I must confess that I'm a passive aggressive jurl. I don't want to me, don't mean to be, but I am. And I hate passive aggressive b.s.! I have moments of directness, but I'm more likely to silently fume with a cold shoulder turned toward whomever has wronged me than politely confront the offender. I don't think this behavior is that uncommon among women. In fact, I watch women everyday get upset with someone and tell everyone that will listen how upset they are, but the person they're upset with.
In my studies of men and women (studies meaning casual observance)I've discovered that men have a more efficient method of dispute resolution. Something like this:
"Hey, man, you're an asshole."
"Dude, you're a bigger asshole."
In this primitive, almost guttural, language they're able to communicate the following:
"Friend, you hurt my feelings."
"Pal, I too have been hurt."
"Let us move past this. Please forgive me."
"Yes, let us recognize the value of friendship. I forgive you and also seek forgiveness."
Isn't that amazing? Women on the other hand can't seem to get to the heart of the matter and so they say nothing while fuming inside or they play snarky games to punish their adversary. I'm certainly guilty of both.
Why is it so hard for women to be direct with each other? I think it's because we believe it will hurt the other person's feelings if we're honest and Lord knows we don't want to hurt any one's feelings, but we'll call a jurl "crazy bitch" for a week behind her back. We're also conditioned to avoid uncomfortable situations at all cost. That's why when a stranger is walking down the hall with four feet of toilet paper stuck to their shoe we stare, but don't say, "Hey, jurl! You got some toilet paper stuck to your shoe!"
In fact, when talking with someone that has a chunk of their lunch stuck on their tooth I will struggle the entire conversation with whether or not I should mention the leftovers wedged between their front teeth or just let it go. At the end of it I realize I've heard nothing they've said and I watch them walk away as the moment to point out their stow away snack passes by. Why don't I tell them immediately? Because I don't want to embarrass them. No, I'd rather let them keep their dignity as they go from person to person grinning like a jack ass with spinach dip clinging to a canine. That's far less embarrassing, right?
Women will also rehash a hurt over and over and over and over and over. When I'm upset with someone I can't talk about it enough. I catch myself repeating my complaints like a broken record, analysing this other person's behavior as if I'm actually their therapist, albeit, angry therapist. I sit with my friends at lunch, forcing them to bear witness to my grievances. "Can you believe her? She's a crazy bitch! She totally screwed me! Why would she do that? Because she's trying to undermine me! She comes from a broken home, leaving her with abandonment issues and massive insecurities so she lashes out at innocent people like me!!"
What. The. Hay. Perhaps I should spend a few moments analyzing why I'm so freaking crazy. Why do I get so bent out of shape? Why can't I be direct? Why do I need to discuss it relentlessly? The real truth is this- I want everyone to love me, never to hurt me, and always think I'm right and when these desires are revealed as unrealistic my brain goes on the fritz and I'm unable to act in a mature manner. Oh, and I love a little bit of drama. But recognizing the problem is the first step, right? Hi, my name is Misti and I'm freaking crazy.
No more! I'm done wasting time, waisting breath, wasting energy. If you hurt me I will tell you so. If I hurt you I will hear you when tell me so. I will not get worked up over stuff that just doesn't matter.
So, in 2008 I'm going to strive to be direct, but polite. Although, I may accidentally call someone a crazy bitch, accidentally.