A few weeks ago I was at dinner with friends. The conversation went something like this:

A: Company did something.  It was bad and wrong to do it.  Can you believe it?

Me:  Well, I think what they did was wrong, but I understand why they did it

A: How can you understand what they did? It was completely horrible.

Me: There’s a lot of ways you can look at this…

A: No there’s not

And it was an elementary school way of having a discussion, and it ended with an elementary school tactic, when person A called me a name.

Yes.  I was called a name.

And I was taken aback, because this was a highly educated person, very successful etc.

And A resorted to name calling when I made a point that A couldn’t rebut.

Now I just stared at A, open mouthed, because frankly I haven’t been called a name in a lot of years.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was called a name. So I stared at A and finally closed my mouth.  For a minute I thought about standing up, throwing my napkin down and storming out, telling A to go &^$% themselves.  But I didn’t. I took a deep breath and said

“Sorry you feel that way.”

And I turned to the person on my right and started a different conversation.

So here’s the question: how do we remain rational in times when people are not always rational and logical about their opinions? (for the record, this was not a political discussion per se, though some could say it is, and that is why I’m not stating what the discussion was about)

Are we allowed to have opinions and share them with people? Of course, we should be.  No one deserves to be attacked for having an opinion.  No one deserves to be called names. Yet, I found myself in this situation. And I didn’t know what to do.  If it happened again, I still don’t know what the right course of action.

Do you defend your opinion?

Do you skirt the issue?

Do you yell back?

Do you walk away?

I defended my opinion to a point, but then when the name calling began I backed off.  My feeling was A was being irrational and unable to have a conversation.

But I’m still annoyed.

So I journaled, now I blogged, and as Mick says, maybe I should write a story with a not so great end for the person. But will this be enough?  or will I continue to replay the conversation in my head?

I need to learn to let go when people take up residence in my head.  But I can’t figure out the steps.

 

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90 thoughts on “How To Get Over It- Part 2

  1. LA, I would have told that person that I don’t deserve to be name called and walked off… If I won’t respect myself, nobody will..
    I have taken name calling for years, you know those subtle hints coated in humor till last November when I took a call not to work with that particular person. I stood up and told him that I don’t accept personal remarks and walked out. I am in financial crisis due to the repercussions of my decision. But I am hopeful, this year would sort it all out.
    I believe in karma..
    But the answer to your question, I don’t accept name calling from friends foes colleagues, no one… Not even family said in genuine joke…
    My rules for my life… No idea what I am going to face later but I am hopeful that balance would come about especially since I haven’t done anything wrong
    Whew did I vent too much!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Venting is good in a safe environment! I think that’s part of the trick, venting in the right lace at the right time. And that’s the thing….I don’t know if I’m going to get over this, and this is a person I come across multiple times a year. But to your point….should I get over it? See…that’s the thing….are there things that we don’t have to get over?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got over it, as it was affecting my health… Now I treat that boss of mine with a pinch of salt pepper and hot spice.. I talk and would probably work some day with him but I won’t take the name calling
        Remember the episode so that you are careful in your trust. Let go of it do that you take care of your health

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Without more detail I’m left to make assumptions. My assumption is that it affected A a certain way and they were looking for support and/or commiseration. Maybe it was just timing. Could you read the body language? Were they in the heat of the moment, I.e. it just happened? Is it unusual for this person to lash out with name calling?

    You know how, as a first time parent, you make decisions that in hindsight you may not make now? And you complained to other parents and they listened? The experienced ones will say something neutral and offer support regardless of how a they interpreted the situation, the other ones with less or no experience might engage in a conversation about different views and perspectives. This could escalate into defensiveness and frustration.

    The name calling was uncalled for…and you stayed calm and looked the other way, that’s good.

    Maybe it was just the timing of having a debate that was off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Apparently this person is like this with their partner, but is usually in control of emotions with others. The partner has complained about A’s behavior at home but everyone brushed it off because we never saw that side. It was disconcerting to say the least

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  3. I think you handled it perfectly…when you respond in kind, or get angry back, it can become about your behavior or what you said. You acted like an adult, and I bet money the person who lost their cool feels like a giant ass. But I think it’s normal to replay it over & wonder if you might have handled it better…or wish you’d said something to really put them in their place! That’s what I do, anyway. 😂😂😂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe if the opportunity presents itself, let this person know how you felt about it? But I wouldn’t go out of my way…unless it was really bothering me. I guess it also depends on how close you are with this person. I don’t know. But I’m sure you’ll figure it out. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Last night on my drive home from work I listened to a talk radio clip about teaching humanities in colleges and universities. According to this professor, humanities should be a requirement for all students graduating from college. She talked about how learning these subjects makes students better citizens, critical thinkers and more understanding of how other people live and their circumstances. I’m probably way off topic (maybe, but I don’t know the whole story here), but you said she is a well educated person. So I would question how well educated is she really? Would she have been better able to get her point across, without resorting to name calling, had she had more humanities in school?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Humanities major. I think some people are absolutely unable to look at a position from both sides….they think they are 100% right, and we all no there is no 100% right. But on another note I’m a firm believer that lack of fiction reading in school has led to a society that lacks empathy, so I’m right there with you in that

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reality and fiction are far between which I why I enjoy a good piece of fiction. What a wonderful world we are in when we are armchair travelers. It is nice to extend yourself to people but at some point it feels like you are taken advantage of and you let fewer people stay as house guests is a good example of a time I would have wished to say something but sometimes held my tongue. It is nice on paper to present a rosy image but reality is much harder as there are finer lines to navigate especially with friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s how I do it: I seriously ask myself, would I rather be me right now having to deal with him, or be him for a whole lifetime? I really think about the kinds of self separation and misery that have to be behind his action, and I end up feeling both grateful and compassionate. No more room for anger 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Once a person is in a state of clarity, one finds ones expressions in anger become dispassionate, disinterested, specific to the behavior not the individual, and grounded in love. That’s been my experience, anyway. Sometimes that response is better given after meditation, in which case in the moment silence is the best option. Often the individual is realized to not be listening to that message anyway, in which case it is not incumbent upon us to deliver it.

        For the record, I thought your neutralizing (silence) and affirmative (new good conversation) reaction was about as right on as it gets un that type of a situation. Good for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree that it would have made most functioning adults angry and I am afraid it would have made me passive/aggressive ” whoa okay if you want to act like a child” then ignore and go on to different dinner companion. You handled it better than I would have.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This idea of letting things go– slights or wrongs done to us– are we talking about forgiveness or the ability to just wipe the incident from our heads? I don’t imagine anyone, who will continue to see the culprit in the future, could honestly say that they could let an incident go completely, but they may be able to reason through the incident and forgive the person for their ignorance, stupidity, attack…whatever. Does that make sense?
    How could anyone encounter another person who verbally attacked them and not feel something when in their presence again? I don’t think humans can turn on and off like that. We can choose to be the bigger person, but your gut reaction to the original incident will always nag at you, thus I think the person themselves will always nag at you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually a little bit if everything. I want to not react to things when they’re happening without giving thought…like I want to be able to hold my tongue for 30 seconds before I speak. But, it’s also getting the situation out if my mind. I tend to hold onto negative things, and while I might forgive I don’t forget. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it does, although personally I want to react sooner! I think of the best responses, or likewise, ways to avoid saying too much, too long after the fact!
        As to letting things go I see the point in that, but I think human natures causes us to hold onto things…maybe as a learning tool, perhaps for survival, perhaps because we secretly want to have a tool at our disposal for revenge in the future…! Does anyone honestly forget…I don’t know if that’s possible?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s supposed to be a survival tool, holding on the negative. Supposed to prime yo7 for dangerous situations. But I’m trying to be more thoughtful and at peace. I don’t know if that’s going to happen though!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You demonstrated restraint which takes strength of character and maturity. I think that was the right thing to do. Avoiding conflict is smart. It might be difficult to do, especially when you feel like you’re right in your views, but sometimes it’s better to keep the peace than to assert yourself in no-win situations. Once someone has resorted to name-calling, it’s clearly time to take your leave. I think you did the right thing. Good for you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It is also nice that you were able to handle the conflict in person. When we had our store and I faced a very stressful day alone as my husband was in the hospital, I had a reviewer do her take of the situation without any understanding of the true situation. There were many chess movements that day as my husband had been diagnosed with cancer and he was having tumors removed; we were in a not so great area, so I had to be cautious, and I was alone doing everything. Her review was especially cruel. Even when I extended myself…what I learned is that real people face you in person and talk to you and not counter a media attack on you. I learned later she and her family owned a competing business. Ugly. It took me awhile to move on but I think I did. Enjoy your year and cherish the good times. Sometimes you don’t know the chess movements behind the person countering you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I would have walked out too but that’s childish. What you said was perfect. I cant offer any good advice. I’m trying not to let people’s comments get to me but it may take me awhile to figure it out. Journaling and blogging is good. A punching bag may be better. I have always wanted one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “so what were you called?” asked the curious cat.

    We’re in a day and age where an argument is either black or white; there are no shades of gray. You’re either totally with them or you’re not. the other side now resorts to calling you a name as a method of berating your differing opinion and feeling superior.

    you handled it far better than I would have. I would have looked at them and retorted with something like “Quit being narrow minded and childish. there is more than one opinion in this world and you have no right to play God and judge others and then resort to grade school playground name calling tactics. we’re supposed to be adults having an adult conversation and you’re acting like an ass.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, the worst part was, I agreed with her in theory. But sometimes the practical or the reality is different. But you’re right….she clearly saw this issue as white, and 8 clearly saw a whole bunch of shades

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! How uncomfortable for you. Sadly we live in a time where decorum seems to have been thrown out the window. Your friend, “A” had no business calling you a name. That’s just immature and unbelievable,frankly. Whatever happened in the conversation, you had a right to have, and express, an opion about any topic discussed.
    You may not have brought politics into this blog but I will do so in a vague manner since this sort of behavior is trickled down from the top. Unfortunately, due to the fact that many in the current administration don’t comprehend the principles of the constitution and freedom of speech, and frequently use thuggery and name calling on a daily basis, it has set a tone for the rest of the country. Now many people in society feel they have the right to treat others badly and resort to name calling. After all, you know who does that daily. So name calling has become standard, and bullying used as a tactic by people who can’t seem to deal when anyone has other ideas. Certain people now think that it is ok to be rude, uncivil and childish.

    Even if you two didn’t agree, the childish name calling was absurd. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I also surprised nobody else said something in your defense.
    I am not sure how I would have reacted. I might have done just what you did due to being shocked. I would have liked to have said to A that she/he was over reacting but I probably would have let it go to diffuse the situation. .
    These are sad times. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A got really mad when I made a point she couldn’t counter. The response of choice was name calling. It is a sad state when there can’t be more than one opinion

      Like

  13. I think you did just right. Perhaps you question your response because you want a good way of telling this person that name-calling is completely inappropriate and so is completely disregarding another’s perspective. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is so difficult. I would be totally shocked if someone called me a name for having an opinion. We live in such intolerant times where you get totally bad-mouthed if your opinion does not accord with someone else’s. I think you did the right thing – respectfully held your own. You should congratulate yourself on that. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We have to allow assholes to have their say, it’s freedom of speech, which THEY are trying to shut down when they call you names like that. But we do not have to allow them to steal our peace. You handled it well, now you just need to remind yourself that there are people like that and it’s not your job to fix them. I used to always blame myself when someone treated me badly, but in most cases, it’s their fault! They are reactive, control freaks. I feel sorry for his partner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My big thing was trying to handle myself in this situation. I know I can’t be responsible for what othe4 people think/say/do. It’s just hard

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  16. I once made a comment in a discussion and was immediately called a “communist putz.” It was hard not to laugh at that, but I calmly pointed out that I had offered a perspective, while all this person did was call me a name. They promptly called me more names. So I said, “I bet you can’t offer an intelligent opinion and that’s why all you can do is call people names.” Then that person finally stopped the name calling and actually said something intelligent. I told them I completely agreed, and then they went away angry being unable to argue with me – LOL! People can be so weird

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have often been around a person who tries to make everyone agree with his political convictions. It’s awful. I now try to change the conversation, but if that doesn’t work, I go to a different area. I think it’s a terrible breach of manners for a dinner companion to call someone a name. How juvenile!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What? Name called. A “lawyer,“ because you moved the company’s wrong doing to mitigation? Or an “economist,” because… on the one hand… or a God forbid, “relativist,” because you were quick to real world cause and effect.

    But you write:

    “And it was an elementary school way of having a discussion, and it ended with an elementary school tactic, when person A called me a name.”

    And in a comment reply you offered…

    “Well, the worst part was, I agreed with her in theory. But sometimes the practical or the reality is different. But you’re right….she clearly saw this issue as white, and 8 (I) clearly saw a whole bunch of shades…

    And good for you in recognizing the variance in hues in the who done what to who/whom and and admittedly wrongly …and I sure you proffered your response to A with the caveat that your take on the matter may run to the counterintuitive …which makes the discussion far from elementary, dear Watson.

    So my unsolicited advice. Colloquy with A.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always you sum up the situation quite nicely. It was really ridiculous, because people need to realize that there is rarely a definitive correct answer to any situation, that nothing is crystal clear. People need to learn to listen open open minds…listening with closed ears isn’t helping anyone

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  19. At first I was shocked when you said this conversation turned to name calling. But the more I consider, the more it makes sense.
    The ability to respectfully disagree is a skill first developed in early childhood through the natural course of play. Everything humans learn about how to relate towards each other begins at that time.
    Clearly ‘person A’ missed this important social development. Ideally, adults accept another’s opinion exists without having to agree. The fact that this person’s solution was to call you a name is just sad.
    I understand you holding on to this, it was a (however small) trauma. But, holding on to it doesn’t do you any good. No matter how many times you replay it, you cant change it. And if your behavior needn’t change because you did nothing ‘wrong’ in the first place, it’s just maddening!
    I wonder if ‘person A’ is spending this much energy on it? Are they ashamed or embarrassed for calling you a name? Or do they feel as though they were justified because you’re different?
    We may never know.
    I hope you’ll be able to let it go soon and find peace.
    I think you handled the situation with as much grace as possible. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed.
        Isn’t it fascinating to see these little glimpses of others? I mean, not when you’re being called names…
        Honestly, the first thing I think when something like that happens is, What was their childhood like? What happened when they were little to create this type of adult behavior?
        Whatever it was, resorting to name calling seems pretty drastic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it’s a matter of not knowing how to channel your anger, and thinking that your way is the only way. It’s an issue I’m coming across more and more often

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  20. You handled it well. I’m sure the name caller understood that they’d crossed a line. You provided both of you a graceful, if not definitive, ending to the conversation.

    I had a similar thing happen in my own home recently. An overnight guest launched into a tirade knowing that I held a totally opposite position. I opened my mouth to let her have it, then I remembered “I’m the hostess. My job is to make her feel comfortable.” I just smiled and asked, “more wine?”
    The evening ended amiably.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s a sad reality that good manners are vanishing fast, but even worse is the wide-spread acceptance of the idea that others aren’t entitled to different opinions. I’m not sure where this came from, as I do think it started well before Trump was elected, but I suspect it is a by-product of way too much time spent in front of some screen or another. Still, it is astounding that someone would call you a name at dinner simply because they couldn’t “win” an argument with you. I think you handled it very well, and I can completely understand why it’s hard for you to get this encounter out of your mind. What the future will hold, I have no idea, but it’s hard to be optimistic!

    Like

  22. I learned a great tactic for just this situation while I was in treatment. When someone calls you a name, just say “Thank you. I’ve worked really hard to get this way.” and walk away. It usually gets them to shut up and stop to think. And it gives you the satisfaction of stopping them cold with a dumbfounded look on their face. If their intent was to make you mad, then the intent backfired.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. There is a difference between having a spirited discussion or debate and having a conversation with someone unwilling to have an honest give and take kind of thing and only wanted to have someone validate their view or complain. Once it reached that point, that is where I would have dropped the issue. Since this went on, to the point the person actually called you a name, that is just ugly. I don’t like confrontation, but I would have probably escalated the whole thing into nasty by calling the person out and leaving. I also don’t like negative, nasty people who think that kind of behavior is okay and would have most likely not wanted any kind of relationship with that person. I’m also terrible at holding grudges and replaying conversation over and over in my head until my brain hurts, so… please tell me when you figure out how to not do that. I’d love to know.

    Liked by 1 person

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