Untitlggdgged-1You don’t want to make a fuss. You don’t want to get in anyone’s way. You can deal with it. You can fix it yourself. Or you can just live with that little annoyance. It’s fine. You can manage. You can make do without … whatever it was you wanted.

And it’s really good of you to care so much about other people.

But you don’t have to. Not if you’re upset about something, not if they can do something about it, not if they’re the reason you have a problem.

If you’re not the kind of person who doesn’t react well to disputes even when they’re mild, it can be difficult to confront someone about an issue. Sometimes, it might have to be a life or death matter before you’ll suffer bringing it up. You might think if it’s only a little thing, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it still feels like an imposition.

And that feeling only gets worse the more significant the problem.

And you can say that you’re exercising patience by waiting for it to go away of its own accord, but the fact is that not everything disappears when you only wish it. Really, you need to be able to talk about your problems and there are very good reasons why.


Even if your problem is no one’s fault, or you’re not sure who’s to blame, or you’re talking to someone who is definitely not responsible, it can still to help vocalise anything that’s bothering you. When you have a problem, your emotions are unlikely to be clear immediately. You need to stop and reflect. Saying things out loud helps you clear your mind and brings a sense of clarity to your situation. Having someone to talk to – not complain at, but to discuss your situation with – will help you understand your reaction to your circumstances a bit better.


No matter how much you might like it to, hoping for problems to go away of their own accord simply doesn’t work. This world is not that generous. If you don’t tell someone that you have a problem, that you will not put up with this any longer, that you need their help fixing something, they won’t know. They can’t do anything to help you put a stop to whatever’s bothering you, unless you tell them.


If a thing that’s bothering you is a person, or a person’s behaviour, and it’s bothering you consistently, it can be easy to assume that they’re doing it maliciously. But some people are just a little bit too self-involved and they don’t think about how their actions affect those around them. They’re more likely to be stupid than bullying you. They might not know how upset you are unless you tell them.


Probably most importantly, if you get into a habit of keeping quiet about the little things, it’ll be infinitely more difficult once you have to stand up for the big things. If you can’t make a case for your basic human right not to have to deal with other people’s petty rubbish, how are you going to defend yourself when people start enforcing truly serious impositions on your life? It’s not worth letting people walk all over you just to avoid a little conflict.


Ultimately, if someone is stepping on your toes all the time and gives the impression that asking them to stop won’t make a difference, why are you friends with that person at all? You deserve to be around people who care about you, who want you to be happy and healthy and comfortable. If someone you’re spending time with won’t alter a behaviour that annoys you or hurts you, they don’t deserve your company. Go out and find someone better – someone who listens to your opinion, takes notice when something bothers you and makes an effort to treat you with respect.

You deserve at least that.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.