Needing some downtime

Pink flower
The simple beauty of nature.

It’s been a few weeks since our vacation to Utah and I’m already feeling the need to get away. There’s something about the heat of the desert, being stuck inside because of 100-plus degree temperatures that gets to people.

I remember in my former life in Palm Springs that controversy always bubbled up mid-July to early August. Especially with our swim team. You take a bunch of over-involved parents who are competitive about their kids — put them on a hot pool deck — and you have a recipe for a few outbursts.

Once the former president of our swim team told me “Take this team and shove it up your A**!”

Then he walked off the pool deck with his kids and started his own team, taking about 30 or 40 swimmers with him. I stood in shock. As a board member, I had been in the middle of a power struggle between our coach and him. He wanted to be the coach and was actively trying to discredit our current coach.

It was an ugly episode in my parenting years. We noticed every summer around the same time things began to boil.

I don’t thrive with conflict. I try to avoid unpleasantness in my life.

Last week, a club meeting rivaled the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

A woman who I consider a friend acted horribly out of anger. I don’t know where the anger came from. But what should have been a nice night of having dinner and friendship turned into a battleground. I feel especially bad for the woman who opened up her home, prepared dinner and dessert for the club.

Now I feel caught in the middle. It’s a bad place to be. I want to get along. I am willing to give people a second chance and the benefit of the doubt. Even when they lose their temper and act badly. We are all human and make mistakes.

I’m going to distance myself from all these clubs for awhile until my emotions settle down. I can’t wait to get out of the heat and out of town, which is in a couple weeks.

How do you handle conflict? Do you forgive people for bad behavior or write them off?

19 thoughts on “Needing some downtime

  1. Ugh so sorry! Not fun! I hate conflict, but no I don’t write people off right away. I can let things roll off of me pretty easily but I do have my limit.

  2. The introvert in me runs from these types of situations. It’s bad enough to have to deal with conflict on the job, forget about it happening while volunteering. I find I don’t have the patience any more for that kind of crazy behavior. God bless you for suffering through and sticking it out! I don’t have any great suggestions other than just remembering why you volunteered in the first place and the kids (people you’re helping). Hang in there.

  3. That’s a tough situation – I agree, getting some space is a good idea. I believe in second chances too especially if the intentions on both sides weren’t bad..just a case of too much stress. Hope it all blows over quickly!

  4. It’s too bad people let their frustrations manifest in such a hurtful way. I am also conflict averse. But I have my bad days and hope people are forgiving, so I try to be as well.

  5. I remember when my kids played sports and the parents who wanted to be coaches from the bleachers. All the yelling when there was a close call or upset. Ugg! I kept my mouth shut and my distance from the angry ones. I too tend to avoid conflict at any cost. So I hear you time to back away and give the hotheads some space. It’s interesting how heat is such a close companion of conflict and anger. I will give people a second chance but if it’s how they commonly roll I move on. I’d say you deserve a vacation! Hugs, C

    • Thank you for the hug! I could use it right now. I get so stressed over conflicts and people’s feelings getting hurt. I’m glad to be away from “those parents” on the pool deck. But it gave me material to write about for five years on SwimSwam. So there’s that!

  6. Gah. Conflict is my bane. Worse when it happens to me. I just ruminate over the event for days or weeks after, because I’m the type of person who can’t stand having people dislike me. Will need to get over this someday, because part of life involves being able to deal with conflict, am I right? Anyway, thanks for this post!

  7. I’m really bad at handling conflict because of my social anxiety and my lack of experience with people. My family isn’t good at handling conflict either. Neither is my husband or in-laws. I’m surrounded by people who either act passive-aggressively or try to overpower you into silence and blame everything on you. As for me, I avoid people who I don’t get along with and get verbally aggressive when I feel I’m being emotionally manipulated. I tend to overreact because my emotional regulation is off balance, so I isolate myself more often than not. I don’t have many friends and people in Lebanon are like my family or in-laws so I’ve been ghosted by many friends at the 1st sign of conflict.

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