Up betimes and to the office, fitting myself against a great dispute about the East India Company, which spent afterwards with us all the morning. At noon dined with Sir W. Pen, a piece of beef only, and I counterfeited a friendship and mirth which I cannot have with him, yet out with him by his coach, and he did carry me to a play and pay for me at the King’s house, which is “The Rivall Ladys,” a very innocent and most pretty witty play. I was much pleased with it, and it being given me, I look upon it as no breach to my oathe.
Here we have an example of Samuel Pepys getting on with someone that he did not feel comfortable with. I do not particularly care for people who say, I hope you don’t mind me saying this but I’m just telling you what I think. These are normally people with tunnel vision and little tact.
We are not obliged to say exactly what we think about people and some things are better left unsaid. It is unlikely if you say anything, you will make any real change and may just upset people. When making a criticism we might say of ourselves 1. Is it true 2. Is it loving 3. Is it necessary. People do remember negative comments about others which is not a good thing because they might believe rightly or wrongly that you will make negative comments about them behind their back.
Also remember that people may be having a bad day and this is exhibiting itself in grumpy and antisocial behaviour. I have noticed this in my area in Somerset where there are many older people who have spouses that are frequently unwell and they tend to go round with a hangdog expression.
Are you lying by not telling the truth? As I am fond of saying, there is a time for everything and for everything there is time. You may be clinically correct but hopeless with your timing. If a person is already in a dramatic situation you don’t want to add to it by increasing the amount of drama.
I find that criticising with an element of a smile or a joke eases the whole situation considerably. Confrontation produces the secretion of all sorts of chemicals which can be avoided if we speak with someone not at them or even to them.
Also make sure that the annoyance or irritation we get is not something in ourselves that has been stirred up.