Have you ever just seen someone and not liked them at all?
I’m not talking about the person you’ve know for awhile and just have a difference of opinion. I’m talking about the person you take one look at and think, “I don’t like you and I hope I never have to spend time with you.”
The last few days we’ve been in a training session for the approach to homeschooling we’ll be completing this coming school year. It’s been an excellent conference and the speakers were intelligent and articulate but then there was a distraction that I focussed on A LOT.
It was That Woman. I’m not going to say her name but that’s not because I’m being all sweet and trying to protect the innocent – I literally don’t know her well enough to even know her first name!
That Woman was annoying. She sat in the front row and laughed at all the speaker’s jokes, even the ones that weren’t too funny. She overshared information about her family. She had a comment in response to everyone’s situation. She tooted her own horn.
I didn’t like her.
Now, I’m not all that kind in general, so I am constantly working on my judgmental side but That Woman provided a learning opportunity for me.
Oh joy! Oh rapture! An opportunity to demonstrate faith!
Besides being personally frustrated by That Woman what I found disturbing was my insane desire to talk to other attendees to see if anyone else was irritated by That Woman.
Why do we do that as humans? It’s not enough that we form an opinion, we try to pull everyone else around us over to our own side like a consensus-building blackhole!
I’ve given myself several pep-talks over the past three days that center on three main points. I’ll share them with you as a way to remind myself – again! – of what NOT to do when you meet That Woman!
1. Watch what you say in the bathroom. I went to the bathroom and had to stop myself from talking about That Woman while waiting for a stall.
Bathrooms are for private time spent between you and your bowels. Even though women seem to think we should go to the potty in herds we need to realize bathrooms are not the place to discuss the major events of our lives.
Or the minor events. Or That Woman.
2. Pointed, snarky remarks don’t make you look smarter. When I introduced myself to other attendees I had to keep myself from making snide references to That Woman’s ridiculous comments in the large group sessions.
As clever as I thought I was with my responses to That Woman were the truth is if I said them it would only make me look like a mean lady. Which I would be. Because nice people keep their mouths shut.
I’m still working on that.
3. Get out of your head and be thoughtful. Oh, boy. That Woman drove me crazy. Period. I don’t like her and I don’t want to be her friend. But here’s the deal: I need to get over myself and realize that for her circumstances, her abilities – she’s doing the best that she can.
I’m a big believer in building community and that means investing in relationships. People aren’t very fun to be in relationships with but conversely we’re hard-wired to connect with others! Isn’t that funny?!
Nothing to profound tonight, but just a few thoughts that helped me keep my trap shut over the last few days!
How do you handle That Person in your life?