“I don’t like conflict. I’m a middle child and I’m Canadian. So to me rudeness is a foreign language. Disagreement, even loud, vehement arguing, is fine, even healthy. That’s not what I mean here. I’m talking about the adult tantrum. There are people who just need chaos. Perhaps it’s a way of trying to achieve power, or maybe it’s just emotional immaturity. Whatever the reason, these people get annoyed when they can’t create drama. It’s almost as if they want to pull others into that pit of bad behavior. So my advice is this: Don’t let them. The ruder people get, the nicer I become. It drives them nuts.” – Nia Vardalos, writer and actress
I read this in Good Advice section of the recent issue of Good Housekeeping magazine and felt the need to share. This is exactly the philosophy I have used in my adult life. I have made it my priority to walk away from chaos and to disengage from drama-seekers. Not always an easy task, especially when you share DNA with some of these types. But in the end I have found that being polite and holding true to my character has given me the protective boundaries that are right for me.
It is hard not to get sucked into the chaos that surrounds certain people, especially when you have grown up living in the world of drama. At first it feels foreign to not be part of the chaos. Like you’re missing out or somehow not fulfilling some unspoken obligation. For me it was a process of rethinking learned behaviors. And realizing that I didn’t need to explain or excuse myself for not participating in the crazy making. I didn’t have to be mean about missing the big show either. Like Nia said “the ruder people get, the nicer I become. It drives them nuts.” And boy is she right! When you are polite they run out of ammo and quick.
These tough choices have gotten easier with time and have led me to a happier and healthier life. One that I never imagined living. Some people think of politeness as weakness or that being polite means you get walked all over. Wrong and wrong again. Keeping yourself in check gives you the upper hand and (contrary to the drama-seekers beliefs) leaves you in control. Wynonna Judd has a great line, “that might work for you, but it doesn’t work for me.” What a perfectly polite powerful statement. No daggers thrown, no mean words, no judgments. Just assertive and clear boundaries. That is my favorite line and I have used it many times.
This was another quote from the same article that I loved:
“Remember Pinocchio? There is a Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder, giving the very best advice. It is you, your authentic self, the one you were in first grade, before you learned to massage your personality into a form that would suit others. Sometimes it’s hard to hear its message because all the external voices are so loud, so shrill, so adamant. Voices that loud are always meant to bully. Do not be bullied. Acts of bravery don’t always take place on battlefields. They can take place in your heart, when you have the courage to honor your character, your intellect, your inclinations, and, yes, your soul by listening to its clean, clear voice of direction instead of following the muddied messages of a timid world. So carry your courage in an easily accessible place, the way you do your cell phone or your wallet. You may still falter or fall, but you will always know that you pushed hard and aimed high.”
— Anna Quindlen, author and journalist.
Live your life, live it polite and live it out loud!
Thank you for tunning into today’s corny programming!