I’m not prone to strong emotion. There’s a reticence for me to overextend myself in that way. I don’t gush with excitement. I don’t get dreamily in love. And I absolutely don’t let myself get upset with anyone or anything enough to feel actual hatred.
Or so I thought.
I dislike this person I work with so much it’s become hate. And I hate that.
I don’t want to be bothered by this person. I don’t like that whenever I hear this voice the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I roll my eyes. I don’t like that when this person tries to talk to me I just stand and listen impassively until they’re finished, answer, and walk away. It’s extremely disconcerting.
I was talking with Carrie on my way to work this morning, and we did the moving bus trick to discern the exact level of my dislike:
If you saw this person was going to be hit by a bus, would you push him or her out of the way?
“Well?” Carrie asked after a few seconds had passed.
Yeah, that’s bad.
I’ve known this person for years. Years and years. Know the kids. Know the ex-spouse. Been to barbeques, weddings, birthday parties. Anyone who meets this person, thinks, “wow, great person.” But not anyone who knows this person well.
I think I’m just aware of too many lies told. Too many self-serving sacrifices. Heard too many “poor me” stories. Been the victim of subtle and not too subtle sabotage – on the personal and professional fronts. I’ve built up a lot of years of resentment and betrayal.
As my mostly neutral co-workers remind me on a daily basis whenever they see my shoulders tense and the ever-present eye roll manifest, “Just a couple of weeks and he/she will be gone.”
Yes, I got lucky and outlasted my nemesis. No buses were necessary.
Still, I think this person’s final victory over me is that now I know that I can hate.