. The older I get, the less tolerant I am of bad behavior. I don’t care who it is.

            Amn’t is funny and why shouldn’t it be in usage?!

            Actually, my sister has it much worse with ME! >:-D (“good luck, little sister; hope therapy helps!”)

            • Hmm. The older I get, the easier it is to walk away. Well, I never was one for doing things according to the rules.

              I hope sis’s therapy is EXPENSIVE.

              Amn’t actually does appear to be a proper contraction, doesn’t it? And I know I’m a bit shit at using them, too. I think we need to make it global.

            • well, amn’t is syntactically logical, so I’m with you: go global! >:-D Just like: are+not = aren’t.

              And learning English is hard enough without having that ridiculous change in grammar in the first person!

              Very sadly for my sister’s prognosis, is that in June we all celebrated her receiving her Master’s in Social Work (clinical). aggggggghhhh…. talk about stuffing things down… it’s sad…. and it was expensive, but didn’t take, apparently.

  2. I think you know what I would say here if we were on the phone.

    No you amn’t a wuss. You are right in realizing that some arguments you just can’t “win”.

    Laurel is exactly right talking about the pressure valve. Write it out, talk it out, work through it.

    All that is NOT passive aggressive. I can tell you all about passive aggressive. My family is CHALKED FULL of those nuts πŸ˜‰

    Just being able to step back and look at it as a whole is sadly something a lot of people can’t do. Congrats, you’re one of us.

  3. I wish I had the guts to say bitchy in return, at times. When people are mean, harsh, rude or insulting me. Especially with strangers I usually don’t say a thing, and walk away. While I end up, thinking of the things I could’ve said. You should teach me how to react, haha!

    And maybe it was a good thing, this time to walk away and say nothing.
    What if you did say something?

    • Yikes, face to face we all fall short of being able to say just the right thing! Hence sleepless nights πŸ™‚ A long, hard stare without saying a word can unsettle people and make them think, though. And it gives you time to come up with a snappy comeback! I did put the smackdown on a queue-jumping old lady rather recently though – and boy that felt good. Scary, but good. I wasn’t raised to be rude, or disrespectful. But I also wasn’t raised to be walked over.

      Yes, it was the right thing to do. If I’d interacted I’d have been caught in the web, and brought down to that level, not worth it!

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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