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February 5, 2008

Good reason not to leave the house

Yesterday was kind of weird. Something happened that upset me, and I tried to blow it off but the bad feeling hung around for a while.

I wish people in general could see how their actions affect others. Like, if you want information just ask for it. Don't be deceitful and underhanded to try to pressure someone into something as simple as a task update. Just ask for what you need.

My first reaction when people do things that suck is to say, "WHY did they do that? Why? I wish they would have just acted in a better way."

And it's so unproductive, this whole line of thinking is just wasted energy. I can't control someone else, and Lord knows I have tried. But it will never happen. I will never make all people act and behave in ways that are pleasing to me.

All I can do is control my response. For example, my initial response involved getting a shovel ... and then I remembered how poorly suited I am to prison-issue orange. I'm much better in jewel tones and dark colors. I wanted to give this person a piece of my mind and say, "How dare you blah blah blah!" I wanted to take the behind-my-back chatter and wave it before the offender's nose, say, "Ha! You thought I wouldn't know you lied about me!"

Then I realized that someone who has no remorse or compunction about lying to get what they want in the first place won't really give a seasoned rat's butt what you think of their actions. It just doesn't matter.

- - -

A few weeks ago someone left the comment that they just wished I had more self-confidence. Apparently the commenter had seen me at a book signing and something he or she overheard me say to another person in line made them think I lacked self-confidence.

Later I told a friend of mine about it, that comment, and we laughed. It's funny how people find it perfectly okay to make assessments of you as a human being and share the assessment with you, someone they do not know. I'm not pointing this out to excoriate the commenter. I'm mentioning it because we never know, we never really know another person. From my perspective, I happened to be quite pleased that I found a way to have on-topic book-related chitchat with 180 complete strangers in a row and my comment to the person in line was just that, a comment, meant for that one reader. My self-confidence wasn't in the crosshairs, not that I was aware of. Maybe I was tired or maybe I had been up since 4 a.m. giving interviews or maybe I just really wanted that reader to know that while the first four chapters are really painful -- hang in there, it lightens up. I know that sometimes a person is in some pain, and having to sit through four chapters of pain might be hard on them. I'm having chitchat. It's not my soul we're baring here.

The point is, we never know what someone's reason for saying something is.

- - -

So I managed to keep my mouth shut and not accuse the accuser of anything, let someone else handle the

Posted by laurie at February 5, 2008 2:04 PM