Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ranty Ranty...

Of late I've been thinking a lot about feelings - both mine and others'.

I've been thinking that while they are the very essence of what makes us who we are, they're kind of a pain sometimes. I mean, not only do we have to monitor our own on a fairly constant basis, but we also have to be mindful of others'.

It seems inevitable that no matter what we do, there's going to be a time when we hurt someone that we care about. Because regardless of how careful we are, not everyone feels the same way about everything. The world just doesn't work that way.

The other day at work, I had a situation that I felt very strongly one way about, and everyone in the office felt the opposite. Of course the appropriate course of action there was to go with the majority, and since it wasn't something that was going to have long-last effects on anything, I pretty much let it go.

Because that's what we often do in life - just let things go. Because it's so much easier to control our own behaviour (not feelings, I don't think we can help those) than it is to try to control someone else.

But what about those times when you just can't let something go? You see often it seems that there is one person who gives way the majority of the time in any relationship (working, sibling, friendship etc) than others. On the surface it might be that the person who gives way just doesn't feel as strongly as the other person. But that's generally not the case at all. It's often the case that the person who gives way is either a) the bigger person or b) quite avoidant of conflict.

But when that person just can't let something go? Well, then what? You see we often see examples in books/TV/movies of how when that person finally stands their ground on something, there is cheering and fanfare all around them. The person that they are standing up to is so in awe of this change in behaviour that they suddenly understand everything that they've been doing wrong all along and bow down to that person's wishes.

Well that's a load of crap. I have never seen that happen in real life. From personal experience (cause let's remember this is MY blog people, and I'm only writing this from my point of view) it generally tends to backfire. The people that I've stood up to, have made me feel so selfish about it that it just didn't seem worth it.

I know I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I am constantly monitoring people. How are they feeling? Is this a good time to approach them? I watch their every reaction and censor every word I say to make sure it doesn't go badly.

But even this has it's drawbacks. I've been accused of being condescending when I've spoken calmly and rationally about a situation that I'm upset about. This person was so accustomed to having people fly off the handle (what does that expression mean anyhow?) that he didn't know what to do with my behaviour.

People simply don't react well to being told (no matter in what way) that you've hurt them, and their instinctive reaction is to just get hurt and angry back.

All this sounds like I'm about to start advocating for a "why even bother" attitude doesn't it? And I admit, that's how I feel some days. But on the whole, no. I do think we should bother. I think that we as humans have an obligation to each other. The world can't exist in a strictly ID society. We have to be mindful of others.

So as exhausting as it is, we have to question ourselves, our feelings and think about how what we're about to say and do is going to affect the other person. We have to remind ourselves that they are not mind readers and they may not know what your intentions are behind your words.

And when people do explode? When they do something that is hurtful or out of character? Maybe instead of giving the knee-jerk angry reaction, simply as "why?" Why did they do that? Is there some tiny part of what I did that may be deserved that?

I think we owe it to each other to think more.

Ugh, two ranty posts in a row. I think I'll write about puppies and lollipops next time.


Crys said...

ranty posts are ok, and i like what you've said here.

Anonymous said...

hey get it all out. we're old enough to be more opinionated without apology imo XD

lots ' love,

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I LOVE ranty posts!! I've been known to have both reactions.

The one I deal with best is the cranky sales person. I try my best to remember that whoever they served before me may have been a complete asshole to them and put them in that bad mood. I try my best to be kind and sweet and show them that there are nice people in the world.

But I'm notorious for losing my temper. Oops!

Valley Girl said...

I so know how you feel. I feel that sometimes, when I stand my ground on something, I'm accused of being a bitch.

Alice said...

Don't worry Princess! I have felt the same way most of the time

Princess of the Universe said...

Crys- thanks honey, I appreciate it.

K- I'll tell you the backstory when next we speak...

PPP- good on you for the salesperson thing!

VG- and it's sooo not fair!

Alice- thank you dearest!


Captain Smack said...

I've come across this problem myself. Balancing "not being an asshole" with "not being full of shit" can be tricky. It's an art. You have to care about people enough to take their feelings into consideration, but care about yourself enough to not let people run all over you.

The way I see it, it's best if each of us takes care of ourselves, and not try to manage other people's feelings. Oh, sure, censor yourself if it's not causing you a big problem to do so, but don't start trying to protect other people from the truth. Go ahead and let 'em have it. Shake things up a little. I think that ends up working out better for everyone in the end. Plus, it'll give you lots of new and interesting problems to blog about.

And remember, I'm a Captain, so I know what I'm talking about. Mainly, though, I just don't want you to start writing about puppies and lollipops. Unless it's something really twisted.

Amber said...

WOW! I cannot believe how much this struck home with me!

I was sitting here reading it, shaking my head, going, "yup! That's it... that's exactly it!"

And by the time I was finished, I had an almost ridiculous amount of relief that SOMEBODY ELSE GETS IT! And is going through the same kinds of things.

Just... whoa. :)

You have no idea how much I needed to read something like this! Well, maybe, since we've been exchanging emails all week (yay!) but you know what I mean?

It's almost 3am... shuddup, lol.

I'm going to stop spamming your comments and go to bed. I did get your email and I promise I'll be writing you back soon! Probably tomorrow evening when I get home :).


Princess of the Universe said...

Oh Captain - duly noted, a messed up twisted post about puppies and lollies will be forthcoming.

Amber- Well, this post was a little bit inspired by your situation as well as some other things that have been going on in my world. I should give credit where it's due :)


Amber said...

If you need/want to talk about your personal situations that you're dealing with, please don't hesitate to email me!

And, no "credit" is due anywhere. Other than your own great writing and bravery in putting it all out there for people to relate to!

We are two Princesses in a Pod!


Psychgrad said...

I think there's a time and place to voice an opposing opinion. Personally, I probably speak up too much and am stubborn with my opinions.

What you're writing about reminds me of the Asch conformity experiment.

Sharon, The Queen Blogger said...

I've been told that I don't have a filter. Things run from my head to my mouth without much warning. Just the other day, I told a guy "Phew! You stink!". He was on a treadmill and the women next to him quietly made eye contact with me and nodded in agreement whilst holding her nose.

He made an excuse, blamed it on the MP3 band on his arm and looked embarrased.

Of course I realized what an asshole I am and what a hurtful thing it was I said. God!!! But it was too late.

Now, for the upside, when people are around me, they know exactly where I stand. So equally loving things come out of my mouth ... like "You are so smart!" and "You are just amazing!" So ... I don't know, I think its a draw?

Sherri said...

Hello, Princess. I don't remember how I got here except that I followed a trail from Absolute Write and got caught up in your rant and before I knew it I'd read your whole front page. So now I'm going to put you on my reader, hope that's all right.

Have a lovely day. :)

Princess of the Universe said...

Amber- I think I already gave you way TMI in my last email!! ;P

PsychG- I'll need to think about that a bit the link). It's now a day or so later, so I'm not quite as emotional or irritated as when I wrote this!

Sharon - thanks for stopping by! I by no means think that people should never say what they're thinking, just to be cognizant of others...a good compliment is always lovely!

Sherri - thanks for adding me! I look forward to reading all about you too!


Becky said...

Oh goodness. I have to deal with crap like this all the time. All it ends up doing to me is give me a major migraine.

I have no idea what ever happened to the idea of common courtesy. I'm not even sure it exists anymore. Its all about "my way or not at all".

Like you said, sometimes its trivial and I can let it go. But other times, it just makes me so mad and the more I think about it, the angrier I get.

Maybe I'm too emotional, or not thick-skinned enough...or maybe I'm just always pms'ing!

sequined said...

Don't apologize for being ranty! This is YOUR blog. Also, you make really interesting, thoughtful points, and I don't think you should worry about deliberately alternating them with lollipops and puppies if you don't feel like it.

Arthur Dent said...

It is your blog, and you rant so well! Thanks for this, there is presently a conflict of intelligence and conduct at the firehall that runs parallel to a great deal of what you say here....

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