Stop the madness

Every now and then, someone sends me a message that really ticks me off. These messages are generally short, snarky, and pointless, designed simply to throw a barb my way for a perceived slight. I don’t get mad when I’ve really done something wrong–humble and embarrassed, maybe, but not mad. Strangely, it’s the undeserved barbs that hit their mark.

I got one of those messages this morning. I can thrust and parry with almost anyone when it comes to words, and I quickly typed my equally snarky response. And then I retyped it. And retyped it. I continued honing it to get it just right. With my cursor hovering over the send button, I hit delete instead. On purpose.

I’ve never done that before.

I’ve always risen to the challenge right along with my hackles. I respond in kind (that’s a funny expression when the response is usually not kind at all), and I end up sputtering and seething. And the cycle continues. No one needs that.

Inexplicably, this time I realized some key points. First, I didn’t act inappropriately to this person. Second, I didn’t owe him an explanation for anything. Third, he knows how to push my buttons, and I was poised to let him do it. By the time he had sent the message, he was already on to the next thing. Why should I spend the rest of my day stewing in this one?

It was up to me to continue the madness, and for once, I didn’t. I deleted my response, deleted, his email, and–writing this post notwithstanding–moved on. For whatever reason, I realized that it only takes one person to stop the madness. Anyone can be that person; today it was me.

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3 thoughts on “Stop the madness

  1. Kike says:

    Good for you Tammy! We are often misunderstood with what we might say with what were well meant thoughts. You are absolutely right that time spent in self defense must used judiciously. When there would be a positive outcome it is worth the effort, If the end result will simply not make any meaningful difference why waste the time? Therein is the real question that requires the thoughtful jugegement of whether or not to respond, or whether to send a snarky remark in the beginning

  2. pegg kennedy says:

    yeah! or, yay! i am one that needs to hit the delete button more often but, like you, i write to get it out of my system, save it as a draft, and then it stays there. generally.

    you never know what prompts the snark but, by not sending, you don’t perpetuate it..especially if you are really over the grumps and move forward there is not another innocent victim.

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