Dog People

I am slowly coming to terms with the idea that people who don’t play nice with others don’t have to be put up with. That inclusive doesn’t include bad behaviour. In fact, not putting up with people who are rude or selfish or intolerant or just plain cranky is probably the best signal around to help them to change their behaviour.

In my experience these people are the first to scream foul when really, the thing that no one wants to say is “Man, it’s just because you’re a beeyotch!”

I don’t want to say it. Nobody wants to say it. And yet, if each of us did they might just get the message and adjust their behaviour accordingly. But still, sayin’ it makes me feel like a beeyotch.

Unlike some things, behaviour is a choice. As I struggle to find the ground rules for inclusivity, the little notes to self that will help me to differentiate between public meeting and private dinner party, between hard of hearing and doesn’t listen, I wonder how on earth other people do it? How do we negotiate the relationships we do want much less the ones we don’t?

One of the most useful relationship-building books I have read lately is called “Positive Dog Training for Dummies”. I kid you not. It’s at the library and it’s all about building a relationship with your dog. But it works really well with people too.

And it says to ignore the bad behaviour. It says that the thing that dogs (and people) want most is attention, so if you ignore the bad behaviour it will stop.

Because I have a dog, people assume that I’m a dog person. But I’m not really. I don’t like all dogs, I just like nice dogs.

And I like nice people too.

But for those occasions when ignoring the dark cloud of nastiness isn’t working, I’m going to get a t-shirt that says “Because you’re a Beeyotch!”


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