Be Nicer (Bitch)
Look, I'll be the first to agree bitches (and bastards, if we're gonna be gender appropriate) can be very, very funny people...in the theater, in movies and on TV. But in real life? They're a pain in the ass.
I should know. I was one of them for a long time.
While I have to agree with Oscar Wilde that "it's absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious", I've come to finally see that there's absolutely no upside to telling people how much we can't stand them. It results in pies in the face, erases up the nose and typewriters to the head.
As I wrote, I should know.
If there's one truth the universe has taught me it's this: no one ever hears what we say or do, but only what we really think and feel.
In other words, if you think Paul in accounting is a fat slob who would be better suited as a Walmart greeter than the head of accounting, yet you tell Paul every time you see him that he looks great and does a truly bang-up job, you can bet dollars-to-donuts (where did that saying come from?) Paul knows you feel that he's a fat slob and he's calling you an asshole behind your back, which you are.
You aren't an asshole because you think Paul is fat and lives the lonely life of an accountant, but because you're being fake about how you really feel because you're not willing to be honest about your true feelings TO YOURSELF.
I live in New York City and Los Angeles. For years and years I used to hear this from New Yorkers: "I never liked LA. People are so phony. They tell you one thing, but then mean something else. At least in New York if someone doesn't like you they tell you to your face."
From people in LA I'd hear this: "New Yorkers are so rude. They don't have a filter. I mean, how hard is it to be nice?"
In the past, if you would have asked me what I thought about people in LA vs. New York ('vs', as if it's some sort of competition), I would have said, "Oh, I love how fast and quick people in NYC are. You can talk with them about anything! And I love how chill and open and receptive people in LA are. It's awesome."
But what I was really thinking was that the generalizations were true - New Yorkers can be crabby assholes who really need a yoga class and people in LA can be flaky and need to stop smoking weed.
See how this works? I was saying one thing, thinking another, and yet found myself surrounded by people who supported my private thoughts, and I bitched and moaned about how negative everyone around me was.
Delusional much, Michael?
Welcome to the human race.
So how do we work this out? When do we tell people what we really think? When do we hold back? How do we maintain our boundaries? Do we behave differently to please people or do we say and do whatever the fuck we want and let the chips fall where they may?
Clearly, the first thing we have to do is admit how we REALLY feel versus how we're suppose to feel. But does anyone really do that? No. Hardly ever. Why? Because that means we live in a state of hyper self-awareness, and despite the fact we all know that's the key to a happier life, we're lazy and we adopt the endless bitching and complaining and say that our crappy lives of struggle and exhausting is 'just the way it is.'
That's more the case in New York where complaining is an art form.
Why do we need to survive a cancer scare, or a car crash or the fact that our new $150 face cream isn't making us look a day younger before we make any major changes in our lives?
What's our friggin' problem?
I don't need to tell you what your shrink would tell you and that's that we like the tried and true. We like to live out the same old bullshit because it's what we know. Doesn't matter that we know taking chances is the key to a happier life. Who has time to re-haul their entire life when our mortgage payments are due?
So how do we deal with someone who, more often than not, deserves a big old slap across the face now and then?
We do it very, very slowly and with strong focus and by reminding ourselves to chill the fuck out. Shot of scotch also helps if you're not in AA.
It's like this -- if you're frustration and annoyance with someone were a Ferrari going 60mph down the highway, you wouldn't suddenly put your foot on the gas and screech to a paltry 15mph. Well, you might if you were insane and if that's the case you're beyond my coaching skills. I'm amazing at what I do, but I can't prescribe drugs...yet.
But seriously, you'd crash and burn and that's exactly what happens in life when you try to instantly changed how you feel about someone in your life. You have to slow down to 55mph...then 50pm and so on, until you'd reached a nice, cool 3mph.
In other words, you can learn to work with and accept people for who they are, and not allow them to push your buttons, but it's more than okay to know that there is a small part of you that just won't like them and not only is that more than okay, but it will cause you to ease up on the gas pedal and chill out around them and not get ensnared in what you feel is their drama and not be annoyed, like you might be with this awesome run-on sentence.
There's also one other radical insight in all this that drives most to drink. Boy, lots of alcohol talk in this post. Can you tell I'm on a detox of no wine during the week?
This is the insight: we want to work with someone who drives us insane so we can learn how to find a way to NOT be affected by someone who drives us insane.
Welcome the drug you really want to be addicted to, and that is the drug called Unconditional Living.
Few of us live an unconditional life, but once we get a taste of how good it feels then we can know we can do anything. Makes returning things at Macy's so much easier because we know the outcome we want is coming regardless of what anything in our physical reality is showing us.
And if we take it one step further - that we want the process of allowing ourselves to live an unconditionally happier life, and that we want to take all the time it takes to get to that state - then we stop resisting and fighting the process, we chill out, and we enjoy our lives.
But we aren't like that, are we? No, no, no.
We all want everything to be figured out NOW. We want people to do what we want them to do NOW. We want it all to work out NOW.
The point of living is to enjoy the journey (sorry; but it's true) to the end goal because that's the richness of life. It's why we're here. Not saying making money and having awesome cars and being a big, fucking star isn't what we all deserve and will get if we feel worthy, but the way to that place is really where the focus and appreciation needs to be directed.
Try to enjoy the journey, not just the fact you have a bumper sticker on your car that says that.