I remember it. Like it was yesterday. Oh, wait. It was.
Well, not yesterday exactly, but this week. And even though I am not a child, I was still nervous and sweaty and stiff.
I didn't turn around. I finished what I was doing and walked away. I thought to myself, I'm going to just let it go, pretend it didn't happen, take the high road.
The high road is boring!
I chose instead to use what I've learned in my nearly 45 years on this planet. If I was feeling insecure and uncomfortable by this, I wasn't going to be the only one. And because this person chose to talk about me behind my back, that was my cue to bring this situation to light.
In my most straightforward and mature tone: "Hi. Do you have a second?"
"Sure. What's up?"
"Ah. I heard what you said yesterday."
"You know. About me. I believe that we are all entitled to our opinions, but as friends, I really wish you had come to me directly to discuss instead of going to random people with it."
"I don't know what to say."
"I don't know that there is anything to say. Let's just move on from here. But please know that I am much more receptive to constructive criticism when you come to me directly, then I will be to overhear you talking about it with someone else. If we're friends, that's the policy I hold most important. Honesty."
"OK. I'm sorry."
"No need to apologize. I'm good."
I gave her a smile, gathered my things and walked away. I left her, no doubt feeling nervous and sweaty and stiff. That was all I needed. The satisfaction in knowing that she didn't get away with being nasty to me behind my back.
It's true. It wasn't all that mature of me to wish she was sick to her stomach, but still...
I wasn't too far off the high road...
Let's call it, the service road running parallel to the highway - it's a bit bumpier but it still takes you in the same direction ;-)