That piece of shit is trolling

Arguments, discussion, different opinions, negotiations. All these things are part of our lives and while they can be exhausting and heated they do enrich our personal point of you as well. What we take from these encounters is usually depending on our own mindset. While I am able to apply the teachings of mindfulness for most of the time you should not deny one thing: there are some people who just want to piss you off. For real.

I am not talking about an ignorant question or the lack of ambition to inform yourself. It might be annoying but I am not upset by it. I am talking about straight up dipshits who fucking shit talk right in front of your face and wait for your reaction. Hoping they can start a vicious circle where the two of you can piss each other back until somebody starts tearing up and one stand triumphantly enjoying the victory. That dear reader is the point where I lose it and forget my mindfulness and zen. These people came to the wrong neighbourhood. I won’t be the one tearing up.

As a matter of fact, I have to say that I am simply not there yet to overcome my anger and investing some serious time to open a dialogue with a person who openly wants to upset me, in order to find a reason for his/her terrible attitude. Not there yet, working on it. So far my most convenient strategy was to explain that person very calm and clear that if he/she pisses me off, I will fuck them up big times. It usually sends the signal that their current behaviour is not ok.

That might be kind of (but in fact not really) acceptable in your private space. While at work and in any other situation in public space I was semi-forced to find a way to handle these people differently. Trust me it is hard and in my eyes less efficient, but I need to pay my rent. Here are 4 methods how not to enter the spiral of insulting each other and giving the troll what it wants.

Repeat their shit

Repeat very detailed what they just said as if you want to make sure that you got everything right. End the summary with the rhetorical question if this is their serious opinion/ proposal/ question.

Expose their shit

I usually experience these encounters when I am in public or with a group of friends. When I repeat their shit I make sure others hear it and are aware of the crap that is going on. Well, it only works if you have the feeling the environment is in your favour and generally sharing your point of views.

Question their shit

What is their damn point? Ask them what they expect from such a statement.  Point out the contradictions and explain where the bullshit lies within. Most contradictions I encounter are

  • expressing an opinion but not accepting the opinion of others
  • asking for tolerance by insulting others
  • potentially opening a conversation by being disrespectful

Explain why their shit is shit

Make perfectly transparent why you think the statement was shit. Whether it is racist, sexist or simply uncalled for because the person is crossing a line. Express the impression that you – emphasize on the fact that it’s your subjective opinion only – have from that encounter.

Make them understand that you know exactly what they are trying to do right now and why your refusal of dealing with this crap has nothing to do with being anti-social or a coward. It’s just the fact that there has never been an honest intention of conversation, to begin with.

Not my friends

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I do love my friends with all my heart and I am usually excited to meet their friends as well. For most of the time I get along with them very very well and it enriches me on many levels. I tend to believe that interesting people enjoy each others company.
However, this is not always the case. On very rare occasions I get reminded that disappointments come in all shapes.

While I do value my friend’s company hanging out with their crowd can be a pain in the ass – for different reasons. Not having the option of simply leaving or avoiding interaction with people you are not connecting with sucks balls. You are forced to deal with the situation and being forced is something I hate.
Embracing these situations is a lesson I had to learn after being extremely rude and anti-social at several events. Apparently taking your book and sitting on the balcony all by yourself while everyone is playing games is not the most respectful way.

  1. Realize that there is something good in these people even though all you can see is a disappointing existence. Find it and focus on it.
  2. Remind yourself that it’s not about you but about your friend. It’s their day and this is why you are here in the first place.
  3. Find the most interesting person and try talk with them.
  4. Find a safe place where you can retreat when shit gets too much in order to rant with your other friends. Make an exit plan if needed.

Be honest

I won’t lie here: I have very high standards when it comes to my environment. My time is simply too precious to be wasted on people I don’t like. In the past, I had several situations where I realized that my friends are hanging out with people I am not connecting with and it is very hard to say: “Sorry, but I don’t like your friends.” Being nice has nothing to do with faking affection. There is no need on lying to your friends and it should be in your and your friends’ interest to have a foundation of honesty and trust. Use kind words to explain them, that you don’t enjoy being around these people while underlining that you are happy that your friend is happy with them.

However sometimes nice words are not doing their job and your friend might feel offended or hurt because their peer group is not good enough. Well, that sucks because their friends are indeed not good enough but they should kind of get over it and stop inviting you to their crap sit-ins or bring them to your parties.

I usually say that I am sorry because I truly am. I wish these people would be less disappointing, but here we are. What should we do? If your friendship is strong you will find a way and get over it. If not and your friend keeps pushing these people on you well knowing that you don’t like them: Is that person really your friend?

Public Transport: The Impossible Challenge

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by giphy.com

I fucking hate people in public transport. There is no other way to describe it: Most people in the subway are making me furious and I almost forget my inner peace and all that mindful breathing and shit and I would love to yell the crap out of them.

BUT I DON’T
because you know violence is not an option and I am trying to be a better person and all that stuff.

However, I would like to discuss what exactly is problematic in public transportation. Whether people are blocking the way, talking loud or pushing others in the train: Most cases are caused by utter mindlessness and that is what upsets me the most. To me, it is very frustrating since I am usually struggling between bursting into a rant or meditating my angry ass down while others obviously don’t give a single fuck about their behaviour. ZERO.

Here are the Top 10 of people in public transport that upset me starting with things I can kind of understand to things I have zero sympathies with :

  • #10: Regular drunk people
    Ok, they usually don’t upset me and just make me sad.
  • #9: Smelly people
    Whether it’s due a very bad snack choice, alcohol, personal hygiene or health condition. I usually understand it and simply find me another place to stand/sit.
  • #8: People sharing their argument with the entire train
    I do have some little understanding for it because sometimes you are just very emotional and you can’t keep it down. However, after 20min you should try to find a better place to solve your situation.
  • #7: Drunk party people
    Ok, I get it. You want to have the time of your life and this is why you chuck down cheap booze. Fine, I’ve been there too. Just make sure you don’t bother others too much.
  • #6: People taking several seats for no reason
  • #5: People sharing their music with the entire train
  • #4: People blocking in the way by standing
  • #3: People blocking the way by walking slow AF
  • #2: Big (school) groups because they are pretty much a mix of everything
  • #1: People who are pushing

Among these things, you have different motivations and reasons. While some things occur out of simple unawareness or conditions that you just can’t change (I would say that applies to #10 – #6) others were based on a selfish decision. In the following, I would like to explain what exactly my problem is with my top 5.

Sharing your music with the entire train

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I get it. You are either in the belief that your taste in music is some kind of unique cultural experience that has to be spread or you need attention. Whatever it is for that moment you are placing your own needs above the needs of everyone else in the train. This is selfish. I highly doubt that anyone is unaware of the volume of their music if they turn it on full blast without headphones. Like bitch pls.

Blocking the way by standing

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by giphy.com

It’s just straight up mindless. Most people I have encountered were not blocking the way because they decided to do so or because they are mean. I am talking about the ones who get on the train, stop there immediately so everyone behind them can’t get inside. I am usually not judging the individual person but the fact that they fail to have a look around them sucks. My wish is people could realize that it’s not enough just to look after yourself. After all, it’s a shared space and mindfulness is important. I don’t think it’s too much to say: “Hey, I am not the only person using public transport. Let’s make sure others get in as well.”

Blocking the way by walking slow AF

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Get on the train or get out- easy as that. I have no understanding for people who have to do a million things during that process. To make this clear: I am not talking about people who are slow due health conditions. I am talking about people who are trying to extend a conversation while getting out or people who are sucked up into their phone screens and try to read a BuzzFeed article while getting in or any other activity that is slowing down their pace.
GET IT TOGETHER! It’s a.) careless and b.) affecting everyone behind you. Some people need a seat due health condition, some really need to get that train and can’t wait for you to finish whatever dafuq you are doing. Again it’s about you placing your own needs above the needs of everyone else around you. Thank you for nothing.

Big groups

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by giphy.com

Just sum up the stuff above.

Pushing others

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by giphy.com

So listen, I am probably just as pissed as you are but dammit I get my shit together and don’t physically attack others ok? So dafuq is your justification for using violence instead of words?! Like no. Just no.

I am a really angry woman but even I avoid pushing people as good as I can. Before I get too angry I try to convince myself that each and every annoying situation is due unawareness. On good days I talk to the people, explain my impression and hope for a compromise.
Sometimes you just don’t have the energy or nerves for mindful interaction and that’s ok. On bad days I try to make the train ride less shitty by listening to music or focus on something nicer.  Is the situation really worth ruining my entire day? I doubt it.
There is a difference between embracing your anger and clinging to it. While I do accept the legitimacy of my bad mood I also focus on the fact this annoying situation will be over at some point.

Cherish your exit of that train, maybe curse but you made it without getting into a fight! DOPE!

Re-learning how to listen

I have the impression that most people have forgotten how to listen in a sincere way and I am probably the person who needs to re-learn it the most. Usually, I am more eager to shut the discussion down than listen to the other person. (Except Fuckbois, like nobody has the time to listen to fuckboi arguments, k?)

I am talking about discussion on topics that matter to me. A discussion where arguments from both sides are heard (heard not agreed on) is more constructive and productive than me insisting that every argument apart from mine are total bullshit. I mean I can listen first and still explain afterwards why I do not agree or see them as invalid, right?

BUT DAMN IT IS SO HARD TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING WOMEN ARE NOT OPPRESSED ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY HAVE THAT ONE FRIEND WHO IS A MANAGER OR WHATEVER THAT MAKES AS MUCH MONEY AS THEM AND GLOBAL WARMING IS ALSO FAKE BECAUSE IT WAS SNOWING LAST WINTER LIKE ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!

(Awkward silence)

I am a bit disappointed in myself that I became over the last 5 years such a bad listener because for more than half of my life I did nothing but listening to others (parents, friends, media). But during this period listening was tightly linked to obeying and the demand of not talking, so I guess this is why it became so difficult for me now.

WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO PEOPLE I DISAGREE WITH?

Even though I am usually very convinced that my point of view is the right one, it is also very likely that I am missing out a very important detail or that my view is only working out for a small part of society and not for everyone. Additional opinions are an addition to the complexity of a discourse and they complete the overall impression.

Also, how am I supposed to change anything when I have never gained an understanding of the opposing position? Maybe their opinion is based on a misunderstanding or lack of experience. Maybe my opinion is based on a narrowed perspective. Wars might be won by fighting forcefully but sustainable change comes by opening conversations where both sides are heard.

Don’t get me wrong, I know all this and still end up flipping tables and yelling during the discussion. I am really, really bad at this. However, I have found a few tricks to keep myself from screaming and insulting for at least some time.

1.)    Tell yourself that the opposition is not a group of assholes. At least not straight at the beginning! You can still say that after evaluating their arguments.

2.)    Only interrupt if you want to ask for vocabulary explanation otherwise shut the fuck up. Try to get what they mean by using words such as “we”, “all”, “they” etc. This helps you to understand the argumentation.

3.)    Don’t complain about weak rhetoric. Just don’t.

4.)    Use “problematic” instead of “bullshit” because this is what you mean. Their argument is PROBLEMATIC or UNCLEAR and not – I repeat NOT BULLSHIT. Don’t be rude just because you disagree.

5.)    Make clear that you do agree with parts of the argumentation if this is the case. Rather than focusing on the differences, mark the similarities and use this as a starting point for a conversation.

6.)    Ask about the sources of “facts” and try to believe that “personal experience” is a valid one, just point out that you might have had different ones. (See point 4)

All these points sound super easy in theory but I usually fail after 30min. All I can do is practising it again and again with the hope that instead of 30min I might last 45min at some point. I like to believe that this routine will help me to become a better listener or at least make me simply step out of the discussion without being all aggressive.  Small steps my friends, small steps.

I hate a lot and that’s a problem

Being negative is something I’ve been really good at since … forever.

I fucking hate fake ass bitches, I hate bananas, I hate assholes.

Saying that I hate something (or someone) and neglecting it has always been very easy for me until I realized what kind of consequences it had:
My hatred doesn’t change shit.

Not that I’ve ever planned to change bananas but every time I encounter an ideology that I hate, I became aware of the limitation of my own attitude and refusal of engagement.

Does a racist really change his troublesome attitude because I spit in his face and shout “I fucking hate your stupid dumb ass racist comment”? Out of experience, I can tell you: No, that person won’t change. It most likely only fuels their own hatred towards anyone disagreeing. Yupp, that is the point when I start hating myself for hating so much and begun to differentiate between

a.) what I really hate (Is it the individual, their behaviour or their attitude)

b.) what I really feel (is it truly anger or is it more a disappointment, fear or hurt pride?)

c.) what I really want to be different

Call it overcomplicating but there are a few things that I care more about than the convenience of ending a conflict by declaring “I hate this shit and will hereby not bother to deal with it!”.

I’m still pretty bad at it and often fail to engage people or burst in a total rant before I am even able to reflect what truly bothers me. Yeah, hate that.