no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

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stuff about me that has come to my attention

A while ago I posted a poll about whether people would be inclined to make up with their ex-friends or ex-SOs. I was mildly shocked that a few people agreed with me that going out of one's way to make contact/mend fences usually was not worth the effort. As I expected, a number of people were in favor of at least trying to resolve the conflict, a view I generally do not share.

I have recently noticed something else that seems "different" about me compared to a lot of other people: the fact that once folks get on my shit list - which is NOT easy to do - they generally don't get off, or at least not without major apologies and a good deal of effort/explaining. It seems like many people have frequent conflicts with friends and acquaintances, and resolve them, or at the very least say they don't "carry a grudge" because life's too short, negative energy doesn't help, etc. When I say that I don't want to ever have anything to do with particular people (I'm talking a small handful, probably around 5 individuals, none of whom I have regular dealings with, and several of whom I literally haven't seen in years) ever again, it sounds like I am (1) being unforgiving and (2) wasting my energy by "carrying a grudge". And to a certain extent, that's true. My forgiveness only goes so far; you can accept that someone is human and has some universal good in them, and that they may have made a bad misjudgment, and that there might be some mitigating factors, BUT that doesn't mean you have to like it or let that party back into your life - especially when you see a good probability that whatever happened might keep right on happening. As for the grudge-carrying, I agree that it takes energy, that it is not good to be hostile towards large numbers of people, and that if you are going to be continually upset at someone you have to deal with every day (a spouse, a boss) you're better off resolving the situation if you can't take yourself out of it entirely (which might be better). That said, I think it can be *more* emotionally draining to act like you are perfectly OK with behaviors and treatment that bother you! Too many people, especially women, put up with a lot of crap that they shouldn't have to put up with, because they don't want to be unforgiving or because they are pressured by others (their peers, the party who harmed them, religion) to just let it go, get over it.

I believe anger in moderation is good, up to a point. I own my anger just like I own my love or any other emotion. It's mine to deal with. When it starts crippling my life or interfering with my ability to be a good, loving person in other ways, I am generally able to notice that I am out of balance - or someone will point it out - or it will pass/dwindle down to a dull ember over time. But I will not stand for being told that I am not entitled to my anger. Like I said, there are probably less than five people who I'm that mad at, and all of them did something I consider serious to *me* personally---interestingly, one of them tried to tell me that I wasn't entitled to be angry and painted me as a bad person because I was legitimately pissed off! There are a couple who I have mixed feelings about, because I don't think they fully intended the harm that they wrought, but I feel they did act to a reckless level which (lawyers know) goes beyond simple negligence and thus carries a higher, punitive penalty.

Bottom line is that while I want to be loving and forgiving and act with kindness, or at least indifference, to the vast majority of people, when someone crosses my internal line in a serious fashion, I am not a doormat. I respect other people's rights to deal with others the way they see fit, though it sometimes drives me crazy. For example, I cannot stand people who blow hot and cold about someone - one day they will hate their friend or their SO and the next day s/he will be sitting on a throne holding God's hand. I take a long time making my mind up but once it's made, it's made. I don't flip back and forth and can't stand it when others do, but I accept that some people deal with others in this fashion. In return, I don't think it's too much to expect that other people understand how *I* deal.

Oddly, I've noticed that there are certain circumstances where society seems to approve of, or even encourage, a continuous dislike. If the person is an ex-lover, especially if they "cheated" on you (?? a concept that makes more sense if you accept this society's version of monogamy or serial monogamy), more people will understand and support you when you say, "I don't ever want to see or hear from X again," even if X is a pretty nice, friendly person apart from whatever happened between you two. People understand that emotionally this is how you have to deal with it. In my opinion, that sort of understanding needs to get extended to other contexts as well.
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