I am easily annoyed and overly dramatic. Understanding that about myself - and having no shortage of people eager to point it out should I forget - I take steps to control it. I don't send the emails that I immediately write in response to petty nonsense. I bite back the sharp remarks and control the impatient gestures when someone says or does something of which I disapprove. My particular personality includes sensitivity toward hurt feelings as well as anger so I try to use some care at not accidentally poking at someone's sore spots.
"So," Adam said, "as I expected, this went white-hot very fast."
I replied with a bad word.
"Update me on the background," he ordered and I obediently began reciting what I knew, making sure to point out every single flaw I could remember about one particular colleague.
"She," I seethed, "whispered to make sure I wasn't invited to dinner." I remember blinking in surprise when she did it, but soon brushed it off and decided I didn't want to spend time with her anyway. "She has gone out of her way to exclude our team and then - when we have made progress and established relationships in spite of her - sends hysterical email to important people in the company because she heard a rumor that wasn't even true!" I detailed progress I'd made and waited while Adam took notes.
"OK," he finally said. "I'll handle it from here."
"I'm sorry," I said, suddenly sad that I'd let him down. "I know I drop the ball sometimes, but I didn't here. There's nothing more I could have done!"
"I know," he said, distracted but attempting to be soothing.
"I hate this," I sighed, feeling my lip emerge in a pout. "I know I get emotional and I actually like people who are passionate about their work. But I would never have gone to my boss's boss's boss with a petty complaint about a colleague without talking to her - multiple times! - first. She was wrong and unprofessional and vile." I nodded at the final word.
So, despite prayers requesting some help with forgiveness and peace, I feel like an angry cloud. "Oh, shut up," I mutter when someone says something with which I disagree. I call them names and delete feeds from my reader and make faces when I talk on the phone. And I plot. It's awful, but I formulate and discard various plans, all the while knowing that - given the opportunity - I'd pounce on it to make her suffer.
That's a terrible trait to recognize. It's one that - in my experience with other nemeses - fades with time. I wouldn't even recognize the little girl who hit me with a hairbrush when I was 5. I have no ill will toward the blonde who accused me of cheating on a science test in 7th grade. While I did take vicious pride when winning all the final awards in high school, I can't summon any residual emotion for the girl who shunned me because she was sure she was smarter than I. I don't even mind WWE anymore - she eventually realized I'd fight back and the effort cost more than it was worth. So we leave each other alone.
But this one - for now - should stay out of my way. At least until I figure out how to get a life and be a bigger person.