Oops! I did it again.
Despite all the facts staring me in the face, I chose to set up a meeting time with my ever delinquent friend. I knew, from past experience, she would be late. I knew, as usual, she would come rushing in 15 or 20 minutes late with another exciting story about what happened to her this time. And, like always, the story was about things that were “out of her control”.The traffic was heavy. (Which happens when you drive during rush hour, so that is why you plan for it)
A client kept her on the phone. (Which happens when you answer the phone two minutes before you need to leave and you won’t end the call.)
She had to stop on the way and get a coffee, because the neighbor’s noise kept her up late last night. (Which happens if you don’t use earplugs or plan in the extra 15 minutes to stop for a drink.)
You can see where I’m going with this. I am going to blame her for being an untrustworthy, disrespectful airhead. And I’m going to do right now. Yes, I am!
…or, maybe not. I’m sitting here glaring at the can of “Victim Be Gone” on my bathroom shelf and I know I have to use it.
I have to spray myself from head to toe with that fine mist that will melt away my righteous indignation and wounded attitude. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know as much as I know about drama and human interactions. Sometimes, it sucks being a therapist who knows how these things get set up and that I indeed played a part in this dynamic.
I’d much rather complain to someone who would listen to me and be astonished that a friend would behave in such a horrible way. I want to talk to someone who would exclaim “You are right. I can’t believe she did that to you!” Then, feeling satisfied and justified, I could put on my Super Victim Panties and parade out into the rest of my day.
But, no. Grumbling and snarling a bit, I snap the lid off the can and start spraying. After waiting the recommended 15 minutes, I revisit the situation, contemplating my part in it.
Here it goes:
- I never directly told her it doesn’t work for me for her to arrive after our agreed upon time. All I’ve ever done is been a little snippy or distant towards her.
- I acted like she has super, mind-reading powers and should just “know” that she has ‘done something wrong.”
- She and I might have very different ideas of what “agreed time to meet” means. We all have our own “One and Only Right Rule Book of The Universe”. And why should hers match mine? For her, it might be perfectly normal and acceptable to come to meetings 20 to 40 minutes after the time we set up. In fact, to her, it might seem rude to arrive right on time. In her book, maybe I’m the one who is being rude and insensitive.
- And, last of all, I kept setting myself up by acting as if she would not do what she has always done. She keeps acting like herself. I just didn’t want to admit it.
I just love that Victim Be Gone! It works every time.
The next step is to decide what to do to address the situation. I will use The Six Boundary Solutions to create a strategy. But without doing this first step, to get out of feeling like a victim, I would not make clean, clear decisions.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? What did you do and what results did you get? Please add your comments. (Did you need a can of Victim Be Gone, too?)