Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To Be Passive Aggressive and Annoy the Crap Out of Me - Part 1 of 12,546

I HATE confrontation. I'm pretty sure it's because I grew up in a family where it wasn't safe for me to disagree or even possible to have healthy conflict. I was always punished pretty seriously for defiance or arguing and wasn't taught how to deal with issues in a healthy and productive way. I'm almost 40 29 years old and  still get sweaty and nervous when I find the need to confront someone about something that's bothering me. That being said, even when I can't find the courage to do it (which happens frequently), I usually just let it go (really, I do). I'm not much of a grudge holder. But when I do manage to confront, I try to do it in a direct manner, as I believe that's the most healthy and respectful way to handle these differences. Even though my parents didn't handle conflict in the healthiest way, they were at least direct about it and never tried to hide when they were upset.

One thing that drives me up a friggin' wall is when someone is mad at or irritated with me and takes out their anger/frustration in a passive aggressive manner. Seriously, it raises my blood pressure just writing about it. Not only is this manner of "handling" conflict unfair to the other person (since it doesn't really give them the opportunity to respond or discuss), but it's incredibly immature and annoying.

I really wanna rip your nuts off, but instead I'll just
 passive aggressively blow smoke in your stupid hair.

So, do you wanna know what you can do in the future if you ever feel like irritating the crap out of me? I thought you might (as I get this question frequently), so here you go:
  1. Ignore me when I directly ask you a question. OK, maybe "When are you gonna stop being such a smelly turdbucket?" isn't the best example.
  2. Don't call me after you say you will, repeatedly. I hate talking on the phone, though, so I guess I can let this one go.
  3. Refuse to look me in the eye, even when I'm staring holes through your skull. I mean, I know it's tough because I'm only ~3'1" and usually at bellybutton height , but I try to wear tall shoes so eye contact is still possible. 
  4. Be curt and formal with me even though I've known you for 73 bajillion years and/or see you all the time. If I wanted to be treated this way, I would go to Nordstrom's.
  5. Avoid me or not speak to me at all. Although I will probably appreciate this if you're irritating me that much, so, on second thought, go right ahead.
These are probably my Top 5, but feel free to be creative. Douchebaggery is an artform, really. On second thought, why don't you just tell me what's wrong? What a novel idea.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Post-Holiday Zombieland

So, I haven't posted a blog in at least a couple of weeks. I haven't even posted on Facebook much lately, which is unusual since I stalk check in pretty regularly.

I think it's the post-holiday boredom. I seriously feel like a zombie. I don't feel sad or unhappy, just very BLAH, like I wish someone would kick me in the vajajay just to get me riled up. I guess I got used to the craziness of the holiday season. Every single day for at least a month, I spent time researching gifts online, going to stores to shop, buying and wrapping gifts, decorating, baking, and being incredibly friggin' jolly. 99% of my spare time was taken up with this stuff. Then, immediately following the holidays (for about a week), it's great. You relax, you're thankful to be done with shopping, and just bask in the holiday glow and gluttony. BUT, then comes the new year. Back to work. No fun to look forward to immediately. Gotta pay off that holiday debt and lose the holiday flab. I don't even get the day off for MLK Day. Thhhbbpppttt.

Mini-Me Doesn't Get Federal Holidays Either
So, these days, I get up begrudgingly, hose off shower, eat breakfast with The Mayor, go to work, hate my job work for 8 hours, pick up little dude from daycare, eat dinner, play Legos, bathe and put The Mayor to bed, sit my ass on couch and drool at the TV for 2 hours, go to bed. Repeat x5. The weekends are, obviously, much better. I don't have to expend time and effort restraining myself from calling my coworkers "douchebag" (this can be very time consuming and draining, really). I can enjoy my time with The Mayor and Ace doing fun stuff, eating good food, and just hanging out.

Frankly, I couldn't even think of a good way to end this post, that's how drooly and zombie-like I am right now. It's amazing I can even drive and dress myself. *sigh* Gotta gotta gotta win that lottery. Cuz I'm pretty sure I wouldn't feel this way if I lived in The Bahamas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Death of Empathy

I think I've been spending way too much time lately in parking lots, probably because Christmas was just a few days ago and thus I've been shopping for presents about 22.5 hours a day for the last 3 months. So I realize my observations here may be fueled by over-caffeinated, overspending, lack-of-time frustrations, but I still believe them to be valid. So what I want to know is why people these days treat parking lots like a pedestrian-only zone?!

Almost every time I'm in a parking lot these days (parking my car, as per the parking lot 'How To' guide that is widely available), people are walking directly in the line of traffic, many times paying zero attention to the cars trying to (say it with me) PARK in the PARKING LOT. I'm not saying that pedestrians shouldn't have the right of way. I mean, they're usually slightly smaller and made of less reinforced steel than cars, so it makes sense that cars should yield to them. But people wander, seemingly aimlessly, through the area where cars drive, without notice or care. It's the second part that bothers me the most. Inattention is one thing (although its still annoying and actually pretty dangerous), but complete disregard for other fellow humans in close proximity just drives me crazy. Some folks will even turn and look at you, realize that you're driving 3/4 mph because they're walking at a snail's pace directly in the middle of the driving lane, then turn around and just keep on going. WHY?! Again, I say, WHY?!

I have many theories, most of which would morph this blog post into something either hardcore-rant-like (if it isn't already) or 25,000 words long, so I'll leave most of that for later posts. But my main idea is the lack of empathy and connection we have with our fellow peoples these days. This is obviously not a new idea. We hear it every day.  What's the cause? Facebook and social networking? Cell phones? The internet? Our culture of individualism ("Enough about me, what do YOU think about me?")? I'm sure it's all of these things plus eleventy-billion more. Aside of my parking lot example, I see this issue play out in almost every setting. We don't see each other as the valuable, feeling, fragile beings that we ALL are. Tragic, really.

^Nice way to encourage kindness.

I realize that, these days especially, it's apparently cool and hip to be rude, cynical, and uncaring. Since I gave up on trying to be either of these things a long time ago, I try to make it a point every day to empathize with others. While I'm far from perfect, I at least make an effort. If someone is rude at the bank, I try to imagine what might be making them so unhappy as to treat others this way. Or if an elderly person is toddling too slowly through the store, I try to think of how difficult it must make life to have such limited mobility. In many situations, people don't make it easy to empathize, but that just makes it that much more valuable. When someone is rude and, instead of being rude back, you smile at them and ask how their day is going, I bet this will spark a little something positive in this person. 

This is an issue that Ace and I discuss frequently, as we both notice what a problem it seems to be both in our society and many personal relationships (including ours sometimes). Thus, we've made it a priority to teach this habit of being empathetic to The Mayor because, as with so many other behaviors, I believe the parents play the most important role in children understanding how (and why) to empathize with others. I think it will drastically affect the person he becomes in a way that I'm sure I will be proud of one day. 

Oops. I guess I didn't empathize enough with my readers to stop writing 500 words ago. Sorry.