“Mistakes were made,” I heard them say,
“The public was misled” —
I think it was them who had done those things,
But they never really
I don’t care for fighting in relationships, so, where I possible, I have no opinions. I’m fine with wherever we go for dinner, I’m fine with whatever my wife wants for furniture or decor. When I play games with my grandchildren, they can pick the games. I dislike conflict; for that reason, I avoid doing anything with large groups of people, since there are inevitably differences of opinion.
I was not originally conflict averse: I have come to be this way over time. As a child, teen, and twenty-something, I embraced conflict. I liked the challenge. I was part of the debate team in junior high and high school, which is nothing but arguing. I then carried those skills everywhere I went, arguing with people about sports, politics, religion, morality, and even music. I was quite a charmer.
When I started working at the company I work for now, things started to change. I have to deal with a considerable amount of conflict at work. I can do it. However, the amount I deal with professionally is enough for me: I don’t need more of it outside of work.
As such, I’ve become rather passive in many areas of my life, and that’s now many people know me. i don’t usually hear the word “passive”, I’m more likely to hear myself described as “easygoing”. I am not easygoing. Going anywhere is not easy for me if other people are involved. My passivity and willingness to go along are interpreted by people as something other than it actually is: conflict avoidance.
I enjoy spending time by myself now more than I ever have. It allows me to be active, making all of my own choices.
I read a book recently that gave me some pause. It was talking about male/female communication differences, and raised the point that conversational negotiation is part of the intimacy ritual for many women. Deciding on things together creates a sort of closeness.
Oh, no. Things I do to make the relationship better, like avoiding conflict, might actually be making it worse.
I know that conflict is inevitable among people, and that a certain amount, done the right way, is healthy. I also know that passivity, when it involves pretense, is not honest.
[whispers] You see, I really do care where we go for dinner… [/whispers]