I Spoke Up

Perhaps I made a huge mistake. But I can’t imagine regretting it.

I called the leader of the retreat group and told her how frustrated I was at getting interrupted for the umpteenth time. She said she would remind everyone of the rules and that the rude person was never present when talking about the rules previously.

At the blessing, she talked about the rules and I spoke up and said that I felt that getting interrupted was rude and disrespectful, looking right at Kim. She felt uncomfortable and left.

Once she was gone, another member of the group said that Kim had had a hard life and that I was being judgmental. I said that not getting interrupted was pretty basic stuff and non-negotiable. My mistake was in not bringing up the issue until there were wisps of steam coming out of my ears. I really should have addressed the issue months ago.

So the next day, Friday, the group leader texts me about if I would be willing to meet with Kim and her for some conflict resolution. I said okay, but I’ve been thinking about it and the only conflict I see is the conflict between Kim’s behavior versus that of normal adult conversations. If the leader expects me to apologize for having some very basic expectations of courtesy, she is going to be extremely disappointed. I owe no one an apology for not wanting to be interrupted rudely and disrespectfully. It is not my attitude that needs to change; it is Kim’s behavior. If the conversation is all about Kim’s feelings, I am done.

I challenge anyone to find a group, organization, church, business, or club that has zero behavioral expectations of its members. The people in the group kept talking about how informal we are. Interrupting people is not “informal.” It is a simple lack of respect. Period.

I come from a family with no boundaries. I have spent the past thirty years of my life working hard to develop relationships based on mutual respect. I love these people. My problem with these people is that, as is common with liberals, they are all emotion and no accountability. My problem with conservatives is that they do not understand how their behavior affects groups of people corporately. My problem with liberals is that they have no concept of personal responsibility. Liberals get the big picture better than conservatives, but conservatives understand the little, more individual, picture better. And so I blend in nowhere. What we do affects both ourselves and others, individually and in groups. I don’t want to lose these friends, but I won’t apologize for having some very minimal standards of conduct. I have set the bar extraordinarily low and they are still limbo-ing under it.

“Judgmental” is the ultimate insult in the liberal world. I will wear it as a badge of honor. Having good, sound judgment used to be hailed as a positive attribute. It still is a good thing, even if some do not understand that. I am glad I have enough common sense to have good judgment. No apology necessary.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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