Fighting words

Things said to me yesterday, without a hint of sarcasm:

“I remember you. You’ve tried this before”

“There’s absolutely nothing I can do for you.”

And, the kicker:

“Are you threatening me?”

Yes, kids, I kicked off my week with not one but two fights, both starring me as the instigator. And I’m not talking little tiffs. I said things that prompted someone to ask if I was threatening them. (For the record: yeah. I kind of was.)

Part of me – the part that is my attorney mother’s daughter – thinks I should be totally proud of this. After all, I made an argument, stuck to my guns and stayed strong in the face of a nasty gym manager and an annoying landlord.

(Although, I should probably tell you that I currently have neither a gym membership nor heat in my apartment. So, yeah. There’s that.)

But then there’s the other part of me – the overly sensitive, super insecure, why am I the only seventh grader leaning against the wall during the slow dance? kind of girl. I hate fighting with people (especially my friends, but the aversion also extends to that woman in front of me at the ATM or the Banana salesperson who wouldn’t let me return that top.) I hate confrontation. I hate being disliked.

This is especially problematic because I’m…um…I guess you might say opinionated. Like really opinionated. And have trouble keeping my mouth shut.

At least when the object of my irritation is out of earshot.

I know that there’s not really much point in airing your grievances with people who can’t do anything to change the situation. I know that talking behind people’s backs is just not very nice. And I am, honestly, truly, working on being more direct with my friends and family and coworkers and even that lady at the ATM, because, like I said, I have opinions, and they don’t just disappear. They always end up bubbling up someway, somehow, and it’s almost always more productive for everyone involved to just have it out at the beginning.

But I’m also starting to think that maybe there’s value in hashing things out from the sidelines first. Sometimes I need to bounce observations, theories, potential solutions off of people I trust before I get up the balls to actually confront the subject of the conversation. And sometimes I’m able to work through the problem with them, or they help me see that it wasn’t such a big deal in the first place, thus bypassing the need for some big blow-up with the gym manager or the landlord.

Which, in this instance, might actually have been a good thing. If for no other reason than it’s really freaking cold in our apartment. And the last thing I need is another excuse not to work out.


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