Thursday, January 18, 2007

Difficult Enchilada

Do you, my dears, get the feeling that the New York Times is getting stupider? It's been irking me for a while now, the cutesy tone of the articles, the lack of snap, of edge and of nerve. In any case, here's an article about difficult people that I think exemplifies the situation. It is mildly amusing, but they manage to make a potentially fun subject into a yawn-inducing screed. Not that we want all media to be snarky and smarmy like us in the Internet, but the NY Times should show some NY edge. We're not in Peoria yet, but with the condo infestation currently in progress, getting dangerously close to something like Florida or San Diego. Ick.
In any case, apparently there is a cottage industry of books on how to deal with difficult people.
My advice is:
1. Don't deal with difficult people. Instead, let them make your life utterly miserable for they are the best topic of conversation and they add plenty of spice to life. Bile is good.
2. Dream, like I do, of acquiring a baseball bat for bashing their heads in, or a high powered submachine gun, and put it to good use, in the dream. That will help you relax.
3. If you go out and get one of those self-help books that imply that it is you that has the problem because you don't know how to deal with difficult people, you deserve all the misery they give you and you are a putz.
4. The best and most difficult thing to do to "difficult people", a fangless euphemism if there ever was one, is to IGNORE them. Super hard to achieve, but always the best revenge.

Dr. Bramson lists seven difficult behavior types: Hostile-Aggressives, Complainers, Silent and Unresponsives, Super-Agreeables, Know-It-All Experts, Negativists and Indecisives.... and Whiners.
Hey, welcome to New York, Dr. Bramson! However, I must confess, a part of me identifies with some of these types.
• I am hostile-aggressive, at least in my fantasies, where I walk around the city wielding an invisible firearm and shooting anything and anybody that rubs me the wrong way, and boy is there plenty of that. However, truly hostile-aggressives act out their anger. Me, I just complain about it. Which leads to the second category. I am not so much a complainer but a ranter. That, you must have surmised from reading this blog.
• Silent and unresponsive, also known as passive-aggressive, no. I can't really keep silent for long.
• I am super agreeable, and who knew that was a bad thing, but I've learned to curb my tendency to be easy going and agree to everybody else's horrible restaurant choice. I give in. Life is too short. Seriously, I learned along the way that people like you to have some modicum of gumption. People who leave everything to be decided by others lose brownie points fast.
• Know it all experts, a mild case, but not pathological. Those people really are annoying because most of the time they really don't know squat and they look down on the rest of us thinking they can fool us all (extraspecial submachine gun for the likes of them).
I am not usually an indecisive, nor a Positivist, being reared in my own philosophy of Catastrophic Thinking which always assumes that the worst will happen (so that when it doesn't, it's a nice turn of events). I don't see what's so wrong in being slightly negative. I hate people who think everything is coming up roses.
But I bet that if you read the list, as I did, you will find a little bit of all those categories inside you (or is it only me?). It's just the horribly neurotic, massively narcissistic, majorly fucked up that truly make the grade.

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