Mean people suck. We've all read that on the back of some beat-up old Ford Aspire that looks like the butt-end of a bad automotive joke. Sometimes that particular bumper sticker is tempered on the other side of the clear coat chipped paint with "Visualize Whirled Peas". I've always like that last one.
Last week, I had the misfortune of a confrontation with a mean person. I'm too much of a peacekeeper and not enough of a boat rocker. In this instance, I was liked to Churchill to "his" Hitler. Nothing could've been closer to the truth.
While I was busy trying to appease him time and time again, he was hard at work trying to invade Poland, France, and starting to bomb England. Okay, not really, but every time I backed down, he asked for more; and until last week, I kept giving it to him.
This guy was a bully. He was self-serving, a user, and generally a fair-weathered "friend" in the most optimistic definition fathomable. When he didn't get what he wanted, he cried like a baby and whined like a toddler and resorted to games that even most self-respecting high schoolers abandoned by their sophomore year in school. In short, he acted a good 20, 22 years younger than he is.
When it was just me he bullied, I turned the other cheek. Then I kept turning and turning until I became dizzy. Turns out that he wasn't placing all his attention on me, just the brunt of it. So I decided to stop being so nice, er, placating.
For a while he pestered me, then he blamed me, then he apologized for my shortsightedness, then he played the victim as though I'd wronged him, then he wimpered as a wounded puppy. Finally he resorted to anger, and then frustration, and now... blissful silence. He has given up, at least for the time being.
My point it that Winston Churchill had great intentions as a diplomat, and Adolph Hitler still conquered most of Europe and was working his was into Africa and Russia when he was finally stopped. Churchill's diplomacy failed, and it almost changed the world map as a result. Three short weeks separated the U.S. successful use of an atomic bomb from Germany's having one ready to go. Three weeks.
Now while I'm not discussing international politics in my specific instance, this guy was never gonna stop badgering, bullying, and bruising his way to meeting his own ends at whatever means he saw fit.
My point is, sometimes being diplomatic is really just postponing the inevitable conflict and enabling your adversary to empower themselves over you. I for one, am crossing back from "wounded bird" and will not bow helpless and cowering to the next person that asserts dominance over me. For those of you that have known me for a few years, please reserve your "it's about time!" comments. Let's see how I do "the next time".
*edit: Yes, LBB, I did mean Chamberlain. Pardon me for naming Churchill falsely in the above blog.
Neville Chamberlain's history of appeasement
a bit about Winston Churchill