For today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:
When it comes to your friends, your spouse, your significant other, or members of your family, is it better to confront them about things they say or do that bother or upset you or is it better to try to ignore those things in order to maintain peace in your relationship?
I have a work-colleague-who-became-real-life-friend, and it’s funny because we would go out for lunch together and a couple of times, he would say something like “when you said x yesterday, it really pissed me off”.
There were various responses. Sometimes he had misunderstood, sometimes I just apologised, sometimes I stood my ground and explained why I thought what I thought… The point was, he was totally up-front about it, and because of that I felt I knew exactly where I stood. If he was pissed off about something, he said why, and that was that. And, we became good friends.
I, on the other hand, am not really like that. I think I’m more introverted. If I’m pissed off with somebody, it tends to just count against them on their “balance sheet”, and I’ll use that balance sheet to decide whether they’re worth bothering with in the future. So, it’s not really ignore, but at the same time it’s not causing a song and dance.
That’s not even restricted just to friends. If a politician says something dumb, that again counts against them, and the next time they say something, I might not be listening.
It’s all about credibility.
With my wife, it is a little bit different. We’ll sometimes bicker and will sometimes not speak to one another for a week. But, so far, I always have to let it go. In terms of a balance sheet, I’d still far sooner be married to her than not married to her. She gets a special place.