Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Silence is the Best Policy

A few years ago, a friend of mine was receiving emails from someone she was no longer on good terms with. She asked me what she should do. My advice was, if she no longer wanted to be in contact with this person, nothing good would come from her responding to the emails. The best thing was to just leave the emails alone or delete them so that they weren’t taunting her. The best thing to do was not to respond.

I hate when life tests you with your own advice, because not too long after I gave that advice, I was faced with my own set of emails from people I no longer cared to hear from.

I try to steer clear of drama, unless I’m watching it unfold via reality t.v., but last year, I had more than my share of unnecessary dramatic events in which it took every molecule in my body not to retaliate. Not because I couldn't. I had more than enough personal information to respond to the attack against me. I didn't retaliate because it wasn't worth the backstabbing or shedding the loyalty that I hold dear.

In the moment when someone is saying things about you that aren't true, but they sound true, because at one time, this person was your good friend; and if your good friend is saying these horrible, nasty things about you, then they must be true (insert sarcasm here)... In that moment it was extremely hard to stay true to myself and not stoop to that level.

In the end, it wasn't worth the energy it would have taken to try to put things right. From the emails that were written to others about me, I asked myself why this person was in my life to begin with. I didn’t know or surround myself with people who did things like this. When someone takes your friendship for granted and they see your niceness as weakness; when they cross the line of respect and abuse your friendship, were they really a friend to begin with?

And I wish I was only talking about one person that I had to let loose from my life. I’m a laid back person who allows a lot of people into my life who shouldn’t be there. I give people too much benefit of the doubt. When I notice that someone doesn’t treat the people around them with respect, I should follow my good instinct and keep my distance instead of cozying up to them. For this, I have no one but myself to blame when things go wrong and in my inbox, awaits a lovely little note from the people who have become my frienemies.

Some people get a rush from arguing period. They relive that moments when they uttered just the right phrase that delivered a jab to their opponent. Arguing via email brings on a higher level of satisfaction for people like this. The person can keep a record of the argument and they can pat themselves on the back as they re-read the things they said and for being so crafty with their snarkiness. And when they receive a response from the person they are arguing with, they feel excitement.

I just don’t have the time or the energy for that ish. I have one life and I refuse to spend it sending a blast of hurtful words over the internet (or via text), trying to win some sick game of one-upping each other.

Some may see my ‘no reply technique’ as a punk move. A person who can walk away from an instigated argument is no punk to me. Someone can’t argue if there is no one to argue with.

Facebook takes things to another level (or I should say, people take Facebook to another level) when they bring their words out for others to see. It’s no longer a private issue between two people. People use their Facebook pages as a battle ground by posting an indirect, passive aggressive dagger at someone they are having an issue with. Then that person responds by doing the same thing and on and on until one blocks the other.

Why are we even communicating in this way to begin with? Maybe I’m old fashioned in this age of technology, but actually talking things out in person might bring better results and reduce the drama that can develop from misreading / reading too much into something someone wrote.

It’s too much for me so I just don’t get involved at all.

Everyone handles certain situations differently, but for me, where drama ensues in the inbox, silence is the best policy.

~Louise C.

1 comment:

  1. I believe you handled it correctly! Sometimes just not saying anything is the best way to be!