A strange run of events yesterday, from mundane to happy to bizarrely unhappy…
Work was actually quite tolerable, just some finishing work on databases and a demo or two. I did arrive late for a meeting in the morning, though… I get to work around 8:15/8:30, and I had a meeting in another building at 9:00. I figure “Alright, I’ll just go straight to the meeting rather than bop in and out of the car twice.” I time things so I leave the house at a good time to arrive ten minutes early… and BAM, commuter traffic quadruples. God, I hate the traffic around here; I read somewhere that traffic around DC is the 3rd worst in the country, and I can believe it. But beyond that, work wasn’t too bad.
I get home and have a NICE steak dinner with the fam. Cooked to perfection, very ideal. I head downstairs, and… weirdness errupts upstairs in the form of an intense screaming match between family members. I’m not going to go into details (I wasn’t directly involved) except to say I have lost a few points of respect for those involved and humanity in general. I still don’t understand why people voluntarily go out of their way to fail to communicate. You’d think after years and years of this they’d have realized some very obvious flaws in their communications skills and done something about it, but no, no progress. I suspect they’ll never learn, which makes it all the more sad and, to use the word parents often use against children to hurt them, “disappointing.” I’m very disappointed in people.
If something positive came out of it (for me, at least; I don’t think anything positive came out of it for those involved) it’s a renewed interest in not getting myself entangled in those sorts of scenarios. When someone is being irrational at you, ranting and raving, implying your words and generally trying so very hard to completely fail to communicate in the loudest and most obnoxious manner possible… you have to do the opposite.
It doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong. Odds are, both of you are wrong; that’s just how life works, blame is shared by all parties and understanding that is the first step towards real communication. But this sort of thing isn’t communication, it’s lashing out, a frantic but ultimately useless scramble to defend your position.
So, in situations like that, it’s your duty to be the calm in the storm. (You can only control your own actions, and that makes it your responsibility to do this if the other party is not. SOMEONE has to.) You have to let the heated emotion flow around you ineffectively, to be cool and in control. Get things down to a more rational and calmer level of discussion. You have to let go. Let what does not matter truly slide. After awhile, either your ‘opponent’ will get tired of beating against a brick wall and go away, or will calm down themselves and you can REALLY communicate. And if they don’t, if they never learn, then that’s sad and unfortunate but not your problem. Don’t sink to their level in a frantic attempt to get them to understand you; once they’re at that level there can be no true understanding. Just… be cool.
…anyway, right after that is was Ghost in the Shell and The SImpsons with my friends, which was an enjoyable experience indeed. A bizarre counterpoint, too. I finished up the night working on monsters for PR3.
Maybe tomorrow will be a bit more consistent. Hopefully not consistently bad.