In past weeks many mean things have happened to my friends and myself. One friend was stood up, one friend had a guy go psycho on her, one friend has a poophead baby daddy, one friend has a person who tweets evil things about her, one friend's boyfriend stopped talking to her out of nowhere...the list goes on. I have two words for this: PARTY FOUL. But, as always, I strive to find positive outlets to handle any negativity that goes on in my life. So here is a How-To-Handle-Being-Mean.
-So you don't want to date someone anymore.
That's cool, it happens. At this point in my life I have been dumped so many times I actually have professors who, when informed that I have since parted with my latest victim say "Well that's nothing new for you." Whatever. But if you find yourself in the position of rejectOR intend of rejectEE here is what you do:
You CALL the person or MEET WITH THEM IN PERSON. That person invested as much time in you as you did in them. Even if it's the right thing, chances are what you have to say is going to hurt them. Have respect for what that person brought to your life. Discuss parting ways in a respectful, caring, and assertive manner. They will probably talk smack anyway, but at least you can keep it classy.
-You have plans with someone but you a) don't want to go or b) had something come up that prevents you from going.
It is 2012. There are about 465 ways to get in touch with someone, there really is (barring emergency situations of course) no excuse for standing someone up. You TEXT, CALL, TWEET, FACEBOOK, SMOKE SIGNAL, etc. the person and politely bail. You can offer other times for a future rendezvous or, if you don't actually want to see them you say "Upon further reflection, I do not think hanging out is a good idea."
You DO NOT stand the person up, ignore their text messages/calls, or come up with idiotic excuses as to why you "did not get" their text messages the day before. Frankly it is rude, inconsiderate, selfish, and despicable.
-What To Do When You're REALLLYYYY Mad At Someone
This is a tricky one. Often, if a person does something intentionally mean to you it says they really just do not care about anyone but themselves. A person like this is not likely to care what you have to say or how their actions offended you. You may just have to let it go. Personally, I think people like that need forgiveness and love sent their way more than they need someone to point out what a narcissistic poltroon they are.
Occasionally though it is important to assert yourself to this person. If you have the opportunity to confront someone who has hurt you, I encourage you to approach the person from a place of respect and clarity. What they did hurt, sure, but you will not leave the conversation satisfied if all you do is call them mean names and swear at them. Swearing and evil name calling are not classy things and will automatically earn you the title "psycho$#%" or "banshee."
One suggestion that I try to employ often is to use a sentence format like this: "When you did this, I felt this, and that was really _______ because..." or something like that. Expressing your own feelings from your perspective will be cathartic for you and will not place the other party on the defensive. By expressing yourself succinctly you avoid mud-slinging and facilitate the opportunity for an open and honest discussion.
-What To Do When You Have Done Any Of the Above
Find a way, if possible or worth it, to say you're sorry. I can't tell you how much it would mean to me if anyone who did mean things to me contacted me and said "That was really rotten when I did that." My anger at these people is mostly because I think they don't realize they have done anything wrong. Then I get angry because I am angry about someone who so clearly does not care about me at all. I still struggle with frustration at people who hurt me deeply in the past, even if it has no bearing on my life now because those people never told me they were sorry.
Apologizing means swallowing your pride and acknowledging you were wrong and that you wish you had acted differently. Acknowledgment is the first step to solving a problem or at the very least, clearing your conscience. Granted, not everyone will say "That's ok no big." They may say something like "Whatever you're a #&%@*@," or "I can't believe you thought I cared about that," (they SO did). Admitting you were wrong provides justification for the wronged party and vindication for you. Also, it provides an opportunity to improve the relationship down the road, if warranted.
After you apologize, or even if you do not, try not to commit these actions. I know I am guilty of all of them at some point in my life. It's hard to reject someone, but it isn't any easier living with knowing you intentionally hurt someone for the sake of your own comfort. That person is a person too with feelings, emotions, and needs. Treat them as such and take the high road.
Well, I feel better now. Hopefully none of you lovely readers will actually have to employ this advice and your lives are filled with happy and positive relationships and interactions. Hope you all had a great weekend and that your week is full of love, positivity, and wine. Talk soon!