Is there any feeling quite as yucky as finding out that someone is mad at you?
Maybe you’re one of those lucky people who really don’t care what others think of them. If you are, I envy you and your fancy schmancy emotional health. As for me, I only tell myself that I don’t care what others think of me when I’m pretty sure that the others in question actually think I’m okey-dokey.
When someone is mad at me, it wrecks my whole day. My stomach skroinches* up in a tense little knot, my head starts to hurt, and I begin mentally rehearsing the conversation I’m going to have with the offended party to clear things up (I play both parts, of course, which means that we always reach a happy solution in less time than it takes a sit-com family to work out who broke the kitchen window with Dad’s autographed Mark Maguire baseball.) This might be helpful if I always followed through with my intention to shine a light on the problem and discuss it as respectful, responsible adults, but, chickenheart that I am, I much prefer hiding under a rock until things blow over.
I usually end up pushing the matter to the furthest, darkest corner of my “to do” list, where it will continue to spring to the forefront of my conscious mind at regular intervals and mess with my serenity:
Ooh, I’m so happy that new apple walnut salad recipe came out just perfect, not too tart and not too sweet, but that doesn’t really matter because somebody is mad at me.
Katie is going to her friend Anna Rose’s birthday party tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to finally meeting her mom, but how could she possibly like me when I’m such a bad person that somebody is mad at me?
Ah, the house is clean and the laundry is all folded and put away so I can sit down at last with my new library book, but I can’t get past the first sentence of the first paragraph on the first page because all I can think about is how somebody is still mad at me!
And so it goes.
As you can probably tell, somebody really is mad at me. And I suppose there’s nothing for it but to do the emotionally healthy thing and call her so we can drag it all out in the open, where we can work through it like mature, psychologically sound human beings.
Maybe in a mud pit. With a referee.
*So what if it isn’t a word? You knew exactly what it meant when you read it, didn’t you?