On Being “That Guy”

I do not enjoy being “that guy”.

You know who I’m talking about. The guy who’ll keep bringing up what he perceives as a problem. He doesn’t leave well-enough alone. I can feel the implied question sometimes: “Why did you have to bring it up? Couldn’t you just leave it?”

I don’t enjoy being that guy because…I end up in situations I wish hadn’t happened in the first place. In 2B I had to ask Kay to flush up after himself. The man kept leaving little ‘presents’ in the bathroom. I wish I didn’t have to tell a 20 year-old university student that – but no one else would. I’ve brought up the uncomfortable. “Well – what is it exactly that you don’t like about me?” You want awkward silences – try that. I’ve chewed people out; questioned people’s behavior…

Is it a Canadian thing that we just don’t bring up what troubles us – or is it a prerequisite to maintaining harmonious relations? Isn’t the better approach to understand exactly how we differ and try and bridge the gap? If both of us are willing to compromise then one person won’t just be frustrated because they feel taken advantage of. Why don’t we bring the problems up?

Why don’t I bring problems up more often?

Yeah – there’s a surprising question. But there are lots of things that bother me that I don’t bring up. In some cases it’s because the person’s my friend and I have chosen to accept their opinions – even though I don’t agree. In other cases I simply say “It’s not worth it”.

Look – there are good and bad things about my approach. And I definitely do make mistakes. What I would like is to be told upfront if what I do conflicts with another’s point of view. I just prefer everything out in the open. I hate the festering problems ’cause those are so much more corrosive over the long run. I also have to learn to be more diplomatic – that’s a skill that I haven’t mastered yet. I’m trying however…

[sighs]

Stream of consciousness here…some days are like that.

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