Sunday, 17 July 2016

Obnoxious People: Speak Up Or Let It Slide?

Over the past couple of years after dealing with some major downers, I decided I wasn’t even going to bother confront people about their sh*t behaviour anymore, because it proved to be a pointless exercise. All it ever really did was just create more drama.

Realistically, people in general are never going to react well when you’re pointing out their flaws. So why bother? You just end up looking argumentative or like a nitpicking a**hole, and most of the time you end up dealing with someone who is defensive, in denial or is so offended that you called them out on their behaviour, they’re going to fall out with you and never speak to you again anyway.

Image credit: mattysimpson
So from then on, whenever someone was bugging me, whether that was a friend or someone I’m dating, if an issue arose and the subsequent conversation was going nowhere, I would simply distance myself from them and the situation. Far better to walk away without all the drama.

It wasn’t a difficult thing to implement because I’ve generally been keeping people at arm’s length these days anyway, preferring to keep things casual.

'My apartment is the only place that I feel safe right now. I have food. I have alcohol. I have 600 channels. And none of them want to hurt me.'  (The Mindy Project)

Recently however, things took a different turn.

One day I was chatting to someone like we’re best buddies, the next we were politely agreeing that perhaps continuing to talk and hang out wasn’t the best idea. A couple of days, a social media clear out, some raging PMS hormones and an accidental text later, I was ranting like someone with a MAJOR chip on their shoulder. The entire thing culminated in the person asking me to never contact them again (which is fair enough I suppose).

It wasn’t my finest moment. No one likes looking like the hysterical, unreasonable lunatic. And perhaps there’s a lesson there to stay away from my phone, social media and technology in general until I can get my emotions in check.

However, I’m reluctant to be too hard on myself. Sure a lot of stuff I said I’m now cringing about - maybe because for once, I was being open about how I was feeling, instead of acting like a cool, calm indifferent chick like I usually do. Plus, the angrier I got the more the texts turned into incoherent rambling.

But I do think it's important to stand up for yourself sometimes...and guess what? Sometimes whilst doing so, you're going to get emotional about it (just don't get verbally abusive!). Besides, this was someone I’d started to open up to on a personal level, and vice versa. So I guess I chose not to bother with the facade.

It did however get me thinking about how girls in particular are dissuaded from confronting a guy for his sh*tty behaviour, for fear of looking like the "psycho chick". Men and women process emotions very differently… I’m not saying men have NO feelings, but they definitely don’t feel certain things the same way women do, or (arguably) as intensely. There's even some science behind it.

Yet even if a guy is in the wrong, we’re told to remain cool…or at least, fake it till you genuinely are. Because anything else is socially unacceptable.

I guess you do have to play the game a little, especially in the dating arena when things are still relatively new. If you’re still in the process of getting to know someone, you have to dial down the crazy.

It’s not just with dating, it’s conflict with people in general. The most well-liked people are those who sit on the fence, avoid confrontation and don’t get involved in disputes. When people observe other people falling out, they find it entertaining.

So it seems stoicism is more dignified.

But is it healthy to be stuffing your feelings in? Isn’t it better for you mentally to let it all out? I know that in this instance getting it all off my chest and, more specifically, letting them know exactly what it was that they did wrong, will help me move on and draw a line under the situation. It hasn’t left things open-ended and I won’t have that niggling feeling of things that were unsaid.

Also, if you give someone a piece of your mind, you get it all out of your system until you run out of stuff to say, to the point where you stop caring. They get tired of dealing with you too and leave you alone. And that closed door gives you the ability to move on and heal. Even if you do end up looking a bit crazy and irrational in the process.

Although I suppose if you end up looking crazy with someone you’re probably not going to see or speak to again then who really cares? Sometimes, you just need to call an a**hole, an a**hole.

If you feel you took it too far, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. People get mad and say dumb sh*t all the time. If things got really nasty and spiteful you may want to apologise (I'm talking cursing someone out and getting unnecessarily verbally abusive). As long as you can recognise that you still have some issues you need to deal with and work on, then I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about it. Especially if you were the one who was attacked in the first place - it's human nature to want to hurt those in return who have hurt us. It's not right, but people are flawed.

Maybe you need to be deliberate in the way you do it, so it doesn't seem like you're just picking a fight. Sometimes you can be right, but there's perhaps a better way of handling things.

For me personally, the main issue I have with how I dealt with things is the way that I kept trying to goad the person to continue arguing. I kept jabbing, wanting to hit a nerve. I should have respected their boundaries. There was a part of me that was lashing out to try and make them feel like crap.

But while it's never right to want to go out of your way to hurt someone, venting at the person if you feel slighted is probably better than internalizing it and is likely to go a long way in making you feel better in the long run. However, just know that in doing so, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll be burning a bridge and it’s likely to cause irreparable damage to your relationship with that person.

Which is fine if you were planning to cut the person out anyway. But when your emotions die down and you're a bit more clear-headed, you may not be proud of what you said or did.

Sometimes, the best thing to do to maintain your power in the situation is to just leave it alone, cut of all communication and move on. If you continue contact, whether they're gracious about it or argue back, the interaction is unlikely to make you feel better. Calling them out may result in an apology, but it's unlikely to change the outcome of the situation or how you feel about them. More often than not, you just end up looking like the bad guy.


  1. I loved this post, people sometimes need to be called out because bad behavior can spiral out of control if left unchecked :)

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

    1. Hey thanks a lot...glad to know I'm not the only disagreeable one :D

      Love your blog, keep up the good work :)

      - Lubna