Five for Fighting
This past week I got in a verbal altercation with a friend of a friend.
Even just writing that makes me laugh in a completely embarrassed sort of way. I mean, really. Who gets in a fight with another adult these days?
Okay, don’t answer that. I realize that adults fight, but this one, me here, the grown-up with four children, no way.
The last time I had any sort of verbal spar I was married. Not even in any of my dating relationships over the past few years have I gotten so heated with someone.
And even better (or let’s be honest here, worse), we were in public.
I could tell you the story, in detail, as I have to a few of my friends who were all like “you got in a what with who?” but suffice it to say that my friend had a prior issue with this person, and I ended up having to spend my entire weekend visiting her with this person, and finally, after 24 hours of negativity and passive-aggressive nonsense and finally, verbal lashings towards my friend with me sitting right there in a lovely little chocolate shop, I couldn’t take it anymore.
And so, I gave her a piece of my mind. Well, more like a lot of pieces, which weren’t untrue or necessarily mean (all things considered), but they were said out loud to her and not inside my head or under my breath or even like, in a blog post that she probably won’t ever read.
Nope. Right at her.
I’m not quite sure what it was about this particular situation that sent me over the edge more than the myriad difficult others I’ve found myself in. Well, that’s not exactly true.
It’s hard watching your friend get attacked by someone else, a friend who, like you, has had a very rough time over the last few years but has really pulled through and is finally doing well. She’s happy and in a good place and the things that were being spewed at her were just mean and untrue.
And suddenly I realized it, as I was sitting in my seat, my heart pounding, words firing out at this person. Part of me wasn’t just defending my friend.
Part of me was defending myself.
All the things that I was saying were all things that I really have been wanting to say out loud in my own situation. But the way I’ve handled it was just like my friend did with this person – sitting quietly, not engaging, letting her look like the crazy person.
And as you might guess, that can leave you with a little fire in your belly.
I’m well aware that there were better ways for me to handle the situation, mostly like walking away, even if it was to another part of the restaurant until my friend handled her own battle and we were able to go back to enjoying our evening.
But part of me is thankful for the lesson my outburst taught me (no parties harmed, no egos bruised, by the way). That there’s a time and place for keeping quiet, but there’s also a time and place to speak up and not allow people to treat you a certain way.
Not just when it comes to relationships. But when it comes to life in general.