Reverb day 6: biting back

#reverbDespite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual.

While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment.

Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?

Earlier this year I found myself in a situation where I had to remind myself very hard that not everything requires a response. This is the response that wasn’t needed:

You say that you should have gone with your first instincts and not have replied. I agree with you. I had given you every indication – I had, in fact, explicitly stated – that such a reply would not be welcome. I had said what I needed, and what I did not need. You presented me with what I did not need. I had my reasons, and I considered you very rude to think that you were entitled to override my wishes, in my own space.

Since we’re being honest here, I thought your follow-up, deleting your comment and then communicating by private message, was pathetic. It looked to me as if you were worried that other people might agree with me about your bad behaviour. I have done my best to interpret it as a sincere desire to keep that comments section harmonious, but I find I’m stretching my powers of belief. I didn’t reply to your private message.

You had a history of ignoring my boundaries. I can think of at least two other occasions when you ignored what I had asked for, to give me something that I had asked not to receive, that I knew would be of no use to me. I dare say that you can be forgiven for assuming that I wouldn’t enforce them this time, either, but things have changed, and I am no longer going to put up with that kind of response in my own arena.

I wish you well, but I feel that I am safer without you.

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