I have always felt one of my strengths has been managing disappointment and unhappiness. An example of this occurred this evening.
I live in a top floor flat in a two flat mid-terrace. Our neighbours downstairs are a perfectly nice couple but on a few occasions we have had some problems. I’m always eager to resolve issues and when they’re things that are out of our control I want to ensure that everyone understands why and come to a middle ground.
You see, our washing machine, well it does what washing machines do, it rattles a bit and makes that washing machine noise for the length of times washing machines do; why nobody has revolutionised washing machines to being able to do whatever it is they’re doing in there for less than 30 minutes is a mystery to me. Inevitably this means it runs for an hour or so.
The problem is that the planning of our converted flats means that our kitchen is above the stairway and entrance which of course echoes. To exacerbate the situation our neighbours front door opens directly onto their living room.
The are times, and I admit due to changes in work and other things more so of late where we get home from work and realise we’ve run out of undies and load the little monster in the corner up.
Our beloved elderly neighbours have taken it upon themselves to notify us of their discontent with a teen favourite of slamming doors and banging on the ceiling. I have ignored this behaviour up to today, following what I know is the naive USA approach of not negotiating with terrorists.
This evening I decided to alleviate the troubles in the Gaza Strip (our hallway) by going down and having a chat.
A few minutes later and tempers have calmed, an explanation has been provided and an acknowledgement that yes, we will Of course try harder to leave things until the weekend.
No raised voices, but a few red faces and we can get on with our respective evenings and feel like our voices have equally been heard.
This is the part, oddly, I enjoy the most working in the web industry. It doesn’t and shouldn’t happen often but once on a while a project starts to veer off the road and somebody needs to grab the wheel take the foot off the gas and get it back on the line. I love doing it, I never feel like I’m going into a meeting where I am unprepared for the outcome because I don’t set expectations in myself for that to happen.
Being able to truly treat one another as equal is the only way to keeping a relationship positive and ready for challenges together.