Some time ago, I decided it was time to eradicate the “glare” from my roster of habitual modes of communication.
Let me back up a bit.
I come from the sorta South, Texas. Between my southern upbringing and being a female, early-on I developed-through-osmosis the skill of passive-aggression.
Being that I grew up in a family of Olympian-level champion passive-aggressors, I became quite an expert-level practitioner this behavior myself.
Then I married a man who cannot tolerate passive-aggression. He highly values directness and being able to “feel” a person and match that to what they are communicating in words and actions. It is really important to him, for various reasons that are his own to explore and not mine to share.
He challenged this in me, and I rose to the occasion. I began to own this learned and honed behavior, to forgive myself for it, and then to make different choices.
In due time, I decided that I wanted to eradicate it as best I could from my palate of expressions. I decided that I wanted to be direct in my conflicts.
Gone would be the days that I would silently glare at someone, hoping that my glance would convey all that was burning within me.
Like all those times to the person who just cut me off in traffic. I’d drive by and give them “the look.” (Didn’t seem to really have an affect…but then again, I’d already passed by and was speeding off…) Now I also know that if someone is an asshole driver, nothing anyone else does is going to change them. If they could care about it, they would. The glare will never translate to them.
Or those times somebody is having a very loud (and annoying) conversation on their phone on the bus/street/train/restaurant. Boy, did I give them a look, and more than once, at that. (Yet they never got off that phone…) These people also fall into the category of being incapable of really “getting” it. If they could “get” why it is rude to do that, they wouldn’t do it in the first place. My glare? They won’t be able to take it in.
See the problem? That glare just doesn’t do it.
In such circumstances, it is time to use my outside voice.
To say, hey. You almost killed me there. Be careful.
Hey. You are making us all hostage on this bus.
Hey, man. You are man-spreading. Make room.
No more glaring, for this recovering PG’er.
Here I go.