stories of a failed holy man


on diplomacy
March 26, 2014, 3:47 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I was called a diplomat the other week. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or insult. I know it was intended as an insult. It was clear from the yelling and general disgust the person had with my state of manliness. more specifically, my lack thereof.

I was in the process of asking someone to leave. Someone who had helped in lots of ways, but created problems in too many others. To the point where they needed to be removed from the situation. I tried to stay calm. I tried to respect the good things they had done and appreciate them for their contribution. But kind words sound like a punch in the junk when you’re handing over bad news.

So I was called a diplomat. It was meant as an insult. I had never heard it used as an expletive. But it stuck with me. Because even though I was tempted to roll my eyes like a teeny bopper whose mommy asked them to turn down the music, I smiled and tried to lessen the inevitable blow with sweet talk and deniability.

Is being a diplomat a good thing? Or terrible? Maybe both?

The positive lies in your willingness to talk with anyone. To engage before striking blows. You see both sides and listen first. You let bygones be bygones and deal with the present.

The negative lies in the fact it sucks. I believe that’s the technical term. It’s really terrible. It feels awful to be kind when you want to throw fisticuffs. To listen when you want to shout. To have a meeting when you want to start a war. George Bush and I at least have this in common.

I’m tired of being a diplomat. I’m tired of playing referee in arguments. I’m tired of arguments mostly because I’m tired of listening to what I think are terrible excuses.

I don’t know if being a diplomat is good or bad. I do know my attempts at diplomacy feel as if they are about to explode in a rage of screams and ALL CAPS LOCK BLOG POSTS! (the worst kind of anger for sure). Maybe I’m doomed to diplomacy and should go work for the UN. Or maybe I should buy a gun and join the NRA. It could go either way at this point.

This is all very vague. Maybe you’re wondering if this is about an interaction I had with you. Here’s the test. Come to my house. If I let you in, we’ll share a slice of pie. If I punch your throat, yep.

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3 Comments so far
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i don’t remember what i said the other night at Korea House, but diplomacy is such a pain in the ass, man. If people didn’t take things so personally we could all say what we wanted and needed to and we’d all be set. And either stress free, or the most self-esteem beaten people in the world. At least we’d all be even.

I feel that diplomacy is only done so that others don’t look bad. We should all accept to look equally bad and get over it, man.

Blah. I don’t know. Diplomacy can bugger off, man. I’ll maybe give this some actual thought and get back to you.

Comment by Nic Olson

I’m feeling the truth of the pain in the ass part today. I think I’m on board with your idea today.

Comment by xbtotherockx

[…] on diplomacy […]

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