Don’t let it go

Recently my partner made a remark to friends which was misinterpreted. Attempts to clarify were washed away in the general tide of people saying “You’re wrong!” I felt a bit got-at but we both decided to let the misunderstanding go; there was more chance of being caught in the oncoming rain than actually having our explanations heard, so we just left. No big deal.

I found out yesterday that the people who did the misinterpreting didn’t let it go. They’ve been talking about it to people who weren’t even there, and the misunderstanding has been set in stone as fact.

I don’t like it because the thing-that-wasn’t-actually-said makes my partner and me appear spoilt and clueless. (We’re not, we’re really not.)

If I wasn’t so upset, I’d be able to laugh at the irony: this comment was worth discussing at length behind our backs, but it somehow wasn’t worth actually understanding in the first place (and my partner’s fresh attempts to clarify have been met with laughing disbelief).

This is why I don’t like “letting things go”. Because every time I let something go, trying to be laid-back, trying to smooth things over, it comes back to bite me. It comes back as the misinterpreted remark suddenly set in stone, or the bad behaviour that gets worse because the other person takes my silence as tacit acceptance, or some other upsetting problem that I suddenly have to fucking deal with anyway.

On bad days, I think the whole concept of “letting it go” is just a rhetorical technique to make the injured party feel bad about standing up for themselves. Whether or not I let something go is my decision, not anybody else’s. I’m the one who’ll have to deal with the consequences of letting it go, whether that’s “Oh, you didn’t insist on a receipt?” or the “People who ignored previous creepy comments also get the following creepy comments…” sleazeball algorithm.

This time, I wish I’d stood there and argued the toss until the heavens opened; better to be judged argumentative and stubborn on accurate grounds than be thought of as stupid and spoilt on completely false grounds. Anyway, it’s confirmed that my general approach is right: try to avoid letting things go.

By the way, I’m back! Did you really think I was going to let this blog go?

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Explore posts in the same categories: conversational tactics, lies

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