I know I hate conflict. Can’t stand it. Don’t want to have anything to do with it. I’d rather run than fight. Unless you cross something I believe in deeply and I feel like you’ve pushed me against a wall. Then, like a cornered wolverine, I can say things that sometimes shock me. I hear myself say these things and yet I can’t stop myself until I think about it later and then I realize what I should have said.
But, that’s not the story for today. For the most part, I’ll tend to appear calm and serene like nothing is really a big deal. That doesn’t mean I’m not experiencing really strong emotions and feelings. It is just that you will never see them. Still waters can run really deep.
Like today. I had a workout session scheduled with TrainerGuy today. I get to the fitness center and I don’t see him. Which isn’t a big deal since he often has meeting right up until our scheduled appointments and I was early. So I did some light stuff to warm up and realize it is past our time and he isn’t here. And none of the other trainers said anything to me so I don’t know if he’s late or out or forgot or something else. I could have asked them but that felt awkward to me for some reason. No, I can’t explain it and, yes, it is probably a little silly. So I just sort of aimlessly wandered through the rooms pretending to check out the machines.
I ended up seeing him at the desk with a couple of other people. He saw me but didn’t acknowledge me. It didn’t make me mad. It just made me sad and disappointed. This is another one of those little rules I live by that few people know. If you’ve made a commitment to meet someone at a certain time, then show up or let them know there is a problem. He’s had to cancel sessions before and that’s disappointing but not in the same way because he’s always let me know.
So I’m wandering around getting ready to just bag it figuring something got messed up and he finally comes to talk to me to tell me that he had a last minute meeting but had tried to arrange from someone to cover but they weren’t there. So it wasn’t really his fault. He tells me he’s going to try and call them and I said “it’s cool”. See, quiet, peaceful and unruffled on the surface but lots of emotions raging underneath. I mean, what was I going to do, tear him a new one because of a communication problem. Sure, he could have just sent me an e-mail to let me know but, I’ve been in situations where time has gotten away from me as you chase down one crisis after another.
His response to me was that it wasn’t cool and he felt like he let me down. What am I going to say to that? I’m thinking to myself that, yes, you let me down big time because that’s what I felt. But what good would do to express that? Would it fix the situation? No, because he wasn’t going to be able to summon up another trainer. Would it make him feel better to know how disappointed I was? Of course not. Would it make me feel better to crush him like a bug? Maybe in the short run but not in the long run. He offered to reschedule and then add an extra session which I agreed to. Of course, by the end of the day, that had not happened so I’m sure it slipped his mind. Which creates another potentially awkward situation for me. How to remind him of this promise. I paid for it so, by all rights, I should press him for this. But, since I hate conflict and because I worry about him feel bad, that I might not ever say anything.
So where is the line where conflict avoidance and the desire to be nice to everyone leads to being a perpetual doormat that gets taken advantage of all the time?? See the irony here? He messes up and I’m starting to beat myself up for how I acted. Maybe it would have been better to have just ripped into him and then gotten it out of my system but I just can’t ever imagine getting that upset over a mistake. I mean nobody is perfect so why come down on someone for a mistake. Argh. I hate external conflict and now I’ve created all this internal conflict. Think I’ll just go dance and get my mind off it.