Sunday, February 5, 2012

Grown But Not Always Grown-Up

Remember as kids on the playground, feeling that twinge of panic as you overheard someone talking about you. Remember being nervous, sweaty, having difficulty breathing, scared stiff not wanting to turn around and confirm that the voice you heard, the one being nasty, was someone you thought was a friend.

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."

"What's that?"

"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 ;-)


  1. Good for you! You did the right thing by not letting this person get off the hook. And yet you handled it so well. I can see your calm face, hear your calm, steady voice. YAY!
    It's not wrong for you to wish she felt sick to her stomach. She knows now how you felt when she was talking about you.
    I have some things taking place at my work. And I am trying to take the high road. But I am not as determined as you, Bonnie. I fear I may get pushed too far and let them see a dark side to me they wished they had left alone.
    I promise to try and be the bigger person. For now :)
    And love how you call your road the Serivce Road running parallel to the highway. Maybe we'll pass eachother on this road one day, Bonnie :)

  2. I hope things at work take a better path... though the dark side IS the better path every once in a while. Throw a little "Fear of Wendy" into the mix. They'll think twice the next time.
    Happy Sunday, my friend!