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When Someone is an Asshole, Write Them a Love Letter

Dear Darla,

 

I hate your stinkin’ guts. You make me vomit…

 

You know when people say “I have commitment issues”? Yeah, that’s not me.

Decision issues, maybe. But not commitment. When I decide to do something, I lock it in tight and throw ‘what if’s’ out the window.

Well, there’s a saying that I took to heart;

You can’t control other people, you can only control your reaction to them.

After spending too much time being miserable and pissed off at people, I made a commitment to live from a place of love and positivity.

Yep, I decided to take radical responsibility for how I was reacting to the world.

The thing is, there are a lot of assholes out there that make this commitment really, reallllllly hard. When someone is being a nasty, unreasonable, sleazy, makes-you-want-to-scratch-their-eyes-out noodlebrain, it can be near impossible to respond from a place of love, forgiveness and understanding.

It turns out that reacting with love is not synonymous with being a pushover without boundaries. Who knew?!

Apparently, this lovey lifestyle takes practice. Let me walk you through my go-to process to deal with people that would otherwise piss me off…

I’m on the subway platform. It’s peak hour. I’ve been waiting patiently and am finally about to step in the car. Then, out of nowhere someone gives me a massive hip and shoulder, taking me out as if it’s the last train that will run, ever. C'mon! Another one is coming in TWO MINUTES BUDDY. No need to be so. damn. aggressive.

It's here the breathing and empathetic internal dialogue begin…

Noooo worries, they might be having a rough day. They probably ordered Seamless as they left the office then panicked when they realized the delivery guy will beat them home and leave their pad thai on the pavement for the rats. Effective time management is not their forte I guess. No big deal. Who knows, maybe they're great at growing orchids. I should buy an orchid.

And that, my friends, is the tried and true ‘everyone is fighting their own battles that you don’t know about’ technique at work.

The thing about this technique is, it works well for strangers but doesn’t always cut it for the chronic downer in your life.

When you’re dealing with someone you know and can’t escape – maybe it’s a coworker or… damn, it’s usually a coworker - it can feel like you’re putting in all the effort to be understanding without them changing their behavior in the slightest. Pretty soon, it feels like you’re just making excuses for someone who is just being the worst.

So what else can you do? Try technique number two of course…

You write your micromanaging, gossipy, when-the-world-turns-it-back-on-you-you-turn-your-back-on-the-world boss (or whoever) a love letter.

No lists. No bullet points or shorthand.

It’s a proper, old school letter. You’re getting a nice pen, a blank sheet of paper and you’re gonna rock some solid prose.

In said letter, you’re gonna pen at least three things you really, really appreciate about this person. Yep, it’s called gratitude. Works wonders. 

However, as is the case with many an asshole that will inconveniently shit on your life, identifying their giant feats of brilliance can be rough. You may have to dig pretty deep, but it’s allllll part of the process. I mean, if finding the good stuff were easy, they may not be as much of an energy suck as you give them credit for.

“You always have polished, perfectly laced shoes. Always. Yep, your shoe game is strong and I admire that…” can suffice.

Dig, dig, dig.

And that’s it. No need to send it. Gosh, please don’t.

Just try it, and see how it feels. I bet you get on the happy, feelin' warm and fuzzy train. No hip and shouldering necessary. 

At the very least, you’ll be programming your brain to look for the positive in unlikely places, and that’s, well, positive. Right?

…yep, that last line would be me looking for the silver lining in the event this challenge doesn’t make you feel better and fails miserably. I told you, I’m committed! MWWWWAH!



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