Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Think Before You Speak

Before I start Natasha's final blog request ('Let's all be friends.'), I want to quickly say 'thank you' again for the replies to my recent spate of blogs. I'm (obviously) able to get onto Blogger and schedule my posts, but the comments section still isn't working for me. *mutters darkly* Hopefully the start of the new week tomorrow will make Blogger comment-friendly again for me...

So this final request from Natasha is pretty apt for me to blog about because I am the type of person who hates confrontation and generally will keep my mouth firmly closed in order to keep the peace. I absolutely hate arguing and will do almost anything to avoid it. Now and again I lose my temper, usually when it involves sticking up for my kids, but most of the time I will bite my tongue and smile. I just think it's better to not say anything at all rather than say so much that you will regret it forever.

Not that I'm a total doormat, don't get me wrong. I suppose I do tend to let people get away with a bit too much, but as long as nobody is being harmed  in any way, I'm pretty easy going by nature.

Of course, I'm no saint, so while I am outwardly smiling, sometimes I am inwardly seething and itching to say what is on my mind. Thankfully I am a very, very patient woman, so I am usually able to overcome the urge to rant at someone who is annoying me.

The problem with being patient though, is that at some point you do eventually snap. I can go months and months of putting up with a crappy situation before I finally lose my temper and actually say something. A prime example was when my son was being bullied a few years ago. The child responsible for terrorizing my boy for almost three years lived at the bottom of my street so I saw him (and his mother) most days. Time after time I knocked at their house and politely asked the mother to have a chat with her boy and try to put a stop to his threatening and abusive behaviour. Then one day I just snapped.

My son was walking a few feet in front of me one morning, and Master Bully came from nowhere and shoved him so hard that he fell flat on his face. The other child ran off laughing while I checked to see if my son was ok, and I immediately reported the incident to the headmistress of their school. Fortunately the incident happened on school grounds and there was CCTV footage, so the other child couldn't deny it.

Anyway, the following morning the mother confronted me in the street just after I'd taken my kids to school. She was nice at first, and apologised for her son's behaviour. But then she tried blaming my boy and I saw red. Usually when kids argue or fight, you don't know who is at fault as one will always blame the other, but because I had witnessed the incident first hand, I knew that my son wasn't at fault.

I'm partly proud and partly ashamed to admit that I screamed at this woman in the middle of the street for about five minutes straight, and was fairly bitchy about everything too. She moved her family away a couple of months later, and I have a feeling that it was because of the screaming match that we had. *shifty* Like I said, I'm a patient person and will put up with a lot, but don't mess with my kids.

But to get back to what this blog post is supposed to be about, I admit that while I am happy that I stood up for my child, I still wish that things could have been resolved more amicably. I would much rather have a civilized conversation with someone instead of shouting and letting forth a fairly steady stream of curse words (yeah, I was 'duck' this and 'bluddy' that all over the place that day, but you know... I AM a Taffy after all).

Thankfully I rarely lose my temper, and it really does take an awful lot to ignite it in the first place. As much as I would love to have a go at a number of people for many different reasons, I am glad that I can control the urge to do so. It has meant that I mostly have a confrontation-free life, and that is a good thing.

I will always advocate speaking your mind and standing up for yourself, but it should be done in a calm way if at all possible. Aggression feeds aggression, spite feeds spite, etc etc. The world would be a far better place if people could just exercise a little restraint and diplomacy. I'm friends with a lot of people, but there's always room for more. Sometimes it may be impossible to be friends with certain people, I admit, but if that is the case, smile sweetly and walk away. It's hard, it's sometimes galling, but if you can't be friends it doesn't mean you have to be enemies.

Not openly anyway. *shifty* And for the few people over the years who have rubbed me the wrong way, it gives a certain satisfaction to know that I've mostly stayed true to myself. I've always strived to be the nice person that everyone would want for a friend, the type of person who I would want for my own friend. Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself, that's my motto. And usually it works.


  1. I am like you, and usually just keep my mouth shut until it is time to blow--though I try, where possible, to do things in writing because then I can reassess whether it is the right thing to say. I can just get so flustered in the heat of the moment, and i don't say half of what I mean to (or have my buttons pushed and say too much--with the hubby in particular)

  2. Yeah I've blown up more than a time or two, but I like to avoid confrontation when I don't feel it serves any real purpose. Like Tami I like to do things in writing, because I have more in my head than I can actually get out in the heat of the moment.