Over the years, I have learned that standing up for myself, when done respectfully and logically, as opposed to playing games and manipulating, is not only empowering but it helps towards creating an authenticity of spirit that passive-aggressivity cannot accomplish.
As an adult, and married for the second time (so that gives me loads of experience – see the imaginary diploma on my wall), I now realize that truth is a far better form of communication than expecting my husband to read my mind.
When I’m pissed off, I say it.
I don’t give him the silent treatment.
I don’t serve him undercooked meat.
I just say, “Wayne, please don’t wake me up for sex. I’m not horny after I’ve been sleeping for two hours. And no, you aren’t irresistable after you’ve been eating beans.”
See. No issue. The truth has set us both free – some of us freer than others because he’s all about the bean family.
Last week my son was selected to play on an advanced hockey team. After his first practice, he realized that he was not as skilled as the other players, and in an effort to avoid being the one who might drag the team down, he expressed a desire to play on a team in a lower level.
I encouraged this move because, 1. I think he’ll have more fun on a team where the other players are at his skill level and 2. I won’t be arrested for assaulting one of the other parents when they trash-talk my kid.
So I sent the convenor of the hockey league an email clearly explaining our decision (minus the comment about how I might possibly knee one of the dad’s in the gonads).
I received a monosyllabic reply: “Ok.”
Today I receive an email that Mr. Monosyllabic Convenor had sent out to all of the parents of the players on the two lower levels.
In a nutshell, it said that after he made up these teams, he did not want to hear any complaints that players who were being put on one team, did not in fact want to be there because they felt their skills were not at par with those of the other players.
He concluded his email with this comment: “Oh the life of a minor hockey convenor…”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the comment was a reference to my son moving down to a lower level. Apparently, putting Jackson on another team had caused him great inconvenience.
Again though, let’s mention that at no point did the convenor verbalize this.
Instead he takes a passive-aggressive shot at me via an email sent out to the entire minor hockey association?
I was pissed. And since I don’t believe in carrying around all this anger much I had decided that I was going to call him up and request a meeting with him, at which time I would verbalize my feelings to him, and force him to clarify his comment. In other words, “Say what you mean asshole.”
This evening I was walking through the grocery store, mentally preparing my speech. I was going to be very honest with this guy, and he wasn’t going to like it.
The more I roamed the grocery store, the more my mental speech got long and winded, all in the name of truth.
As my mental speech (mental being the key word) was becoming a work of epic proportions, the Doobie Brothers started playing over the loud speakers.
The more I sang along to ”Listen to the Music” - hey, I talk to myself in public, you don’t really think I have problem with public singing? – the more my anger subsided.
By the time I got home, I couldn’t even muster the energy to call the guy.
Instead, I took the road most travelled and sent him a passive-aggressive note in which I told him I was “sorry the life of a minor hockey convenor was such a stressful one.”
Yes, I’m getting more outspoken. Some may call it being mouthy. Some may call it unnecessary.
But sometimes, a good dose of the truth can make all involved feel better.
Oh who are we kidding?
Usually the truth teller is the one who feels like a rockstar.