If you live in this world, which you do – then there is about a 99.9% chance that people are going to piss you off. Frequently. In fact, you might not be able to make it through a single day without having to deal with the asinine behavior of others presenting itself in an ‘in your face’ manner. By the end of the day, your tongue is probably stinging with pain from your biting it so much. Some people call this ‘not stirring the pot,’ or ‘being political correct,’ ‘or ‘using your manners,’ or even – ‘choosing to be positive.’ The problem is that while you are pretending to ignore the idiotic behaviors of others – and to bite your tongue rather than tell people how you really feel, you are still reeling with anger, resentment, or frustration about what happened
Then, you share it with your friend on the phone. You post about the ‘incident’ on Facebook. Or, you sit down at the dinner table and unleash a tale of terrible things to your significant other – completely baffled about the audacity of some people in your world. Essentially, you are deferring your feelings rather than dealing with them. And then the next day comes, and the same ‘things’ happen again and again.
Here is a question for you. What if instead of playing nice, you decided that you would be straightforward with others and deal with it rather than stew? What if instead of being pissed that your rude lunch waitress totally ignored you and never refilled your drink once during the course of the meal, you spoke to her or a manager while it happened. What if instead of listening to your mother in law tell you how to raise your child time and time again – you told her quite frankly that you didn’t want to hear the advice? What if the next time someone butts in front of you in line at the grocery store – you politely, but assertively reclaim YOUR place? What if instead of saying yes to the PTO president who is constantly asking you to donate time to the school, you told her you had a life of your own to deal with? What if instead of listening to the barrage of negative jibber gabber your best friend is always spewing, you just said, “I don’t want to listen to this” and walked away?
Would the world end? No!
Far too many of us are so worried about being politically correct, and about being seen as nice individuals that we are compromising our sanity and happiness for the sake of others. In the process, WE….YOU are the one getting walked on.
Ignoring a problem or pretending it doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it go away. Humans have emotions and reactions to situations for a reason. If something makes you angry, or makes you feel like you are being taken advantage of – that is a intuitive red flag that indicates you should stand up for yourself. Plus, when you sit back and say nothing, do nothing, bite your lip and hold your tongue – you only invite more of the same behavior.
There is an old saying that we teach others how to treat us. If you allow people to walk all over you, and don’t speak up for yourself and instead remain inwardly upset – these people will continue doing the same thing. It does not matter if what they are doing is wrong, or rude – if you allow it….you invite it.
There are many benefits to dealing with a situation rather than stewing about it. For one thing, you don’t spend an immense amount of time exuding your energy worrying about it or being angry. If you deal with things in the moment, as they happen – they are done and over with right away. In the long run, this enables you to be a more positive person. And, you will realize a heightened sense of self-esteem and confidence. Even better, is that people will begin to see you as a person, or a force to be reckoned with – and will think twice about crossing you or taking advantage of you. It is only fair and honest of you to make sure the people know how you feel about things. If you cannot be honest with others, then stewing about it, complaining and holding resentments is really your personal cross to bear. In other words, you bring it on your self.
Confronting people and being forthright doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a ‘bitch’ or that you are going to be perceived as something negative by other people. You are not a ‘hard ass’ because you are choosing to be involved with what kind of rhetoric you allow in your life. You really CAN speak your mind, let others know how you think – set limits and boundaries about behavior you will tolerate (and behavior you wont) without coming across as rude. After being nice and being political correct for all these years, you may have to practice being assertive (not aggressive) in front of a mirror for a while. But in the long run, you have much to gain – and very little to lose.
Plus, you will not spend a bunch of time wallowing in what you should have said, or complaining to others about the people in your life, or reeling with resentment that can leave you emotionally exhausted and bitter!