Yesterday I noticed an interesting pattern that I had probably not seen with as much detail as before, simply because there has been a tendency to allow the kind of ‘short fuse’ situations to become a normalcy, especially when walking in the city.
So the story goes this way: it rained a lot the past days and puddles were around many places. I was walking with my partner in the middle of crossing one big avenue when I saw that the lights were red and so, it was time to cross in a short period of time – this city is not designed for pedestrians to begin with – which prompted me to give a bit of a jump and cross. I did not communicate this to him, which caused him to give a sudden jump into one area where there was a large puddle of watery mud. This simple event led me into an immediate experience of being pissed off or irritated, seeing it as ‘stupid’ that such thing could have happened. I started saying out loud to him ‘Didn’t you see where you were stepping? I’ve told you before to watch your step in these fucked up sidewalks!’ because that’s a reality, there’s no smooth ‘walk’ in the city that you can just go walking looking straight ahead of you, because not many places are even/ properly built and/or with wires sticking out, holes, etc. Even though we were not in a hurry, I noticed that I got flustered about it. Here it is to see that even before asking if he was alright or if he had twisted his ankle or something, to me it was like immediately pointing out what he should have done or how ‘foolish’ the situation was, in a way implying that ‘this should not be happening to us right now.’
As we kept walking, he would stopped twice to clean the shoes and his sock, so at some point I said to him we should instead just sit in a place so that he can properly, clean the shoe, check his foot etc. But my tonality was of course already coming with this harshness, to which he asked if I was pissed, and laughing a bit out of it. It’s great because he usually just don’t follow with my every now and then bursts of whatever fit I tend to create, he just points it out and that moment I realized what I was doing. I reminded me of what I had written just hours before and applied precisely the point that I had written on not being hard on others, to be considerate, to be humble, to be patient.
So I ‘stepped down of my fit’ and said ‘ geez, yes, I got pissed but there’s no reason for it! Why am I even pissed! I should instead first ask if you are ok, if your foot is ok.’ So, it took a simple moment to question this sudden hissy fit, to then immediately see ‘wait, what am I pissed off about? This doesn’t even make sense!’ So, again, I apologized and then as we kept walking I was able to see the whole point being mostly a pattern I’ve seen or witnessed in my father. Whenever my mother would do something ‘less than perfect’ especially while traveling, moving or being out and about, he would point it out to her with certain anger/annoyance, almost in a way wanting her to know that ‘she’d fucked up,’ in a way it is like scolding. Actually now I remember that my partner pointed out exactly the point that made me see this precise pattern, something around the lines of ‘What is it? You cannot tolerate that which messes up your status-quo, is it unacceptable?’ And so I was able to see that, yes, anything that ruins this ‘perfected idea’ of what our walk in that moment was going to be got ‘screwed up.’
So, I completely stepped down of the experience as I saw how abusive it was. Is this at all something acceptable? Absolutely not, I could even get embarrassed from admitting I can get flustered about things like this; though this emerged, lasted some ten minutes because through communicating and doing my own ‘introspection’ in the moment, I was able to see the reason for it, the ‘learned behavior’ and this ‘perfectionism’ that makes me cringe every time something unexpected happens.
Then after some minutes I explained this point to my partner, how I need to be flexible when things don’t go as expected and how there is no reason to get pissed at it and instead focus on practical matters – like checking he’s physically doing alright. One supportive thing is that he doesn’t hold a grudge for it or changes the way he addresses me for it, we have learned throughout the various months of living together to not hold on to a moment of reactions, but to rather speak through it, get to an understanding, and a future consideration to prevent further moments like this.
From my perspective this kind of behavior is more of a physical and automated response that contains almost no thoughts, just sudden ‘pissed-offness’ that I wasn’t able to pin point at first when only remaining in an experience. It was through communication and then doing some further ‘inner-research’ that I was able to understand it. Yet what is most important is the ability to let go of the experience in the moment, to relax the body, to ensure all is clear in relation to the situation and keep on with the day, not holding onto it at all, but understanding the reaction and ensuring one gets to establish principles, words and corrections for any other ‘occasion’ this or any other similar point could show up.
I also see the benefit of voicing the words, the considerations for any other time or moment where something ‘unexpected’ happens, this means sharing with whomever you are so that we hold ourselves to our word with others that are close to us as well, and create an all-around learning process from it, instead of allowing it to ‘ruin’ a moment for a petty situation.
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