Welcome to my stream of consciousness. Today’s writings are inspired by a lesson learned. I am generally forthcoming with my feelings. If you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I am consistently forthcoming—- (but as it turns out, I’m an exaggerator!). As an Enneagram 8, I pride myself on being honest and able to confront situations. I’m contemplating just how true that is.
Enter Person A.
Recently, I buried some experiences with Person A, slapped a smiley face on like a bandaid to a wounded soul and carried on, hoping that with enough time, the individual could reflect back on this kindness, mirror this positivity, and I could avoid all their destructive ways. I’m here to tell you, that message never got through. Raise your hand if you have heard me say, “Hope is delayed disappointment.” Oof. That phrase stings every time it’s applicable.
When Person A used their same bad vibes and it resulted in another person getting hurt, I stepped in. I called it out and asked for this person to apologize and do better.
I’m proud that I wasn’t a bystander to someone else’s pain at the hand of a bully. However, darn-nab-it. Had I had the courage to speak up for myself in the same way that I found strength to intervene on someone else’s behalf- three things might have happened:
- I could have had a record of having addressed the problem- so when it persisted, it might have been dealt with more intently
- Person A could have had an opportunity to sort out the reasons why they are spewing their bad energies everywhere. My fake smile and pleasantries were essentially a lie. Things are not good here. I was inauthentic. My inauthenticity allowed this person to continue on with their maltreatment of me— and then others. I murdered the darn feedback loop.
- Could this have prevented another person having all this drama? I won’t know.
It hurts my ego that I wasn’t enough to change Person A’s behavior by showing up as an example. It’s also probably pretty naive to think that addressing the problem behaviors directly would have changed it– or them. Maybe I would have still had to slap the smile on to keep things pleasant anyways.
Dear Person A- I feel like collateral damage to your unhealed heart, your stress, and your bad coping strategies. I see your struggle and I also do not wish to continue being influenced by your drama. I cannot control it, did not cause it, and cannot cure it. So what is the way forward for me?
Turn the other cheek?
Be snarky back?
Avoid you at all costs?
I’ve been asking people how they deal with their Person A’s. Especially for those narsisistic-types, this is very tricky business. I realize they have been playing this game and refining their destruction for much longer than I’ve been trying to maneuver away from it.
And here I am, spending more energy because of Person A. DRATS! (I would use stronger language but my mother would text me and kindly advise I change it. This one is for you, mom).
—- And also, as I sit here, I’m realizing, this must be Person S or T or U by now. These difficult types show up everywhere. I’ve got to learn a new way forward. One that doesn’t just take it, one that doesn’t spend a lot of time talking/thinking/typing about it. Compartmentalize and move on, confront and control. . . ? What to do, what to do! The trauma of unresolved conflict and maliciousness is heavy on the soul.
Readers- your advice and stories are welcome. And as it turns out, there is no lesson learned here. Just more questions of how exactly do we deal?