Memorial Day is not the best time to contemplate one’s mean and bitchy emotions. But I find myself experiencing feelings I haven’t had in years, possibly since childhood. These feelings are making me doubt whether I’m a decent person. And doubting whether you’re a decent person is an even less enjoyable way to spend a weekend.
I don’t like someone. I wouldn’t say this person merely “bothers” me or makes me want to hide whenever I see her on the street. No, I’m talking low down, teeth grinding, wish-I-could-hurl-a-basketball-at-her-head contempt. Certainly, I’d feel bad if something terrible happened to the gal. But if she ripped her favorite blouse or had a bird crap on her head, I’d pay to be around to see it.
Usually, I’m able to shrug off unpleasant behavior. I believe people only act like jerks when life is handing them lemons. I can look past the jerkiness and see the wounded soul. Moreover, I have a fairly peaceful temperament, so there’s no inner rage to rattle by folks who are acting like boobs.
In truth, this person is no beast. She’s just petty, selfish and breathtakingly thoughtless. Though disagreeable, these qualities are not enough to flip my emotional switch from patience to disdain. However, when these qualities result in behavior that significantly reduces my personal happiness quotient, well, heads will roll.
Fortunately, the realization that I have no fondness for this particular person was quickly followed by an important, somewhat life-altering epiphany. Perhaps I’ve not allowed myself to dislike many people because of my own need to be liked. If I actively dislike someone, chances are they won’t like me either.
So I guess I have this person to thank for aiding the maturation process. What better sign of wisdom and self-possession than not giving a rat’s backside whether everyone in the world thinks you’re swell? Once I decided it was okay to dislike this person, I stopped accommodating her ridiculously selfish needs and stopped making excuses for her grisly behavior. I silenced my diplomatic, rational self and showed some anger and teeth. Man, did it feel luscious.
And I didn’t even need a basketball.
[Image from http://www.blindgossip.com