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Shippy's avatar

How do you get the "bad taste" of an argument out of your mouth?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) October 25th, 2012

I ‘acquired’ a friend a couple of years ago, due to her being a neighbor. Years ago, I knew she existed but had mentally marked her as a no go area, since she is very volatile and loud.

However, years passed and we became ‘friends’ of sorts. For a while now she has been pushing my buttons. If I buy something I am asked how much it cost. In fact everything I do I get asked how much it cost. Or, how much I earned this month, how much my flat sold for, the list is endless. I had backed away further and further. Once my toilet made gurgling noises and she got the key from the supervisor to come in and scream at me at 4am in the morning to pull the ball cock up! as she thought it was a leak. We live in an apartment building. Each home is private!

Today I reached breaking point. Yes, I admit, name calling, back and forth, swearing you name it. It was horrible. I don’t want her in my life. I never really did. I need her to be gone!! But I have a vile feeling about it. I hate when I lose my temper. How can I let this go without feeling like crap!

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23 Answers

janbb's avatar

I am finding the best way to deal with a bad thing that leaves me stewing is to address it and then put it to bed. A few times lately I have made mistakes and instead of ruminating have talked to the people about it. Your situation is a little different but you might want to apologize for the name-calling but then add that you can no longer be friends with her. However, if she really is totally irrational, you might have to leave it where it is, know you are moving away soon and just distract yourself until the stewing lessens.

Shippy's avatar

@janbb good point thank you

Buttonstc's avatar

Make a vow to be more calmly assertive in the future.

Instead of waiting and stuffing down your feelings until you can’t keep the lid on any longer does no one any good.

Ann Landers had the perfect comeback for when someone presumes to ask you a Q which is nobodys business but your own.

“Why would you ask such a personal question?”

Variiants could be “Why do you think I would answer a question about something that personal ?”

“Why do you ask such an intrusive question?”

Obviously this puts them on the alert that they’re crossing boundaries.

Make your boundaries clearer from the beginning. We teach people how to treat us. Stop being overly tolerant of bad manners and boundary violations.

Good fences (boundaries) make good neighbors.

Coloma's avatar

Well…live and learn. Always best to identify your true feelings and distance before you blow your stack. The only really sane and healthy thing you can do is to learn from this experience and forgive yourself for falling into that emotionally sloppy hole in the sidewalk.
I am distancing from someone right now myself and taking full responsibility, telling them that I am on a “checkout” and it’s nothing “personal.”

It’s not, just that I have come to realize that there will never be a real connection with this person and while I do not feel the need to completely eliminate casual contact with them I KNOW they will never be a truly satisfying consort/friend, therefore I accept the limitations of the relationship while not feeling the need to attack them for what they are incapable of providing. It’s MY gig, not their fault, and I am pleased to have the self awareness to recognize that this relationship is a ” more than an aquaintence but not quite a friend” situation.

Shippy's avatar

@Buttonstc Gosh havent heard about Ann Landers for years. She was very good wasn’t she? And you are right, very hard to place boundaries, before the s..t hits the fan. I am trying!

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma Aw! Thought I was going to get the “Potato Head” story!!

mazingerz88's avatar

I consult a witch doctor. : )

gailcalled's avatar

@Shippy: I am sorry about the imbroglio you got yourself into.

Personally, I have never let my anger spin out of control.

Now, I no longer get angry. If I feel the slightest flash, I examine it and find a calmer solution.

I never get asked inappropriate or nosy questions any more. I do remember, years ago, Ann Lander’s daughter asking me, after I had known her about 15 minutes, “Who did your nose?”

I laughed.

Your distress at your own behavior might help you in future to find a different solution.

Having a neighbor/friend break into my home in the wee hours is indefensible, however. Having a name-calling and shouting match is not the solution.

Bellatrix's avatar

Some great responses to your problem here @Shippy, but I would also be very put out at the supervisor giving the key to my home to another person to allow them to enter in the middle of the night. That would seem to be far more than a breach of etiquette and boundaries in a general sense.

JLeslie's avatar

I usually say clear the air, apologize and talk about what pushed your bottons, and where you were wrong yourself, and then start back to doing the nornal fun things you always did before woth the person. Go back to normal.

But, since you want nothing to do with her, the normal wasn’t even fun, and you are going to be moving, you can just let time pass probably and the feelings will fade with time.

You haven’t been feeling well and are taking those antibiotics as you said on another Q, and a lot is changing in your life. I think you are probably a little on edge right now, understandable. Don’t be hard on yourself.

ucme's avatar

I use this new mouthwash, it’s called Smugbugger.

Sunny2's avatar

I say, forgive yourself and don’t let it happen again. Apologizing may make her think you are friends again. You’re NOT. If you see her, just nod politely. If she tries to talk to you, say, ” After last time, I don’t think I can talk to you.” But mostly, forgive yourself. Your reactions were provoked by an uncaring person.

gailcalled's avatar

Use the Anne Landers’ technique of asking a question. That puts the interlocutor in a very different situation than having to respond to a statement.

“Why would you think I would discuss this with you?”

“Do you think I am going to respond?”

“Do you see me walking away?”

Shippy's avatar

Upon further reflection, I have decided due to my own temper I need a brain transplant! That in future will stop in it’s tracks any foul language or defensive behavior on my part, when enduring attacks from other parties. I wrote to @gailcalled to ask further advice on the said brain transplant!

With her permission to publish her advice was:

*“Since a brain transplant is not going to work, time to think about plan B.

Her; ” You are an abusive shit.”

You: Laugh and walk away.”*

Profound advice!!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It can be really difficult. Sometimes I actually can’t do it, and I just have to cut and run.

wundayatta's avatar

Think of it how you will, but I like to avoid conflict as best I can. So I would avoid seeing this woman, most likely.

A wise friend of mine back in college lived by the mantra that, “this, too, shall pass.” That’s what happens. Things tend to disappear in the rear view mirror, especially when you’ve gone round the bend.

You don’t need her in your life. You want to spend as little time with her or thinking about her as you possibly can. You want her to disappear, so make her disappear. You can do it in your own head. You can just stop seeing her. Really. Our brains have the power to do that kind of thing.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta Not that easy. She shoves herself in your face. She arrives and bashes the door down. She is loud, I mean super loud, super aggressive.

It’s been a few hours now, I hoped I would settle down. I have had to ask myself why I am so upset? I feel abused by her to be honest. My flinging back at her was a a long time coming! But for the most part, it has taught me a huge lesson. I have changed. I might still be acting in certain ways, but the results I am not happy with. I seek now gentle souls. Because I so love them. Softly spoken people, people who think. I have changed. I love it.

I wrote her a mail regards the argument, and assured her of certain things that were worrying her but told her the friendship is over. I wished her well. As I do wish her well.

I am relieved.

Bellatrix's avatar

“She arrives and bashes the door down. She is loud, I mean super loud, super aggressive. It’s been a few hours now, I hoped I would settle down.”

I would report her to the police if she acted like that. That is harassment and she is threatening you. You do not have to put up with that sort of behaviour and she should be pulled into line by someone in authority. You have the right to feel safe in your home. When the supervisor let her into your flat, you should have reported him and her then.

Of course you feel upset. You have be attacked. Your loss of temper (while not the best response) seems perfectly normal to me. Call the police and talk to them about what you can do if this starts up again. Just so you know your options.

Shippy's avatar

@Bellatrix No, this is her personality. She did not do it today. Let me rephrase that sounded awful. She is very “large” not in body but in personality. Bangs loudly on the door, speaks loudly, laughs very loudly. She demands to be seen and heard. Gosh no, if she had done that today, I would have had the frying pan ready loll.

Blondesjon's avatar

My physician wrote me a prescription for beer to treat this very ailment.

DOSAGE: Take as needed for various bullshit.

wundayatta's avatar

@Shippy I have my ways. I can’t really describe them, since they depend on the situation at the moment. But I can become invisible, to some degree. Also, I can calm people down. In real life, I mean. The virtual world is different. There I don’t always mind it when someone else gets riled up, because I know it’s only virtual. But in the real world, where people can hit you, sometimes it is better to live to fight another day.

augustlan's avatar

I think you did the right thing, @Shippy. You’ve cleared your conscience, and told her the friendship is over. Good for you!

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