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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wag More, Bark Less

This post is dedicated to everyone who has had to deal with mean people....

Since moving out to the Seattle area, I've continuously struggled with a small group of people in agility who are insecure, petty, vindictive, unhappy and just miserable. I wouldn't normally notice these things, but unfortunately they find it entertaining to talk badly about others, including me & my life as they think they know it.

What makes it so tough is that they act nice to your face. Saying Hi, asking about specific details in your life and pretending like all is well. While in reality, they're just plotting or poking for something to speak badly of. If they can't find something, they'll make it up and do so with relish. After all, if they're cattily chatting about you, it makes them the center of attention and they feel important.

I've often been the target of their sharp tongues and worse yet, their make-believe reality. I've heard everything from I use prong collars to teach contacts, insensitive gossiping about the reasons I had to put my young border collie down and all the way up to someone approaching my husband (at a trial) before we got married and saying "We're concerned about you, you don't have to go through with it, are you really sure you want to marry her?" and someone openly discussing ringside how there's no way our marriage was going to work.

Ouch! It doesn't take a psychic to know that these are hurtful comments! Not to mention inappropriate, disrespectful and quite frankly, not their business.

I have to admit that after years of trying to rise above, keep smiling, keeping my chin up and more, I've finally realized that their bad behavior isn't going to go away or stop because they're not capable of that. So next I tried the old "I don't give a crap" approach and honestly, I've begun to feel myself acting just as miserable as they are! Clearly the close yourself off, hard edged approach isn't for me...

While it may not seem like it on the outside, I am a sensitive person (aren't we all?). I do care about people, their feelings, prefer building them up and more. This is the polar opposite of what the unhappy group is about and while I like to give, they like to take and simply based on that large difference, we're never going to see eye-to-eye. So that leaves me still trying to come up with a way to cope and not loose sight of who I am.

Lately I can't help but feel "If I'm going to get blamed for & labeled being a crap person, then I mine as well be!" OK, not necessarily logical but if you continuously hear or are impacted by the negative, sometimes you can't help but think about throwing in the towel and just going with it. Again, I need to find a magic sentence to block the hurt this causes me. Ah yeah and "just don't worry about what they say" somehow doesn't work so well for me. LOL

Looking on the bright side, it is because of these very people that I NEVER, EVER want to treat anyone less than with respect and kindness. After having felt the pain that they cause, I can't imagine ever inflicting the same feelings on someone else...that's just cruel.

I know logically that the majority of people here in this area aren't like that. Actually, I've met some of the most sane, personable, warm and amazing individuals ever. After yet another day of hearing crap about myself, I wrote my frustration on Facebook and was so touched by the kind words. It was nice to be reminded of the non-crappy side of me and it made me happy to know that the good side is still there and that people DO see it.

What scares me the most is that sometimes when the negative words get to me and I close up and go into 'protection mode', I'm afraid I'll lose the carefree & happy part of who I am to bitterness & hurt. It happens to a lot of people and I suspect that's exactly what happened to this specific group and now that's the only way they know how to live. You know, this reminds me of a horror flick where people are poisoned and turn into Mummy's!

Now that I've said my fears out loud, I feel so much better. I'm also going to come up with a plan to make sure that I avoid the Mummy Lifestyle the unhappies took. I never want to be compared to the walking dead!


  1. Lisa, there are hateful people everywhere. Why they are that way is beyond me. I wish to share a story.
    My friend LIsa Kristoff passed away two years ago from cancer. There IS a contingent in the agility world that somehow believes Lisa did not have cancer and was faking it. They even went so far as to spread a rumor that Lisa faked her death and returned to New Zealand. All of that is false. I tried ignoring all this, but one day, at a show in McKinney TX I had to confront one of the "gang" that was spreading the rumors. No it did not stop the stupid, hurtful rumors, but at least I felt better after "straightening them out" LOL
    Chin up girl! Hugs to you, Terry Dyck, Frankston TX

  2. Lisa, although I don't believe we have met, as someone who moved to the NW area 3 years ago, I am sorry that you have experienced such negativity.

    On the times when I have come under personal attack, I try my best to turn something negative into a positive but alas, I am not always successful and allow my feelings to get hurt. Someone wiser then I once told me that what people think of me is none of my business. I had to stop and reflect on what he said and realized just how true his statement is.

    Surround yourself with positive people and send a smile to all the others. So here is a smile from me to you :>)

  3. Yeah, you can't be responsible for other people - you can only be responsible for your own actions. I also try not to pass judgement on other people - even if I don't agree, that's their choice to feel/think/say what they want. It's my choice how to respond - and I personally find it terribly funny when I hear I'm the topic of gossip.

  4. I feel badly you have gone through this. I started in agility 11 years ago stayed in it for three years, and noticed that the folks where so negitive when other's where doing great with the sport. It's suppose to be a fun time with you and your dog, and we should all cheer each other and be a supportive support system. Because of this I have not gotten back in the sport. Since I run Dachshunds, I got told I was waisting time of the judges and I was told my a trainer that I should drop his class that I was also waisting his time with a house dog, that agility was for bigger dogs. I am so happy that you are training and are there for us positive folks! Keep up the good work.