There’s a very fine line between nice and doormat. Maybe that sounds cynical or pessimistic, but it’s narrow. It’s like some force strung up a piece of fishing line between the two, so that you couldn’t fucking see it until you nearly cut off the circulation to your brain by inadvertently running into it.
I think a majority of us want to be nice people. If human nature has taught me anything, it is that we have this complicated relationship with nice. We want to be treated nicely, but sometimes, we suck at giving it.
I was having a hard time with that line today at first job. I argued with ex-friend over the time we went on break. Honestly, I may have been off by a minute or two, but I did look at my watch when we were in a meeting and there was still talking at 8:48 A.M. I said break happened at 8:54 A.M. Yeah, I may have misjudged slightly (Ok, I did misjudge by about four minutes), but that wasn’t what bothered me and made me argue the point.
What made me want to argue him? His arrogant tone. The dismissal in such a condescending way. He does it a lot, the “you’re full of shit and I have to be a dick while I point it out” tone.
I can’t talk to him about it, because I am honestly afraid he is going to throw it back at me. He will make it about me rather than going, “You know what? You’re right. I talk to people in a way that makes me sound like a condescending dick.”
Instead, it will be how I was too sensitive to the situation and how I am making a big deal out of nothing. The particular situation isn’t a big deal. So I was fucking wrong. It happens a lot. The big deal is that he feels it’s ok to be dismissive and condescending to me… which I am no longer taking from anyone.
At the same time, I am a bit sensitive over ridiculous things, and I do acknowledge that this could most definitely be one of those things. I am running on less sleep than usual and the two job adjustment is rough on me. So, I realize I also have to be cognizant of the fact that this ridiculous argument could very well be me trying to dramatize something that really is menial at best.
But would admitting that mean that I wasn’t right to feel that there was some level of condescension to it? I don’t want to minimize my feelings, nor do I want to be an apologist for the fact that he can, indeed, be a condescending douche bag. Is there a way to realize you were being ridiculous while trying to legitimize and solve these visceral reactions from the emotional mind?
I hope so, because I think that is something I want to work on in this whole process.