Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hi, I'm Passive. How Are You?

Gas is around four dollars a gallon, consistently {I'm completely floored by this, but gas prices around in some of Europe run about $10/gallon, so I'm dealing.} Due to this, and the fact that we'll be living in a city that's more bike-and-public-transit-friendly soon, we've dabbled with the idea of selling our car and not replacing it. Or at least that's how we're justifying the purchase of this altogether-too-expensive-but-completely-adorable-and-awesome new bike I got last Friday. [Side note: We have been talking about getting me a new, nicer camera for my photography endeavors, but I realized that dropping this much on a bike means NO CAMERA in the near future for me. It's okay, I can get decent pictures outta my 7.2 megapixels, point and shoot. I'll deal.]

Yes, no more $10 piece of crap bike from the 80's I got at the thrift store. I'm a real bike owner. Wait...That means I actually have to lock up my bike now. Crap.

But now that I actually enjoy riding my bike, I'm going to definitely ride it ALL THE TIME. {Note to self: Complaining about your new, very pricey bicycle twice within the first week is a BAD IDEA, it makes husband think you're a spoiled brat. Don't do it.}

In other, completely unrelated Things On My Mind: Help. I'm passive.

Seriously, though. I could use some help here. So, here's the thing - I dislike and avoid conflict. I don't mind going faaaar out of my way to avoid conflict. I'm accommodating and compromising. {This obviously doesn't apply to my husband - the only person lucky enough to ever be on the receiving end of a hissy fit or yelling. Lucky man.} These things aren't necessarily bad or detrimental, unless I don't like something - then I'm all torn inside because I WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT I REALLY THINK, but can't bring myself to instigate conflict.

Of course, every day at work I struggle with this - and usually accommodate more often than not (though, secretly, I'm thinking mean thoughts - usually something along the lines of "You're not the boss of me!" Very vicious stuff, obviously.).

Yesterday, though, it became obvious just HOW PATHETIC I AM with all of this conflict stuff. I mentioned briefly when I found out we were moving to Cleveland that we'd be sharing a big, huge house with another girl. Fine, I can deal with it. We only have to share a kitchen - we'll have three bedroom and a bathroom upstairs. Living in community is grrrreat.

Case in point: We were talking about living together and she's all business-like, "Well, I get cable so you can pay half of that."

In my head: Oh, crap. We don't want cable. We can't pay for it. It's a waste of money!
Aloud: Change subject - *smile* Okay! Do you have Internet?

Why could I just say we didn't want cable? Argh.

Any ideas how I can divert this crisis? Or beef up my wimpiness in general? Because it's seriously pathetic.


  1. If you can't tell her yourself, maybe have your husband inform her?

    But seriously, what's wrong with telling her how you feel? I KNOW how hard it can be -- but if she takes issue with it, it's her problem and not yours

    I just.. wouldn't want you to live in uncomfortable circumstances. You're allowed to have a voice and an opinion.

  2. I hope you can muster up the strength to stand up for yourself. Speaking as a non-confrontational person myself, it can make things even more awkward if you don't speak up. Just be truthful and open, especially if you are living together. Just be sincere and it won't come off as confrontational

  3. I am soo the opposite.. I am super passive aggressive when it comes to my boyfriend and crap he does... But with strangers or people that I don't really know I am super aggressive.. (I make sure I get my way nad that things are done right.) Stand up for yourself! I can understand not wanting to sound a certain way - but just say what you have to casue if you don't it will bother you!

  4. In my little universe, the assertive people don't understand why passive people are such wimps. As a passive-ish person myself, knowing that has helped a lot. I'm not as likely to wig out over hurt feelings and misunderstandings if I know Miss Assertive doesn't operate that way. Know what I mean? Maybe she expects everyone to be as forthright as she is. And start NOW. Don't establish yourself as the nice easygoing girl and then end up seething with resentment in 2 months. NOT GOOD. If you set the stage now, she's less likely to steamroll you in the future. But, as usual, EASIER SAID THAN DONE, shut up me!

  5. I'm WAAAAAAY passive. I lived with someone who was super assertive, and it ended horribly. So be brave and stand up for yourself. Or have your hubby do it. Because it's miserable getting run over. Whenever you find your voice after being run over for a while, your roommate (or whoever, for that matter) will be completely puzzled. And angry. :/

    On a completely unrelated note, your new bike is super cute!

  6. I know this is off topic, but. . .

    I AM SERIOUSLY going to make a list of every way we are alike. I swear when I come here to read I think, we are one person in two bodies.


  7. First of all, that is one seriously adorable bike. I WANT IT.

    Also, I'm the last person on the planet anyone should come to for advice on assertiveness---I'm so pathologically diplomatic that no one, save my partner and my mother, gets to hear my negative feelings---so I won't offer any: I'll just say I've totally, totally been there.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us---you're made of awesome.

  8. From a former peace-at-any-price kind of person: One assertive moment at a time. It does get easier.

    Oh, and Pick Your Battles.

    St. Catherine of Siena might be a good patron saint--after all, she kinda had to yell at the pope.

  9. I am mostly passive myself and would much rather not say anything than have a confrontation. So, most of the time I don't say anything, because in the end it won't matter. However, this is a person you are going to live with! That means your cable decision will haunt you and haunt you, every time you pay half of that cable bill. You might want to think why you couldn't say no to her, do you think you are a bit strange that you won't have cable? And that's why you weren't comfortable telling her about it, because she'll think she's going to live with a freak? The thing is, now she thinks you said 'yes' and she'll expect you to pay. You have to tell her that you talked to your husband, and decided that you won't be getting cable. And in the future, if she asks you something, you can always say that you need to talk to your husband first, before making a decision. I know it's hard for me to say 'no' right off the bat. I need to think about it and come up with reasons in my head why I would say 'no'. So, usually I say that I need to think about it. In any case, it's easier to say 'no' once, than to bite yourself every time the consequences of saying 'yes' come up.

  10. I eventually reached the point at work where I was working way too many hours and finally just had enough of it and spoke up. It took me way too long to learn! Once I spoke up I started getting rewarded more for taking on extra work or rushes.


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