Unpleasant People and the Problems I Have With Them

#Reverb14, Day 6:
Despite our usually sunny dispositions … we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual. […]
Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?
 

882f926270b4c33b09c9fde47ac371f2I have had to interact with so many unpleasant people in my life and community in the last five to seven years that I no longer choose to anymore unless they are unavoidable. I don’t care to engage in negative interaction anymore. I don’t want to. I don’t like how it affects my mental or spiritual health.  I don’t like how it can potentially affect my family. Instead, I would much rather use my time for a better reason.

If these people end up in my writing somewhere, that’s not my problem, right? Their negativity and personalities simply became tiny figments of my imagination. This doesn’t mean, however, I won’t confront people when I need to.  It simply means I am more selective in my battle cries.

I will rarely launch one of my full range Beatrice-style missiles against someone unless I have become fully engaged. Minor irritations don’t usually amuse me more than anything and this comes from my experience as a teacher. As I would tell new teachers, “Students can’t get your goat if you don’t bring your goat to school.”  Unpleasant pleasant don’t meet my inner-Beatrice if they don’t insist on arguing certain social issues.  I”m not looking for a Benedict to trade witty barbs with in hopes of falling in love, I’m looking for people to quit being dicks.

Strangely enough, in the “real life” world I don’t find unpleasant people around me. Admittedly, I don’t look for them, but I also don’t trip over them either.  I don’t get flipped off in traffic.  I don’t get yelled at in stores or parking lots. I small talk with many people every day and I find them all to be pleasant and good people. Social media is an entirely different experience.  One of three things could be happening here:  All the jerks are online and all the nice people are not, people online act like jerks online and might be nice in real life, or it’s a combination of these factors. Which could possibly mean that everyone is a liar.

Sure, there is the likely theory that people feel safer in being a jerk online because they can hide behind a screen. Yet even on Facebook where there is some semblance of a profile and transparency I find a whole lot of jerkiness.

And I don’t have patience for it when it’s an issue I care about. Most recently, I went head to head with a woman on a friend’s Facebook timeline who contended that a people “like” Mike Brown and Tamir Rice “deserved” to get shot.  I am not one to let that go.  I also realize that I am not the one who will convince this supposedly Christian woman otherwise. Instead I simply state my position and call it a night.

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I’m a busy woman with a family to raise and projects to work on.  I don’t care for politicking. I much rather be plain spoken so people know where I stand and I know where they stand. I have been known to apologize to people for thinking poorly of them in the past and realizing my hasty judgment.  I hope others would treat me the same but I know that they don’t. In fact, to say I’ve been treated poorly by members of my community would be a horrifying understatement.  I can’t control other people’s responses or behaviors though.  I can only understand mine and what provokes how I treat others.  I also believe that if I try to fight every single battle then it will dilute the meaning in my energy. If I fight everything then that means I will fight for anything. And that means there is no significance to any of my words.

And who can write with gloves on anyway?

C. Streetlights
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Published by C. Streetlights

I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books

4 thoughts on “Unpleasant People and the Problems I Have With Them”

  1. Kat says:

    I love your goat.

    1. This made me laugh in a fantastic burst of snorting. I love you!

  2. Beth says:

    When I first read the title, I thought we might have words… no time for Benedict Cumberbatch? Dear me, there’s *always* time for Benedict Cumberbatch. Imagine my relief when I read your post and found out you were referring to Shakespeare’s Benedict.

    That said, I find myself not engaging in social/politcal discussions via social media. In fact, I avoid them like the plague. It’s rarely a healthy discussion between friends, it usually ends up being a flame war between two people who have either met once or twice at a mutual friend’s event or two people who don’t know each other. In either scenario, they lose all ability to discuss something intelligently or rationally and begin slinging mud at someone they couldn’t identify in a line-up.

    I have a very, very good friend who is the single most liberal person I know. She’s not a believer. We never discuss social/political issues on social media, we *do* discuss them when we hang out. We often agree to disagree, but it’s an agreement we come to with love and mutual respect. However, as time has passed, she has opened my eyes to somethings and I have opened her eyes to others. We’ve had intelligent, respectful discussion. That’s healthy. And productive. Flame wars between two (or more) parties who don’t know each other are usually disrespectful and more than a little hateful. How does this help? It doesn’t… these discussions are neither healthy nor productive.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t engage, I just find it interesting that people throw rocks at each other without knowing why they believe and espouse what they believe and espouse. There’s no context and no respect for their position due to the ignorance associated with not knowing the individual personally. I very rarely put myself in that position. Like you, though, I have been known to butt in when there was something so egregiously stated it begged to be addressed.

    And I absolutely love the idea of leaving my goat at home so no one can get it… I’m going to have to remember that!

    1. Yes. There are definitely times to agree to disagree, politely discuss and part ways. And then times to step in and engage. And it is always more beneficial to leave the goat at home. xo

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