The steady pounding resonated through the entire house.
Each contact was made with such force that I felt anxiety resonate in the pit of my stomach . . . and no small amount of concern for the floorboards. My roommate, Blair, was demonstrating what Caitlin (my other roommate) likes to call her “T-Rex impression”.
Welcome to my Week Three True Confessions of an Annoyed Roommate, inspired by nearly 11 months of living with Blair, or what I sometimes like to call:
The Blair Witch Project.
It has been a long year, and living with two Craig’s List Specials is always a regular roulette game, but this year brought some particularly interesting spins of the barrel.
A few short months later it is October, Blair’s then-boyfriend Sam and she were constantly on the fritz because she didn’t really care about him and was just dating him because she didn’t want to be (gasp) 24 and single. At this point some of the niggling issues from the summer months started to really blossom into full-blown concerns.
How about the time that one of my very best friends and her fiancé were visiting from Virginia and, on a Saturday morning, when she had nowhere pressing that she had to be, Blair was unbelievably rude to both of my guests. She actually asked if they could get out of the bathroom and get ready somewhere else because she wanted to shower immediately instead of waiting 5 minutes. Later, when I brought it up with her, she said, “Well, I should get priority, I mean, I live here. I get priority over, like, guests.”
These friends have visited me since that unfortunate run-in and opted not to stay with me, based solely on Blair’s presence in the apartment.
Or there was the time that Blair blew up at me for sitting on the couch next to her, because she needed personal space, which I clearly have little to no respect for, considering how I “always have to use or take” whatever it is that she is using. Like the couch. Or the living room.
There was also that time that I was peeing. You know Peeing; it’s an activity that takes around 2 -4 minutes typically? Well, in that time, Blair managed to knock on the bathroom door three separate times. The third time she knocked she said, “I’m sorry but on a scale of like 1 to 10, it’s like a 9!!!”
Still not seeing why life with Blair has its difficulties? Maybe you have to be there, or hear the interchanges for yourself. Here is a conversation that actually took place, to the best of my ability to jot it down:
Blair: Um, can you not put my bike in the back pantry area? I don’t want people to move my bike.
Me: Oh, sorry. Actually, I moved it because It’s kind of driving me nuts to have it in the middle of the kitchen, and my niece Izzy actually pulled it down on top of herself by accident the other day [Izzy was 2 years old at the time], so I think we need to figure out a new place for it.
Blair: Hmm. Well, it’s a really expensive bike and I use it, like, every Saturday for triathalon training. It’s a really high quality racing bike and so it needs to be well-taken care of. I’m not sure where else it could go.
Me: Well, there is the back pantry area, but then there’s also the basement, or upstairs in the hallway outside your room, or even under the front porch, bike-locked where my bike used to go.
Blair: Oh no. No, there is no way it is going outside. It needs to be completely protected from the elements. The tires can’t get to hot or too cold because that will mess with the air pressure, no. It’s not going outside.
Me: Well, what about the basement?
Blair: No, I am not dragging it up a flight of stairs every Saturday morning when I want to use it.
Me: Are you sure? I mean, there is always the bulkhead door, which is right on the side of the house, we can just leave that open for you on Saturdays, it would be easy enough to lift it right out of–
Blair: No. I – I don’t want it anywhere where I need to bring it up or down a level in order to use it. I already have to carry it down the front stairs, that’s enough.
Me: Okaaaaay, well that pretty much leaves us the back pantry area, or, I guess if we really had to have it in the dining room area, we could.
Blair: Or the kitchen.
Me: I’m not okay with it being in the kitchen anymore Blair. It’s a high traffic area with a lot going on, and we all have to use the kitchen daily, it’s just not working.
Blair: Well if we lived in Boston or Somerville, it would be normal. Lots of people who use their bikes all the time keep their bikes in the main entryway or one of the main rooms. I don’t think it is that unreasonable to keep it in the kitchen. Maybe I want it in the kitchen.
Me: Well, we have half of a house available to us, and we live in the countryside, so I think we can probably manage to find another place for it. Now, if I have everything straight, your requirements for your bike’s storage are, that it be safe and protected from all of the elements, that it be on the main level of the house, that it be accessible, particularly on Saturdays when you need to use it. Is that right?
Blair: *pause* yes.
Me: Well, then it sounds like the only place that will work for both of us (as a compromise) is the back pantry area. It is fully protected from all the elements, it has a lock for safety, it is on the mane level, and it’s about five feet total difference from where you had already been storing it, so it fits all your location requirements.
Blair: *pause* Hmm. Yeah, no. I just don’t like that. I just don’t like it.
And that was the end of the conversation.
You get the picture. I could go on and on. We could talk about her one-hour bath habit, or the leaving-beer-bottles-in-the-bathroom habit. We could shoot the breeze over her passive-aggressive notes and catty methods of handling confrontation. Ultimately, though, what it boils down to? Blair is not somebody that I can live with in the future. We actually asked her to move out once, back in November. It was a long and difficult conversation, and what did Blair do to handle it? She ignored it completely, and called our landlord up, telling him a sob story about how it just wasn’t possible for her to move in the near future. Clearly, the only two times when it is remotely possible to find a roommate or an apartment are in September and June (???). On top of that, she had a really big test to study for . . . something related to her work (like the business person’s equivalent of the GRE). She was quite clear that she could not possibly move out and also efficiently prepare for her exam . . . the exam that she conveniently rescheduled. Twice. Before taking it one Saturday morning after she had been out drinking beer at all hours of the night with Sam. Needless to say, Blair’s nonexistent “studying” paid off, and she scored embarrassingly low on her test, proving how much of a priority the whole thing really was. By that time, we had all but given up hope and moved on as far as the whole roommate conflict went. It wasn’t like we could force the issue – we all signed the lease and our resident manipulator clearly had no plans to allow herself to be ousted before the our term was up.
After Christmas there was a clear shift.
Blair’s tactics changed dramatically post-conflict. She realized that picking on me was counterproductive since the landlord had 5 years of positive experience in my favor if lease renewal became a question. Instead of challenging my every word, Caitlin became the target of every sarcastic jibe, caustic quip, and passive-aggressive comment that Blair could produce. Simultaneously, Blair started to butter me up like I was a fresh white roll and she was Paula Deen at a Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving. Despite all the flattery, friendliness, and fawning, there were still moments of clarity when I could see (cue Cindy Lauper) Blair’s true colors shining through . . .
Even in the little “jokingly” sarcastic things she said, I could tell she was biding her time and biting back the negativity that comes so naturally to her. One day she cut her finger while slicing veggies – not a big cut, but I’m a baby when it comes to getting hurt, so when she came running upstairs to show me the tiny cut, I gave her all the sympathy I could. She asked if I thought she needed stitches, and after looking at the very small cut, I proclaimed her in need of a Band-Aid and some triple antibiotic ointment, both of which I provided. After cleaning up her finger, putting ointment on it, and putting a few bandaids around the cut, she said thanks and went down the hall to her room. Every few minutes, though, she would call out, “It really huuuuurts! I’m such a baby!”. After the third time or so, I chuckled and replied, “Yes, you kind of are.” She stopped mid-complaint in front of my door and let out a miffed laugh, saying, “ You are SUCH a fucking bitch.” This is the second time that she has used this come-back on me “jokingly”, and I called her out on it. “Wait, I clean and bandage your little cut and when I agree with you that you’re being a little babyish about it, that makes me a fucking bitch??? I don’t think so.” “No,” she admitted. “It might make me honest, but not a fucking bitch.” I left it at that.
A few weeks ago, I was just finishing prepping all of the recyclables to put them out the following morning – Neither of my roommates are much for housework or recycling – when Blair called upstairs to me, “Hey, Abby? Do you return our bottles?” Not sure where she was going with her question, I answered, “Well, sometimes I’ll return the returnable ones, although not very often!” There was silence for a minute, and then she called back, “So, what do you do with that money?” I’m pretty sure I let out one of those sort of disbelieving laugh/breaths where you just say “huh” on a laugh. . . and I said, “Well, Blair, last time it wound up being like 45 cents. So . . . I think I spent 45 cents on something?” She waited another minute and said, “Do you think we should pool that money?” I laughed again – I couldn’t help it! Pool all of our 45 cents in some kind of a jar so that we can, what, buy something off the McDonalds dollar menu by the end of the year? I said as much and was met with only silence, Blair’s favorite communication tool. So, I followed it up with the statement, “Well, you’re welcome to take things back to a recycling center and get the return money yourself, I’m not going to keep track of the extra nickels and dimes.” A few minutes later, after much rustling and clanking, Blair was off the subject and had moved on to something else. BUT, the resolution she had found might just say it all . . . She had decided to take a bin (that I was getting rid of) and repurpose it for herself (see right). I wish she had just taken them all back and kept the money for herself.
It would have been nice to have some help with the recycling.
So, the weeks passed and finally the time came to have that conversation. You know, the one where Blair got told to start the hunt for a new place to live when our lease comes up next month. I even wanted to have the dreaded Conversation two months in advance so that she would have plenty of time to search for a place, and because I was about to get my tonsils out and my doctors said talking would be difficult for a while.
Little did I know how dramatically the talking quotient in the apartment was about to change . . .
Blair was the person who initiated our little talk. After weeks of being unavailable, she suggested we all chat while we were home one Sunday night. With a sense of foreboding, I agreed that this would be a good time.
Caitlin’s dread-filled eyes stayed glued to her bowl of Easy-Mac while she practically shook from anxiety on the opposite couch. She sat in silence for almost the entire discussion, while I attempted to explain the situation to Blair in as nice a way as possible. Whenever Caitlin did speak, Blair reacted à la Mean Girls and the two would immediately start to bicker, listing past grievances and citing old spats as ammunition. I had to intervene three times to get us away from devolution into bratty teenaged behaviors, but finally all was said. Blair’s response, however, was a little unexpected.
“Well, I’m not ready to accept that,” she stated abruptly, “It’s not a convenient time for me to move.
. . . what are the odds that you and Caitlin will be moving out of this place?” I floundered for a moment, feeling like a middle school boy who had just tried to break up with a girlfriend and she had refused. Rallying, I finished the conversation, saying, “Well, I understand it isn’t ideal. Moving is always inconvenient, and that is why we wanted you to have two months to get prepared. There is not chance that Caitlin or I will be leaving come June.” So began the silent treatment. In the three weeks following the break-up conversation, Blair said exactly two things to me. First, “Can you move your laundry over?” and, second, “Yeah, I saw it on the calendar.” Other than that, there was no eye contact, no conversation, and no interaction whatsoever. Just a lot of stomping.
This leads me to the part of my story that went badly; the part for which I am partially to blame.
It was a sunny Saturday morning and Blair had risen early and, I’d thought, left, although her car was still in the driveway. Caitlin and I woke up later than usual and chatted pleasantly in the hall while we got ready for the day. As it is sometimes wont to do, conversation turned towards our now-silent housemate.
Cait: How’s she been with you since we talked?
Me: Dude, I think she’s said a grand total of like two words to me!
Cait: Is she really gonna give us the silent treatment for two months?
Me: I know, it’s a little ridiculous, but – Hey, it could be worse.
Cait: True, she could get crazier on us.
Me: I have a feeling we’re going to see several Blairs over the next few months, unfortunately.
Cait: Yeah, lets just hope she doesn’t break and go totally nuts – I could see it happening.
Me: Well, I think she’ll probably exhibit a lot of different behaviors, but we’ll just have to deal with them as they come. . .
I’m sure more was said, but this was the bulk of it, as far as I can remember. Cait has a tendency to say things like they are, a good quality for a roommate, but a bad one if you happen to be a mean person who is eavesdropping on the conversation . . . which Blair apparently was. Oops. It turns out she actually cracked her door open to hear better what we were saying about her. Once we figured it out, we both felt bad, but thinking back to the conversation, it was relatively un-bitchy and fairly accurate.
Well, fast-forward a week. It has been 5 days since my tonsils were removed, and I am on 24 hour pain pills and not exactly loving life. Blair has said absolutely nothing to me concerning my surgery or anything . . . amazing lack of reciprocation for a person who asked me to take care of her on numerous occasions when she was sick. So, it was my first day home after staying with my incredible sister for a week. I was on the couch, watching a tv show with a friend who was kind enough to drop by and keep me company for an hour. Which is when Blair came home.
THUD THUD THUD
THUD THUD THUD
I could tell she was miffed when I asked a quick question directly to her, and she ignored me entirely, walking away from in the process. The sound of her bedroom door slamming signaled her final exit, or so I thought, until my phone buzzed.
Now, I know that there is nothing good that can come of a response . . . I know all the rational reasons for why NOT to engage in a texting battle with people who exhibit characteristics of a narcissistic personality disorder (at least, that’s what I, and all my other friends who work in the mental healthcare field think might be going on). Ultimately, though, sometimes you just get annoyed. And I was pretty darn annoyed at the massive quantity of passive aggressiveness represented in this one short text. So, despite all my better-person-instincts, I texted back rather snarkily. Complete with accidentally saying “want” instead of “wasn’t”, I thought this might shut her down, but I should have known she would be ready with a come back.
Now, once you dip your toes in this kind of conversation, it’s hard to just stop.
So I didn’t.
How could I let her get away with calling herself confrontational ?
Well that was an ouch.
That darned eavesdropped conversation was resurfacing for the first time since it actually happened. It was infuriating on a couple of levels. I mean, first of all, it had nothing to do with what we were talking (or, should I say angrily texting) about – a classic passive aggressive misdirection maneuver. But second of all, she never even brought it up to me in person. There she is, steaming to passive aggressive pieces over something she isn’t even willing to talk about in person. So, I finally came to my senses and realized I was not dealing with a rational person, and it was going nowhere.
There was no response. Maybe she just didn’t read it. Maybe she couldn’t follow my rambling text-patterns.
Either way, it was back to silent treatment the next day.
These have been some of the recent low-lights of life chez moi, and I won’t even bother going into the hour-long baths, dating of a married man, accusing her boyfriend of being a murderer, long discussions of the vibes of Bonaroo, less-than-subtle comments about my weight, or the neverending supply of empty beer bottles materializing in the bathroom. Quite frankly, it has been a long ten-and-a-half months, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the next 45 days (8 hours and 11 minutes . . . but who’s counting) are going to seem even longer. Anyone with insights to offer or advice on how to survive the next month and a half, please feel free to share them! I’ve begun watching The Walking Dead so that I can gain expertise on dealing with inhuman monsters, but since I don’t think this particular Blair Witch Project will be resolved with violence, I’m not so sure it will do me that much good.
I hope we all survive.
Perhaps you are like the tweeter below and find yourself befuddled of late by the phrase “shipping” that is circulating in a whole new way.
You’d better get ready, because when it comes to shipping, there’s a whole new boat we’re talking about, and it’s your own personal cruise-ship of loooooove.
Yeah, you heard me, and no, I’m not talking about human trafficking, which is horrible – shame on you for even thinking that. Actually there’s a new phrase on the street in high school internet-speak these days, and I, inhabiting the front lines like I do, have decided to enlighten others who might not be so fortunate as to spend their days in a high school. It’s a constantly changing world out there, and not everybody can stay up to date with crazy kids and their new-fangled lingo. We’ve talked about the somewhat-endearing internet phenomena of ermahgerd and the ensuing ridiculousness resulting from that series of memes. Well, there’s some emerging terminology I learned this month, and it is a new use for a verb thats been around for a long time. What verb, might you ask?
This is a word you might associate with post offices, paypal, and old fashioned boats, yes? These are the only meanings, right?
To give you the short explanation, this new meaning comes from the world of fandom. In particular from the world of fanfic. When lots of people love a television show or a book, they get attached to characters, right? Well, sometimes, when they get seriously attached, they imagine alternative scenarios for their favorites, particularly alternative romantic pairings. They picture what it would look like for Éowyn to end up with Aragorn, for Damon to end up with Bonnie, for Katniss to end up with Haymitch, for Sherlock to end up with Mrs. Hudson, for Ginny to end up with . . . Snape. That’s right, sometimes when you ship, lines are crossed. But that’s the thing. With shipping, there are no rules.
The characters you pair could be arch-enemies, they could even be from different species. . . To “ship” two characters is simply to put them together in a potential romantic pairing in which they are not usually placed. It’s a way of playing out reader fantasies that will never come to life in the hands of the author.
Some examples of this verb in use?
Situation 1: Somebody reading The Hunger Games for the first time
“Haymitch and Effie? Oh man, I ship them so hard.”
Situation #2: Chatting Television Shows
Person 1: I love watching Once Upon a Time. . . I’m obsessed?
Person 2: Zounds, as am I!!! I’m obsessed – Who do you ship in that show?
Situation #3: People obsessed with the BBC’s show Sherlock – aka the best show ever to be created.
Person 1: Oh man, I just realized I ship Sherlock with, like, almost every other character on that show!
Person 2: Yeah, but John is totally his OTP, right?
Now, this leads us to a second term we need to discuss, because it’s a subcategory of Ships;
OTP stands for One True Pairing. . . meaning the ideal romantic match of two characters. This refers to a fanfic author’s ideal pairing of characters. An OTP is the highest level of Ship – a person’s ideal, rather than just a dabbled idea.
Lets take a look at someone’s example of a ship diagram:
See how it works?
Anyhow, this is one of my original resources for learning about shipping. . . in case you want to check it out!
I hope you found this all enlightening! There’s nothing quite like learning a new widely-accepted misuse of the English Language, right?
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the indescribable beauty you are observing that you get a little sad, because no photo will ever be able to capture the incredible sight before your eyes? Any photo you take or picture you snap will only ever be a pale reflection of the stunning sight before your eyes. The beauty that you witness is not portable. It is at moments like those that I find myself thinking: via
I am going to share with you a few pictures I have taken during moments that took my breath away, in hopes that you will be equally as astounded as I am that photos of such beautiful moments – exquisite though the subject matter is – show just a fraction of the incredible nature of reality. If you can fathom that concept, then you will realize that there is so much beauty around us on a daily basis, so much wonder to behold, that maybe it can serve as a reminder to take advantage of the things we see with our own eyes!
Le Coucher du Soleil
Pathway to Versailles
le chateau de Versailles, France
The Good Board Walk
Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Ciel Du Passé
le chateau de Versailles, France
Pine Bush, MA
Ferrin Field, Wenham, Massachusetts
Geneva, New York
Wishfully Skee Rye Run
Pine Bush, Massachusetts
Gordon College, Coy Pond, Wenham, Massachusetts
Le Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France
Trumansburg, New York
A Covenant Forever
Ithaca, New York
Reflections and Changes
The Lynn Wood, Massachusetts
A Sky on Fire
Somewhere between Boston and New York…
The Great Lawn, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Ithaca, New York
Somewhere in Haute Savoie, France
Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, New York
Through The Window
Somewhere on Rte 227 in New York State
Trumansburg, New York
Glory, A Bus Ride Away
Le Tholonet, France
Tulips, One Dog
view from the top of the Omni Parker in Boston, MA
Come Thou Fount
somewhere near a metro stop in downtown Boston
Fields of Down
Near Crane’s Beach, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Make a Wish
Ithaca, New York
On The Front Porch
Ithaca, New York
You never understand the reality of living in New England until you have forgotten what the front porch looks like without salt stains, you can’t remember what it feels like to walk on dry pavement (forget about grass!), and you can tell that there was an overnight snowfall merely because of the pale white quality of the early morning light leaking through the tightly-closed blinds. It’s a crazy, bipolar kind of existence, living in Massachusetts, because the snow is a force to be reckoned with, an all-encompassing lifestyle shaker. And yet, somehow it renders the two (if we’re lucky) months of summer so vibrant and lush that you can’t bear to leave. In the midst of seemingly endless parades of snow alternating with that strange weather that meteorologists refer to as “wintry mix”, we just manage to remember that in a few months there will be a sea-change.
Oh, sure, first it will rain . . . torrentially . . . possibly for the entire month of June. After that, though, this world that has been so monochromatically gray and so inexplicably frozen will explode into action.
The trees will blossom into lush fullness, the ocean will sparkle like a blanket of diamonds, the heat will surprise popsicles into melting, and the sun will catch oft-hidden pale skin unaware with more than just a kiss of color. I often wonder how southerners read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and really get it. Who can understand the curse of “always winter, but never Christmas” if they haven’t lived it in some way? A single season –even winter– might not sound too bad for people who have not truly traveled into the extremes.
Why do we think, societally, that talking about the weather is shallow? Perhaps we use it as a conversational crutch to avoid more personal dialogue, or to keep chatter topical and connect us to everyday faces we encounter through that one universal experience, but weather is nothing to be relegated merely to the surface level. Weather, in its extremes, and perhaps even in its temperance, can be life-changing. A freak storm might end a life but a lifetime of weak sunlight on crabgrass might render a life less full, which is possibly more insidious. Talking about weather might just be the most important thing we do, if it allows us to recognize the multifaceted brilliance of our backdrop.
Maybe I will someday laugh at these foolish musings and think that I was young and over-romanticizing a silly topic. Or maybe when I am old, I will move to an always-sunny climate because my back can no longer take the hours of shoveling required to manage life in New England. I don’t pretend to know the way that age shapes perspectives on weather, but I do know that snowstorms that were once just a glittering world of opportunity for forts, snowmen, and hot chocolate are, sadly, now more commonly groan-inducing reasons to shovel the driveway so that you can slide terrifyingly as you try to stop the car on the commute to work. Perspectives do change and the practicalities and responsibilities of life might change me, so I might be lying when I say that I always will live in a place with four seasons. It is, however, my plan, and for this moment I am sticking to it.
So today, even though I am headed to pick up my snow shovel and scrape off the tired Honda, I am going to remember that in a few months everything will change. I am thankful to know what it means to have a season, to understand the curse of the White Witch and the joy in the hope of Aslan. I am thankful to live in New England. The snow may be deeper here, but the sun is also warmer.
Passive and Aggressive behaviors should be mutually exclusive; they’re a true paradox, don’t you think?
According to a printable worksheet regarding Passive and Agressive Behaviors that I read recently, Passive Communication is described as “When using passive communication an individual does not express their needs or feelings. Passive individuals often do not respond to hurtful situations, and instead allow themselves to be taken advantage of or to be treated unfairly.”
Traits that indicate passive communication include (but I’m sure couldn’t possibly be limited to…):
1.) avoidance of any direct human contact (this includes eye contact)
2.) failure to ever get one’s own way/perpetual dissatisfaction
3) perfection of the art of muttering (aka being “soft spoken” or “shy”), gossiping to others about perceived problems, and/or using written notes as your only form of confrontation
4.) consistant state of annoyance (due to ineffectiveness of methods)
5.) increased use of non-verbal expressions (i.e. the “silent treatment”)
According to that same resource, “aggressive communicators violate the rights of others when expressing their own feelings and needs. They may be verbally abusive to further their own interests.”
Traits of aggressive communication include (and yet, refuse to be limited to):
1.) use of criticism, humiliation, and domination towards anyone who might even marginally be construed as inconvenient or threatening
2.) frequent interruptions and failure to listen to others
3.) consistant state of annoyance (due to ineffectiveness of methods)
4.) loud expressions and/or an overbearing manner
If you’re between the ages of 12 and 55 and own a computer (my rough estimate), you’ve probably chuckled at a few of the humorous passive aggressive moments circulating internet-ville. . . or maybe you’ve seen the books of passive aggressive notes now in circulation. Now, we might laugh, but this is an indicator of a serious problem: If there are enough examples to publish multiple books, then clearly there are too many passive aggressive people in this world.
As pointed out in an extremely funny explanation of the levels of passive aggression that I read recetly, passive aggressive notes are a level 2 Passive Aggressive move. . . and they are infamous. I’ve received a few of these over the years, actually. What I’ve noticed (as a veteran note-recipient myself) is that they just don’t work.
The problem with Passive Aggression (of any kind really) is that it is inherently flawed and utterly unproductive. Ultimately you just end up stewing over your own pet peeves until you explode at some unsuspecting offender – an act which guarantees a self-defense retaliation reaction and subsequent fight. When you can manage a level-headed confrontation, you can resolve issues/frustrations with a little bit of honesty, then move on and quit it with all of the inner annoyed-ness over things gone by . . .
Careful, though! Just because you’re annoyed at people, don’t go in the direction of the aggressive communicator, you shouldn’t just spew nastiness at people in the name of “being honest” and “confrontational”. Sometimes you are actually the one being unreasonable. This is why you have to work on perfecting a very specific skill. I like to think of it as:
Sometimes people are frustrating. Welcome to the human race, glad you could make it. People’s frustrating aspects do not, however, give you the right to bulldoze them verbally with your frustrations. Remember that you need to cut people slack sometimes. Have the discernment to know when you should engage, and when you should smile, nod, and move on. Try to keep in mind that attitudes (yours included) are just a nasty bit of business occasionally. Allow for grace, particularly if you know the person at fault has other stuff going on. Lets face it, people who irrationally piss everyone around them off? They usually have some underlying stuff that they’re trying to deal with. . . Which leads us to another relevant truth.
So, strive to be happy with your life, and try to approach people with a gracious attitude when they might be taking out their own unhappiness on you. When your snarling inner beast rears its ugly, toothy, rabid head, remember:
You can keep yourself in check and deal with conflict situations like an adult – by approaching someone with honesty and caring. Lets face it, if you don’t care about the person you are addressing, you are in a conflict for only your benefit and aren’t thinking about the entire situation at hand. You have to force yourself to consider both sides of the story (NOT stew internally while gossiping with everyone else you can find) and then keep yourself from going all wolf-tastic and attacking your unsuspecting prey. Ultimately, if you have legitimate frustrations to address (i.e. so-n-so always forgets to ____, even though they know it’s a safety concern), there is a way to deal with them like a grown up . . . don’t let your anger make you act like an idiot. Not only is is both unattractive and immature, it’s unproductive.