Over the past twelve months my conflict resolution skills have moved from direct in your face confrontation to a more subtle yet honest approach. Formally, I felt the need to defend myself to others. Then I realized that I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself for my choices. If I want to live at peace with humanity there will be times when an explanation may serve as a tool bringing understanding. However, those moments are mine to choose. As an old professor told me, “There are hills to die on and there are hills not to die on.” Pick your battles wisely.
So why am I bringing this up? Let me tell you. Better yet, let me show you.
This morning I woke up to loud knocking on my door. By morning I mean 5:30am. And by loud knocking I mean scare-the-snot-out-of-you-incessant-banging. Needless to say I wasn’t amused. I knew it was the lady downstairs. The one that complains endlessly about everything and nothing. Her latest frustration has been the parking out back. While I will note that this morning there was more than enough room for her PT Cruiser I found this note scribbled in our hall way.
This is by far the friendliest communication we’ve received from her (the Be Love, Give love, You are love came from Chad not her). Earlier this week the police had to come out because she threw something through Apt#2’s window all because she was angry about his parking job. I wish I was making this up but I’m not. This lady has serious angry problems that seem to be escalating. Hence why I didn’t answer the door. Once I found this note, I walked out back to check out the parking situation. Plenty of room yet Apt #1 decided to park her cruiser directly behind Jenna and I’s vehicles. There was no way I was talking to this lady in person. So I worked patiently to maneuver my van between the two cars. Success!!
Since I was already up, I decided to get my grocery shopping done and head to Brew’ha for some breakfast. Which by the way, Brew’ha has the BEST muffins 🙂
After contemplating the situation I decided a letter would be the best way to communicate with the lady from Apt #1. Here’s what I wrote.
Dear Lady in Apt #1,
Obviously, you’ve been upset about the parking for some time now. Countless times we’ve listened to you literally scream at us and our house guests. We have two parking spots. If one of us is not going to be home while we have a guest we let them use our room mate’s space. So we would appreciate you not harassing our friends. All other times our guests park across the street. Which while I am on that subject…due to your PT Cruiser being parked strangely, I’ve had to park across the street several times. Really I don’t mind as I am just grateful to have a roof over my head. Close parking is just a perk. Somehow I don’t think you will share my perspective on this matter of gratitude.
My room mate and I have done our best to leave room for all the cars. When there wasn’t room we chose to park elsewhere rather than be the cause of even further conflict. This morning I was able to squeeze through despite the placement of your car. You will find that you now have more than ample space and won’t have to park across the street (not that you were going to).
Please know that we both have been more than understanding about your frequent outbursts. I’d be surprised if it’s really the parking that you are upset about. I don’t know you well enough to make that judgement, however, you seem rather frustrated with life in general. I hope you find a healthy outlet to express your frustrations. In an effort to help I’d like you to enjoy some coffee (or whatever) on me! Brew’ha has some great coffee!! Anywho, after the incident involving Apt#2’s window I felt a letter would be the safest way to communicate. In the future, if you decide to take out your anger on me, my room mate or house guests do not be surprised if we walk away. Respectful language, even when you believe the other person to be in the wrong, is by far the most effective tool for communication.
I’m sure you already know this. Sometimes we just need a reminder now and then.
Anyways, enjoy your day and Brew’ha!
I am not a Christian. Just your friendly atheist.
Enclosed was a Gift Certificate to Brew’ha
My van is parked across the street. And this note is on her windshield.
“Be gentle, truthful and fearless.”