Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Do I Deal With....

Strong personalitites can be great forces for change - those people can carry the more fearful along with them, encouraging, badgering, remonstrating - pushing forward into innovation, breaking free of stagnation and old habits. They can also create enormous tension and stress, in their attempts to satisfy their will. (I believe I'm sensitized to this lately, I seem to be seeing it everywhere I turn.)

We have a situation right now, in my home group - two strong personalities clashing, and rebounding to clash again. (I'm reminded of male mountain goats smashing their skulls together with a resounding percussion.) Somehow, the purpose of the meeting gets lost in the personality difference, and much glaring, sighing, and pointed ignoring takes place.

It's a blessed relief when one member doesn't attend, as the tension level falls back to normal, and the air in the room just seems easier to breathe. I know I've been hoping that with no action on my part, the situation would resolve itself. This has not been the case; instead, it appears to be deteriorating - the rudeness becoming more brazen, the power of the wills involved rising to fever pitch. It's affecting the meeting negatively.

So this week, we are having a group conscience, and I'm dreading it. I've seen business meetings disintegrate into power struggles between these two people, and have had to really work my program this week, as the day slowly approaches, not to be consumed with fretting over how uncomfortable it might be. In the past, I'd have just not gone to that meeting, anything to spare myself discomfort. But I'm learning that if I want a healthy meeting, I must be willing to be present, and willing to work towards creating, a sustaining meeting. I can't just leave it up to others, and hope they will do what I am reluctant to do.

It may be uncomfortable, but my Higher Power will be at the meeting with me, and if I pray to be granted the strength and the clarity to speak for myself only, not to step even one toe over the line separating "mine" from "not mine," I'll survive it. I may learn something incredibly useful to my own recovery. I may just be a voice for another who hasn't the ability to speak up yet. If the worst comes to the worst, I'll be hideously uncomfortable for an hour and a half, and then be able to walk out to my car, taking great gulps of fresh air, and thanking God for being with me through that.

If I don't make it into a melodrama, my life is manageable.


  1. It is too bad that the meetings have turned into something so uncomfortable when these two strong personalities are present. It sounds like you have a great attitude about it and you recognize that you could learn something from it. That's what it is all about!

  2. Sounds like one of my meetings. There is a terribly sick guy and he clashes with every other man who happens to be in the room and is generally ready to clash with anyone else. Very sick. The problem is that he disrupts what is otherwise an excellent meeting for a lot of people who really need a good meeting.

    He didn't show up yesterday and as much as I hate to say it, I was relieved.

    Prayer Girl

  3. That's a tough one. It's my first time on your blog and I signed up as a follower!

  4. The traditions will guide this discussion. Unity is important and to place principles over personalities. It is best to have the group not be impacted by these individuals whose egos seem to be in charge. They are not thinking about what is best for the group.