Epiphany

Sometimes being an adult is hard.
Sometimes being a professional is hard.
Sometimes, telling your ego to take a timeout is really hard.
Sometimes, you have to do it anyway.

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Yesterday, I received a harsh critique from a supervisor – void of tact or manners. Instead of encouragement or education, she double-underlined comments about how we don’t do things the way I had done them.

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Yes.     Ma’am.

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Naturally, I felt like a pile of poo. Steamy, stinky, mushy poo.
When the clock hit 5:00, I was out the door.

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Then, I went to Yoga, followed by Kirtan
(you can laugh – but don’t knock it ‘till you try it).
Next, I had a cold Guinness with a friend and we played 18 holes of virtual golf.

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I don’t know if it was the shivasna or the cold beer… but as I fell asleep, I finally felt a calm descend upon me.

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This morning, I walked into work, accepted all of the boss’s “suggested” changes and turned in my project without a single explanation or argument for the way I had done things.

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Why bother?

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The critique wasn’t about me.

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If the critique had been about me, there would have been some discussion.
There would have been some questioning to understand my methods.
There would have been encouragement for the things that I had done right.

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No… this critique was a power play.

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Later, I will go back through her comments to pull out the constructive criticisms.
I will leave the destructive ones alone.

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She can “win” this battle.

It will be lonely at the top, when she has lost all of the people she has torn down, all along the way.

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Ego

sky 

           One of my greatest pet peeves is when someone is angry with me, but is “pretending not to be,” so that it becomes a passive-aggressive game.

            I would much prefer to be confronted. You can injure my pride and hurt my feelings and squish my ego… but at least I know what the problem is.

            Also, I tend to handle challenges head-on. Many times, the only way through the dark is right, straight through it. Tell me I’m being bull-headed. Tell me I’m being condescending. Tell me whatever it is that is boiling your blood – because it will do us both a favor!

            You will feel better after you get it off your chest.

            And I will be able to take that information to either accept it or ignore it – but at least I will be aware of how I am affecting those around me – and I can try harder to be less of a pain in the ass.

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            Unfortunately…

            Here I am, in passive-aggressive land AND I am really good at this game. I can passively aggravate with the best of them and my stubborn nature will prolong this madness into oblivion.

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Dear Self,

            Take a giant step back. Take a breath. Let it GO. Winning this passive-aggressive war is not worth the other losses at stake.

                        Love,
                             Me.

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BUT SELF!

            How do I do that? How do I ignore the fact that I can FEEL the angry boil-bubbles being jetted in my direction from underneath a plastic smile?

                        Sincerely,
                                   Me.

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Self,

            You expressed your concerns with real words, you apologized for as much of the problem as you are aware of, you asked for feedback. There really isn’t much else you can do without a response. The ball isn’t in your court anymore.

                        Love,
                            Me.

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BUT SELF!

            I want everyone to fight by my rules! After all, isn’t it ALL ABOUT ME?!

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*sigh*

One can only control the actions and reactions of their own selves. May I find a bit of grace and patience in my day today, and do my best to not sabotage myself – or others.

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Insult with a Smile

My inner idealist refuses to admit that sexism can still be a strong player in today’s world.
But sometimes,
Reality Bites.
How do you react to passive-agressive sexism?
Does acknowledging the perpetrator boost his ego, because he thinks he has gotten under your skin?
Does ignoring the situation propel it forward, with increased force?
It isn’t blatant. No one says “Let a man do that for you.”
It is subtle. Tiny comments.
“You asked a really good question in today’s meeting.”
Ironically, this comment came from two different people. From one man, who was sincerely noting my efforts to understand the subject matter.
But the tone and context of the same comment, from a different man, illustrate the condescension. Between the lines, there is a metaphorical pat on the head and a message:
“You’re playing with the Big Dogs, little girl. It’s surprising your lady-brain could comprehend enough to formulate such a question.”
This is a man who is used to being right.
Amongst his peers, he is an expert.
His worldview is set and nothing simple will change his mind.
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I AM a badass, and I know it.
Time will validate my status in the Big Dog World.
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I take the back-handed compliment, and say “Thank you”
                                                accepting my insult with a smile.

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I just noticed a post for “Unequal Terms.” Seems to fit. Link here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/unequal-terms/

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