Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Challenge

Remember how last week I threw out into the universe my desire for more love, asking if there was anywhere I was withholding it??

Well, ask and ye shall receive, my friends.

I'm not one to hate people.  I don't think I've ever actually hated anyone.  And I don't really hold grudges either.  I don't like to hold on to stuff (physical or otherwise).  Ask anyone who's ever lived with me.

The funny thing is, right when I try to be more loving and giving, an opportunity presents itself.  A challenge, if you will.  For my job, I work as part of a team.  It is me and the same three other people day after day.  I spend more time with these people than with anyone else.  One of them is a new favorite friend.   Another is a silly woman who is always chipper and pleasant to be around.  The third is a classic drama addict.  Everything is DRAMA!  Something always has to be going wrong.  Someone is always saying something she disagrees with.  The government is out to get her.  So are the administrators at work.  And she's always bitching about something.  Of late, her bitching has started to include me.  I hear from other work friends that she has been saying this or that and criticizing such and such.  Mostly, I don't care.  She can criticize my working all she wants.  I'm still a damn fast and efficient worker.  I get my shit done.  She creates drama for the sake of drama, of having something to talk about.  But when she starts to criticize me personally, my inner lion rears up and I get defensive.  I don't want to sit with her a lunch.  I don't want to spend time in the break room with her.  I avoid interacting with her if I can.  I don't want to play her two-faced game.

But last night it occurred to me that that's all it is.  A game.  She needs to have drama and she will find it anywhere she can.  And my getting defensive and angry and pissed off is only going to hurt myself.  I hate being angry.  It's one of the worst feelings ever.  That's the thing about anger and hate.  They hurt the hater the most.  So I will let her carry her emotions.  And I will carry mine.  I'm going to confront her about some things tonight.  Communication fixes a lot of things and if I'm going to have to spend 8 hours a day with her I'd rather they be open and honest instead of cold and stuffy.  Besides, it's hard to dance around when you try to carry anger with you.  I'd much rather dance.

So my challenge is to learn to love someone who is attacking me.  Possible??  I guess we'll see.  But I'm up for the challenge.


  1. Our works sound oh-so-similar and I don't really care for the similarities. I try every day to be kind and respectful to everyone but, every once in a while, I get sucked into the backbiting and bitching. I need to do better and I am confident I can be better, too.

    On a personal level, I think I need to focus more on letting others' emotions roll off my back too. I frequently let others' opinions and feelings predicate my own happiness and I don't really think I can do that anymore.

    Here's to more mediation and self preservation! Thanks for the post!

  2. Jo. I need to tell you how awesome you are. I love the way you think and live life. I just don't say it much. I do read all your posts though.

  3. I'm really struggling with my co-workers too. Not that any of them say bad things about me. It's just that I seem to harbor all this annoyance and hate for them. I tried to talk to my co-workers about how we can be a better team. They suggested better communication, which I agreed with, but then one of them quickly went into how we should be more open with our criticism. I don't want that. I think we tell each other where we need to improve when there are issues, but what I need more in my job is encouragement. This particular person said that encouragement didn't seem to always be helpful and I figured by that point that it was worthless to even try. No one had good ideas for how to make a better team other than the general idea of communication--which I was trying to do already--and no on was willing to listen to what I had to say.

    So I'm just frustrated. How do you approach people? How do you change your mindset to see these people as someone you enjoy working with--or if nothing else simply don't always have your jaw clenched when they're around?

    I'd sure like to know how your challenge goes.

    1. Well, my challenge is still challenging. This one will take a bit of work. But once I had this really awful, awful boss who I hated being around. Every time she would come in the room I would start to feel uptight and defensive. I felt like she was taking advantage of my "good worker" skills and delegating her entire job to me. After about six months of feeling this way and dreading work, I decided to try to get to know her because it's a lot harder to hate people when they are people instead of "coworkers" or "managers" or whatever.

      Everyday at work it was my goal to ask her one question about her life, and to actually listen to what she was saying (I had gotten in the bad habit of never listening to a word when she opened her mouth because I thought she was a moron). I never got to the point where I enjoyed working for her and eventually had to quit that job for reasons of sanity, but getting to know her on a human level listening to her stories (rather than being an ass) helped me to step back and let down my walls. I was able to see her as a human, a person with stories and struggles and a heart rather than some bitch who was out to get me. Rather than being manipulative it turned out she was just incompetent.

      That probably didn't give you any insight, but it's an experience I had. Take it or leave it.