Why small annoyances turn into massive blowups--and how to avoid those eruptions
It's a good question John. I still don't know if I would have said something sooner as there was just a lack of emotional intelligence at play and they meant well. But I should have asked them not to use it without us out there.
However, I do wish I had pulled them aside and had the conversation when I came home rather than yelling at them.
This is so true. We don't say anything, don't saying anything, say lots under our breath to others and to ourselves and then - bang. There's 'a moment' and we make some kind of big gesture. It's often to extricate ourselves from the situation meaning sometimes we loose out on other things because we don't feel able to speak up... And sometimes its'a an actual, rather than metaphorical bang
The swing set is a metaphor for so many things in our lives: bad habits of a spouse or child, the husband's drinking habit, a hoarding mother-in-law. We all have a situation we are festering inside and not bringing up to someone else. Your story demonstrates what the outcome will be if we allow the feelings to boil over. Thank you for sharing!
love the story... and so simple how easily these things blow up. We have a large villa and I have often invited several friends and their families to spend a week with us. Most people understand that they are not at a 5 star resort, but at a family home... and someone needs to go to the supermarket, to cook, to clean up, to clear up games etc. One year we had a family that just didn't get this... I can remember "what's for dinner?" and "what time is breakfast?"... until one day I found myself cleaning up the kitchen alone and I blew up. I exploded and said "right - I want all the adults sat around the table in 5 minutes! and shouted out that this was a private house, that supermarket shops needed to be done, that food needed to be cooked" I hated it. Ever since I have a one page word document that is "What to expect at our house" - which explains in brutally clear terms that this is a private house and if you are not up for some shopping and cooking, then do not come.
I hate having to communicate what I feel is "obvious"... but it has simplified my life for the last 15 years ;-)
I have a question Robert. First, this was a very personal moment that your willingness to share is appreciated. My question is: In hindsight, and perhaps with a few added years of wisdom under your belt. If you got a “do over”, what would you say, and at what point on the timeline would you say it. I ask because we all likely agree, nip it in the bud is a best practice, but there is that awkwardness that’s hard to avoid. Thanks.
Your story and handling of the situation are educational. Thank you for that! I do it too; explode to quickly when really pushed.
Two other, related topics worth discussing, perhaps in another post:
1) Entitlement: The neighbors had an unreasonable understanding of what they could do without asking, and that's what put you and they in the situation that emerged. You took responsibility for your irrational reaction, but a reaction was warranted. They need to understand their position in life as it relates to others and personal property. Too many people in our society think that they can do whatever they want; they opt to apologize later instead of ask permission up front. That's the cause of the resulting discomfort, then anger and explosion here. They pushed YOU over the line.
2) Alternative Discussion: Given that you had avoided the uncomfortable conversation to that point, another powerful alternative (and less toxic) in the situation may have been a calm, quiet, private conversation with the neighbors in your front yard (i.e., separate them from the others): "You all appear to be having a lovely time, but I'm just not comfortable with all of these people in my yard today. Do you mind please pulling them all back over to your house and yard?" Maybe that works, maybe you end up in the same place.
This is great. Perfect example of why communication -- early and often -- is key to best possible harmonious living. Applies to all varieties and flavors of relationship. Thank you!!