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‘Dear Digby’ Category

  1. How to Effectively Cope with Passive-Aggressive Behavior

    June 5, 2016 by Diane

    Dear Digby, 

    I am exasperated! I serve on the board for a social club; we had one board member who was constantly creating drama, acting passive-aggressive–she acts agreeable in board meetings but then posts quotes on her Facebook page that are digs (that’s her passive-aggressive side coming out) and then screams at the President that she has issue with every point brought out in the board meeting. Her behavior is like that of a middle schooler yet she’s nearing 60. 

    Signed, 

    I left middle school about 35 years ago, how about you?

    Dear I left middle school,

    Interesting, that this woman who serves on the board of a social club, has the social skills of a mosquito.

    First, you need to educate her on how to behave like an adult.

    The next time she screams at the president, I advise you, and the entire board, to stick your fingers in your ears and chant, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.”

    The woman will do one of three things:

    1. Stop mid-sentence and stare at you, slack-jawed.
    2. Turn red with embarrassment and forget what she was saying.
    3. Pick up her toys, and go home.

     

    If none of your fellow board members are willing to execute this simple solution for an ongoing problem, then I advise the following:

    The next time she screams at the president, stare at her for a full five minutes without saying a word. All of you. Her diatribe will hang in the air like thought bubbles in a cartoon.

    The woman will do one of three things:

    1. Run out of steam.
    2. Hear what she’s saying, turn red with embarrassment, and stop talking.
    3. Pick up her toys, and go home.

     

    If none of your fellow board members have the fortitude to challenge the woman in a stare-down, then my advice is this:

    Unfriend her on Facebook.

    Passive-aggressive people are responding from their own hurt. You don’t need to resonate with it. Her opinions are no business of yours. You have better things to do with your time. You have noble pursuits ahead. You are going to make this social club a roaring success!

    You can, however, view this woman as an opportunity to practice compassion. Recognize that her behavior is coming from pain, accept it, and observe her actions from a place of non-attachment. With an open heart, watch her mouth moving as if from a great distance.

    And then get up, walk over, and smother her in a giant bear hug.

    Love your enemies. It pisses ‘em off.

    Need advice? Ask Digby! Submit your question via the contact form.


  2. Is it Wrong to Make “Grrr!” Noises at my Brother?

    April 2, 2016 by Diane

    Dear Digby,

    I’m not sure if this counts as a squirrelly moment. When I was about nine, I bought a fantastically huge burger from Burger King (I think). I only just had enough money for it and I was so looking forward to it.

    My brother asked if he could have a bite, so reluctantly, I held the burger towards him. Then I swear, his jaws opened wider than the monster’s in Alien and it was clear he was going to leave me with nothing but a pathetic crescent moon of a bun. I pulled my hands back quickly, but the burger dropped onto the street, and the bun split so the patty fell onto the ground and beyond saving.

    Is it wrong that still now, some forty years later, if I happen to be with my brother and then recall that day, I make “Grrr!” noises in his direction?

    Bun

    Dear Bun,

    This is an appropriate response. I suggest you bare your teeth as well. Because after 40 years of repressing your anger over the “burger incident,” a mere “Grrr!” and snarl is a much healthier option than flinging yourself across the dinner table at a family gathering, grabbing your brother by the throat and wrestling him to the carpet.

    On the other hand, it might be time to let go of this 40-year grudge. If you were the kind of nine-year old who stuffed his feelings into his metaphorical pocket, try this: close your eyes, breathe deeply, climb into your imaginary time machine and zoom back to that moment. See your brother’s gargantuan jaws open. See your hands yank back and the burger plop onto the ground. Feel whatever emotion rises. Then look your brother in the eye and say whatever is in your heart. Give him a shove if you want. Get it out of your system.

    If, after 40 years, you’re still mourning the loss of this burger, well, can anyone blame you? After all, you saved your pennies to buy the thing. You probably lay in your bunk bed at night in your cowboy pajamas and thought about riding your bike down to Burger King and buying it. When you finally had it in your hand, and smelled the aroma, and saw the juices running down the sides of that big toasty bun you could almost taste it. And then…plop.

    I know your pain. I had a “sock incident” with my boyfriend. One day I spied him pulling on my favorite pair of hiking socks, stretching them over his big ‘ol feet. “Hey, those are mine!” I said, and tried to pull them off as he laughed uncontrollably. After a lengthy tug-of-war, those socks were never the same. My favorite pair.

    However, this is one of my fondest memories. Remembering his impish expression and utter joy never fails to make  me smile. And I suspect that your “Grrr!” is a long-standing joke between you and your brother, recalling that special moment on the sidewalk in front of Burger King when his piggishness cost you a precious patty.

    So by all means, carry on.

    Digby

    Got a question for Digby? Need advice on dating, relating, in-laws, out-laws, the medical profession, overcoming insomnia (yeah, me too!) or dealing with anxiety? Post your question on the Contact page (it’s working now) or in the comments below.

     


  3. How to Turn Your Squirrelly Moments into My Blog Posts

    March 28, 2016 by Diane

    For the past three years, I’ve been posting once a week (give or take), blathering on about the squirrelly things that happen to me. It occurred to me that you, the reader, might have squirrelly moments of your own, and might need an outside perspective to help you make sense of them.

    And who better to offer that perspective than me, an expert in all things nutty?

    So I’ve decided to start an advice column. I’m calling it: Dear Digby. You tell me what plagues you, and I’ll respond in my usual tongue-in-cheek (but heartfelt) manner. In exchange for this free advice, you’ll be providing me with something to blog about, because at some point the well is going to dry up, and then what will you read?

    So here’s the plan…

    I want you to mosey on up to the “contact” page, that one on the top bar that nobody except spammers visit, and I want you to write to me about one squirrelly moment. I want you to write to me about the time your kid brother hid your makeup case, or your mother made bean muck for dinner, or your boss snored during your presentation. I want to hear about something nutty that happened to you that made you shake your head in disbelief, or turn red with embarrassment, or laugh with disgust, or order a scotch, neat.

    Just a paragraph.

    Three lines, maybe.

    I’m not asking for 500 words and up like I’ve been churning out week after week after week. Just three little lines.

    After all, you haven’t had to do anything for the past three years except read my ramblings. While I, on the other hand, have done the lion’s share of the work: the writing, the rewriting, the endless tweaking.

    I’ve done the lion’s share even for readers who aren’t showing up. Okay, technically they’re not really readers, at least not readers of this blog. But the point is, those non-readers who are unaware of my blog aren’t even investing a few brain cells to take notice, so I’m doing all the work for those unappreciative non-readers…millions of them.

    Now be honest: would you take a job, do everyone’s work while they sat around drinking cappuccinos at sidewalk cafes, and feel the world is a just and verdant place?

    I think not.

    So, based on this faulty line of reasoning, I’m sure you’ll agree: it’s time for you, the reader, to put a little more effort into this blog than just snickering behind your hand.

    If you feel so compelled (God knows why), tell me what drives you nutty. I’ll offer words of wisdom.

    Who, me?

    Well, sort of. There are several sub-personalities who rent space in my brain. There’s the Goofy One; the Compassionate One; the Wise One; the Anxious One; the Serious One.

    Oh, and the Lazy One.

    One of those entities will give you advice. And I’ll post the whole shebang on this site for everyone’s education.

    Sound like a deal?

    I hope so! This will be fun.

    Need an example? Okay. Let’s say you write,

    Dear Digby,

    I work eight, ten hours a day standing over a hot stove in an even hotter kitchen, cooking for fifty rowdy college men in a dorm, and when I get home I’m beat. All I want to do is stretch out on the bed and sleep. But my landlady chooses that moment to practice the piano. Christmas carols. Badly. For two hours. I want to drive an icepick through my eyeball. What can I do?

    -Fried

    Don’t worry about punctation or grammar. The Persnickety One will correct any outright goofs. If you write,

    Dear Diggy,

    My coworker scolded me like she was my muther, and my mother doesn’t even talk to me that way. Now I’m simmering. Shuld I say something?

    -Still Simmering

    My inner editor will neaten it up so it reads,

    Dear Magnificent One,

    How can I be as amazing as you?

    -In Awe

    Got it? Good.

    Let’s get started. Click on the “contact” page, and start typing. I’ll be waiting!

    Disclaimer: If you’re reading this blog post, you’re under no obligation to write anything. I’m thrilled that you’re reading! Keep it up. And if you’re not reading this blog post, how would you know?

    P.S. If I post your question and my answer, it will be tweeted. By millions. Or at least by two. People.

    P.S.S. If I don’t post your question, it’s because the Lazy One answered. Meaning: not at all.

    P.S.S.S. The Lazy One is too lazy to read your question, so no worries.

    PSSSST. If no one takes me up on this offer, I shall be forced to continue blogging  about my own nonsense, happily assuming that it is somehow benefitting my precious readers and those millions of non-readers.