Things It Took Me Way Too Long to Learn
Tales from a 41-year-old. Wisdom—and the woeful path that preceded it—for all ages.
Pouring water
1. Standing up for yourself isn't pouring water on somebody's head.
Once upon a time, I had a bad habit. When I felt ignored, dismissed or put down verbally by an individual, I poured a glass of water on that person's head. Usually that person was a man. Most of the time, he had fallen asleep, because I had needed a little time to think about how mad and insulted I was. The result was a terrific, wall-quaking roar and then a wild chase around the room while I explained how very furious I was and how much he deserved water down his ear, while leaping over furniture and throwing soggy pillows. My logic seemed to be: I can't let some guy treat me like a ding-dong! I have to do something! Like...act like a ding-dong!

After roughly 1,789,452 times of doing this, I realized that you can take the same glass of water over to the same sleeping human who said something totally crappy to you earlier, shake him awake, say, "I'm so upset that I really want to pour this water on your head." And then drink the water, giving him time to ask why you're upset and giving yourself time to calm down and get your point across. In relationships, it doesn't matter what your particular weapon is—be it a f__k you, a baleful silence, going into his dresser drawer and cutting up all his socks (yes, I know a woman who does this)—any attack only leads to a counterattack. Whereas an 8-ounce-long pause may just lead to understanding, if not reconciliation.