mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

How do you deal with conflict?

I analyze mine and others behaviours quite a lot. One of the hardest things for me is drawling a line between what is a ‘normal’ reaction to conflict or negativity, and what is a bipolar reaction. Sometimes I feel like an alien, watching the human population and trying to assimilate their actions and feelings and trying to look like just another person going about their business and not the bucket of crazy that I am.

There are a few bloggers I have had sporadic contact with via comments, some via email, and I usually find people to be interesting and supportive and lovely. Recently, a person who comments a lot on my posts and has always been very friendly seemed to take exception to something I’d written. It was a post about how I find that as you get older and have kids and settle down that your ‘dreams’ from when you were younger seem to fall by the wayside. I don’t believe I was whining at all I was simply musing about how I used to have all of these goals and now I simply tread water. She left a comment cutting me down, basically saying that I should be happy with being a mother and a wife and why isn’t it enough, some people don’t even have that and effectively I got the idea that she wanted me to be thankful for what I have and stop my bitching. It was unexpected, I’ve always found blogging to be a fairly safe place to share my feelings and thoughts but suddenly, this person who had always been quite lovely to me seemed to be attacking me for expressing myself. After her initial comments she then made another bitchy comment and when I confronted her about it she simply didn’t respond. I suggested that her issue she had was more about her than me and if it wasn’t she could unfollow me easily. No response.

Now, this kind of thing pisses me off and has me wondering. Did i just happen to fall into her bad day or are people reading what I write and assuming that I’m having a big complain about my existence? If I’ve given that impression I’m slightly mortified. Blogging has helped me figure out so many things about myself because I don’t hide here, it’s the one place on this earth where I can be completely me, crazy, silly, odd, opinionated etc – I can talk about being abused when I was growing up and how I love being a Mother but would like to achieve other things in life as well. I have found a lot of people through blogging who have had similar experiences to myself and have never felt so understood, and when you have a mental illness, feeling understood is half the battle won.

I’m not claiming to be perfect by any measure, I have a temper and sometimes I’m completely unreasonable. But I would never go on someone’s blog and attack them for expressing their thoughts and feelings. Even if I was having a terrible depressive episode and was feeling horribly sorry for myself, I would never shit on someone elses picnic. Now is this me denying her the right to be annoyed at what I wrote or am I right in thinking she was bang out of order having a go at me? See now, this is where things get confusing for me. I ponder and ponder, trying to figure out what’s reasonable and what’s not.

I’m not under the delusion that everyone can get along and world peace is just around the corner, but I believe that we should treat other humans with a basic level of respect and kindness and we should NEVER take out our own shit on other people especially if they are simply trying to figure their life out and have a happy existence.

My temper is worse when I’m manic, I’m probably at my absolute worst while driving. I’m a terrible person in the car when I’m manic, I get quite aggressive and people cutting me off or pulling out in front of me then going slow make me want to tear my hair out. I’ve heard from quite a few people with bipolar that they also turn into crazy beasties while driving, so it’s nice to know it’s not just me but it’s terrible. But when it comes to my person to person interactions I tend to try to avoid conflict. I believe that things should be addressed, and if you have a problem with someone or something they’ve done you should talk to them directly about it, get t out and clear it up. I hate passive aggression so much that I stopped using facebook, as I believe it’s a breeding ground for passive aggression, haha. Seriously, I couldn’t cope with all the bullshit associated with facebook so I packed it in. People having snipes at each other through status updates but never mentioning names, people being horrible to each other, it was just really unpleasant and I couldn’t be bothered with it anymore.

My way of doing things quite often gets me labelled cray cray. If someone is being passive aggressive towards me I will simply ask them straight out if there is an issue, and 9 times out of 10 the person will deny there being any issue, even though they’ve been making snide back handed comments that CLEARLY relate to me or a situation I’m involved in, I’ve learned that in your 30’s and for those in their 40’s, most people will smile to your face and then expose their true feelings about you when your back is turned, But talk openly about an issue and you’re considered inflammatory or weird. And it’s not like I’m looking for a fight, it’s quite the opposite. I believe if you address things and find out if there’s an issue by simply discussing it, then it negates the need for brooding. So many of us get upset with people and let it fester, we get more and more angry over an issue instead of just talking to the person about it.

Anyway, I’m curious to know how others deal with conflict and what your thoughts are on being open about things or just letting things go. Quite often, just letting things go is impossible for a person with a mental illness, so what else should we do? Hmm.

4 Comments »

How often do we impact others negatively?

It’s often chaos while dropping the kids off at school, made worse at the moment by the fact that most of the car spots are taken up by tradesman working across the road. A car exited a spot and I went to drive into it but the massive car in the spot behind decided to move up, even though she had a spot, and took my car park. I beeped, and she waived her hands in the air at me and said something I couldn’t hear, her response was aggressive. She had a massive car and I have a tiny one, so i couldn’t really compete. My point here is, why did she feel it necessary to do that? We all have a thousand choices every day where we can choose to be an arsehole or choose to be kind, every little interaction we have may impact another person, and this negatively impacted me, it put the start of my day off to a shitty start and now i’m in a crap mood. Maybe on another day I would have been able to just shake my head and get over it instantly, but today, it made me angry/sad.

I come across quite a few people who look down their nose at me, they seem to think because i am bubbly and a little muddle headed that i’m not bright enough to notice that they are looking down their nose at me, but i notice everything. I analyze everything, i’m a constant worrier and contemplate human actions and comments a great deal. I rarely use facebook anymore because for a person as sensitive as i am, it’s just not a good idea. It’s all whining or passive aggression and pictures of what people had for dinner, but more so, passive aggression. I unusually made a comment on a friends status this morning, in good humour, and one of the people that tends to look down their nose at me made a further comment, almost to point out how puerile i am, and while i don’t really care what this person thinks of me, it has me thinking – why do i attract so much mean behaviour?

Do others find this? Do others try to be friendly and find it symbolizes them as weak? I think this is my main problem, I try to be friendly and i joke and am over sensitive, all of these things, and when a person who craves superiority of any kind smells this on another person, they exploit it. Fundamentally, I know that this says a lot more about them than it does me, that they have a need to feel better than others because they are inherently insecure or have some kind of superiority complex, but it doesn’t stop it feeling unpleasant.

I used to be like this, because of insecurity i would act coldly and quite nasty towards others at times. But this was in my twenties while i was working through a lot of pain and trying to find who i was as a person, for some it seems to be a permanent state of being.

If we all took a step back and considered how we affect others, how we would feel if something we are doing to someone else was done to us, the world would get along a lot better than it does. If instead of taking someone’s car park we realize it’s a nasty thing to do and stay where we are or look for another, if instead of making snarky comments we keep it to ourselves, a lot of people would be a lot happier than they are now.

We can’t all be perfect all of the time, and sometimes we are going to act like a dick, but maybe we need to take responsibility when we do and rectify it when we can. At the end of the day, people need to get along. There are so many many reasons out there why we shouldn’t get along but we need to refocus on all the reasons why we should.

4 Comments »