FPQ98: To Bitch or Not To Bitch…


I’m honored that Fandango chose my question for this week’s provocative ask…

When it comes to your friends, your spouse, your significant other, or members of your family, is it better to confront them about things they say or do that bother or upset you or is it better to try to ignore those things in order to maintain peace in your relationship?

(I deliberately didn’t include work in this question due to its layers of complexity depending on our status. Hopefully, we are all equal in other types of relationships.)

To respond adequately to this, I will have to mention my dear parents (RIP). They were confrontational, maybe to an extreme. Their philosophy was that if you didn’t express a thought or feeling, it would get “bottled up” and explode. Consequently, they subjected each other to a nonstop barrage of criticism, with nothing off-limits, day after day, year after year.

Couple arguing

I reacted very negatively to living with constant arguing (though I understood my parents loved each other). I wondered why you would treat any random stranger with more tact and kindness than you displayed toward your spouse. This informed my views to the extent that I swore to never live like this. If someone didn’t treat me with respect and support, I didn’t want anything to do with them. Also, it was with extreme reluctance that I ever mentioned any dissatisfaction. I didn’t confront ~ I just bailed. Sometimes it took a while though…

As has been documented repeatedly, I’m bad at choosing romantic partners, and part of that is due to both being unwilling to speak up when something bothers me, and also being highly intolerant of criticism directed at me. Oh no, I would think, this is just like my parents, I’m out. What about friendships then?

Cats chilling

I’m a little more willing to express feelings with friends than I am a partner. Why? Because there’s less at stake. Forex, I have often said to friends that they’re too loud. Once, I straight up walked out of a gathering because everyone was yelling over a game and wouldn’t stop. But nothing happened ~ I joined them the next time, no biggie. I didn’t have to sleep with them that night. 🤣

Basically, bottom line: I don’t see much point in being regularly critical of someone. Save it for something hugely important and rare. If you can live with a minor annoyance, then do that. If you’re constantly annoyed, or constantly criticized, perhaps that’s a sign to leave the relationship.

Oh, I don’t criticize my daughters because they are perfect, duh. 💖💖


©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

17 responses to “FPQ98: To Bitch or Not To Bitch…

  1. Why does this remind me of that scene in Annie Hall with the split screen comparison of the two families?

    Woody’s is very animated, bitchy and whiny while Annie’s is very cordial.

    The different environments that people grow up in is an interesting area of psychology.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Early exposure to a relationship that consists of arguments and criticizing each other can leave a lasting impression on young minds. I have suffered in silence many things but now I usually say that I don’t like what’s being said. You’re right, it is easier with friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to be afraid of confrontations. Horrible self esteem, if I complained they might not like me anymore. I was a doormat.
    Lots of therapy later…
    In general I agree, little things are gonna bug, suck it up. But if you are finding fault with everything, maybe it’s time to move on.
    Your Daughters are perfect? Mine sure aren’t. I blame their father 😉😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Confront!

    I didn’t grow up with that. I also avoided confrontation when possible throughout my marriage and later lived with a woman who avoided it even more than I wanted to. Avoidance of confrontation seems natural. But it isn’t, really. It was ingrained by a culture that, unfortunately, has been perpetuating for millennia. Strewth, if people were completely, nay brutally, honest with themselves and everyone else, the world would be a happier place. I don’t really know this. I’ll be faltering towards a fearless embrace of confrontation until I’m dead, and never really get there. But hey. If just saying it helps me move forward, okay.

    And yeah. My latest relationship partner learned enough self-love she doesn’t put up with an ounce of shit from anyone, not even me. No fear of confrontation there. Hoo boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting! Probably more honesty is better… mostly. If it doesn’t have an agenda, such as whittling away at someone’s self-worth…


      • But that’s not honest. Whittling away at someone’s self-worth is just redirecting your own lack of same. People hide behind confrontation, use it as a tool, a shield, all the time, to hide how shitty they are.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought that phrase “less at stake” was interesting, because it implied to me that you have some kind of hierarchy.
    I mean, I do too, but mine probably goes the other way. I have friends I’ve known for thirty years and no partner can match that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just took that personality test. I didn’t know that existed. It verified for me that I am a self-destructive wimp. Uncanny! No not really. Not so bad…I’m in good company with J.R.R. Tolkien.
    (I’ll have to get another middle initial.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved your answer Paula! Of course your daughters are perfect! So too is their mom! A perfect friend 😉😊😎

    Liked by 1 person

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