I have always been energetic and have a temper. I speak my mind and say if something bothers me.
I have learned to be nice about it, though. It is possible for me to say my piece in a friendly and polite way, so that the other person and my relationship with him/her does not suffer. I try to be respectful, as we all have our own way and only coz mine is different, I feel there is no need to be unkind about it.
How come that this kindness of mine is often taken for weakness?
A recent incident (one of many little ones) with my flatmate inspired this comment. I reminded him, nicely, it is his weekly turn to clean. His turn to buy toilet paper. Nicely. His turn to bring down the organic trash (every fourth time, not too much to ask?). Nicely, yet slightly annoyed. He has needed a lot of reminders lately.
Plus, he pushed some boundaries. Did not clean up after a friend visited him. I kept the peace and quiet. Annoyed me with his nightly binge watching of Spanish telenovelas. I rearranged my furniture so my bed is far away from the wall we share now. Sleep better, check. Still taking the high road.
Yesterday, however, he lit my fuse. Coz I had reminded him the day before, again yet still nicely, it was his turn to bring the glass and aluminium waste to the bottle bank (1 min walk, his day off yesterday). Yet I came home to find that not only had he not dealt with it, but had filled the container further so that the lid did not close anymore. When confronted, he said he had forgotten. Cynically I ask myself how you can forget a container that you used and forcefully tried to close, but who am I to judge the wonders of the male brain?
Well, I am the flatmate that exploded yesterday because she had tried the nice way and had not been taken seriously, and had set boundaries that had been ignored one too many times.
I know he was totally overwhelmed with my anger and incapable of understanding how his forgetfulness could inspire such “aggressive behaviour“ (his words, unbelievably, though I did not even shout or raise my voice..). I believe I have made my point, though, quite forcefully I might add. He suggested we write a list, whose turn it was to buy what or deal with the trash. I feel I will be reminding him to check that list, but that might be cynical, I fear.
Until the next time someone thinks nice means weak, I shall resume my high road. Every once in a while, I find it incredibly sane to leave it. Forcefully.