I try to live by a few simple ideals that allow me to try to be the person that I want to be, while at the same time, navigate the slings and arrows of life without going completely and irredeemably batshit insane.
|Not sure why I put this here...|
One of these ideals is to at least attempt to be positive. I do a pretty good job of it. This blog is really my biggest outlet for negativity. When you see me angry on here, it’s because I’m NOT being angry in real life, and it is cathartic to have an outlet so that I’ve not a miserable bastard to the people around me all the time.
I’m a pretty smiley guy. I try to find the bright side to everything.
It’s been pointed out to me that my positivity and just general amicable nature is contagious, which leads to me quite often having the advantage of working with people who are at their best, rather than at their most bitchy. I try not to mention work on here, out of respect for my boss, and just because it is generally good policy, but by way of giving an example of what I’m talking about, we had a company-wide meeting the other day, and one of the kitschy ideas someone had was to put out a “kudos” box where you could write a quick note to someone, anonymously, giving them a compliment for a job well done or whatever.
There were three of them in there about me, and all three of them were essentially “thanks for being such a cool dude to work with/good, positive attitude” type comments.
I’ve been like this my entire life. You wouldn’t think that this would lead to many downsides, but one big one is that I really don’t have very much experience in my life in dealing with people who don’t get along with me.
It’s happened so few times that I can remember clearly the names of every person that has felt that way. Dealing with these people is a life experience that I’ve never really had to learn. It is jarring to me for that reason, because it has happened so few times, and I’m absolutely shitty at dealing with it.
Not that I really care if someone doesn’t like me or not. It isn’t important to me that everyone likes me. I am not nice specifically because I’m seeking validation from everyone else around me. I do it because it makes ME happy, and reduces my stress level to not be in conflict all the time. I also do it because one of my core values is to be a solid dude; as Joel over at TUAK puts it:
Recently, I’ve had a person come into my life who I’m really struggling with getting along with. This guy isn’t a bad guy, and he doesn’t mean to be. He just has a different way of looking at things, and my eternal optimism and positivity rubs him the wrong way. I think that he sees it as me not caring enough about the challenges that we face in our endeavor together, and would rather that I acted upset and stressed out all the time, rather than smiling and laughing, because, to him, that would mean that I cared more.
I think this because he is almost my exact opposite. He operates in an agitated state of eternal negativity. He likes to dwell on the bad things, and blow them all out of proportion. He puffs up, gets excited, and makes accusations when I am more interested in calmly solving the problem. I think that this is an effort by him to make sure that everyone knows that he cares. I don’t think that there is any ill intent behind what he’s doing. He isn’t trying to throw anybody under the bus, even though that is often the practical result of his actions, regardless of intent, but the constant alarmist negativity rubs ME the wrong way, because I think that it is counter-productive, and puts all of the people that we need to cooperate with us in finding a solution into defense mode, instead of pro-active solution-finding mode.
Essentially, in what is a very rare occurrence for me, I’ve found someone who’s personality and mine are like oil and water. Regardless of what we do, where we go, or how we approach it, each of our ways of handling things annoys the ever loving shit out of the other, and we literally cannot find a way to get along.
|NO! Fuck you, fuzzy penguin!|
Again, I’m not really criticizing the guy; how can you be upset at a man who cares that much about what he does? More than anything, I’m criticizing myself, because I seriously cannot find a way to get along with him. I think that part of the problem is that I’ve been stressed out and scared recently, what with my heart thing, and so my capacity to internalize the negativity and not spew it back has been reduced.
But I think this is an important lesson for every person on Earth to understand, and that lesson is this:
No matter how cool of a dude you are, or how smart you think you are, or how smart you actually are, there are people in this world who are going to deal with things differently than you do, have different desires than you have, and who think that your way of doing things is wrong. Even if the guy is dumber than you are, and the choices he is making are abjectly wrong, they are still his choices to make, not yours, and it is your responsibility to figure out how to work with him, not his. If we all reciprocated that attitude, we’d all be more productive, happier, and just generally better people.
We can debate endlessly on who is right and who is wrong, but if that guy’s way of doing things make him happy, who are you to tell him that he’s doing it wrong?
And as a quick addendum to all you statists, leftists, progressives, and authoritarians out there:
Who the hell are you to force him to do things your way?