Blocking the Poop
If you missed Part 1: Don't Poop in My Box, check it out here to get the background before reading on. I'm going to assume you've got the general idea of the poop box in this post, and today, we are moving on and learning how to protect ourselves from other people's crap.
Last time, I asked you to think about who or what is the poop sprayer in your life. Remember that person? Good.
After the last post, your first instinct may be to want to get rid of the poop in your box, and that's a noble cause. But, before you can start getting rid of the poop in your box (don't worry, we're getting there), you need to learn how to protect yourself from more poop. Otherwise, you're going to end up in an endless cycle of getting poop out just to get more sprayed, scooped, or tossed in.
1. Identify Your Poop Sprayer(s)
This is why I asked you to start thinking about who the poop sprayer is in your life. You cannot, I repeat CANNOT, protect yourself from poop unless you know what angle it's being thrown at you from. This is vitally important: Once you have identified a poop sprayer, accept it. Poop sprayers are poop sprayers. It is extremely rare for these people to ever do anything other than spray poop. They are not going to spray rainbows and unicorn tears. They spray crap. Stinky crap. That's their job; expect no more and no less.
2. Decide Whether It's Poop You Have to Deal With
As previously discussed, sometimes you have to deal with other people's poop. I had to deal with a good amount of crap from a past boyfriend because his life involved a lot of drama with his ex-wife. His poop was my poop; my poop was his poop. We were tight like that. That is poop you have to — okay, choose to — deal with, and that's not the kind of poop you need to focus on protecting yourself from. So what kind of poop are we talking about here? The kind that makes your stomach churn. The stuff that makes you not want to answer the phone when you see a certain person's name come across it. The kind that has you lying about already having plans. The kind that makes you think, "Ah, crap!"
3. Get a Poop Blocker
Everyone's poop blocker looks and works a little different. For some people, it might be waking away or saying, "I have to go now." (Think Sally Field in Mrs. Doubtfire at the end of the movie when Robin Williams is revealed as the old English lady.) For others, it might be repeating a mantra over and over while the other person is spraying — "This is not my poop" is my personal favorite. It may take some trial and error to see which poop blocker works best for you. You may need different blockers for different kinds of crap. (Somebody write a buyer's guide for poop blockers!) Experiment. You may get a little dirty in the process, but eventually, you'll have a shiny new poop blocker, or two or three, and be ready for the next attack.
4. Put Up Your Poop Blocker
You have identified your poop sprayer, decided it's poop you don't have to deal with, bought or DIYed a poop blocker, and now it's time to get into defensive mood. Let's go back to that visual from last time. You're sitting in your happy place with your own box of slightly stinky poop, and all is well. The poop sprayer comes in, and before they can even flip the switch to "On," you put up your poop blocker. Think of it as an umbrella or a bubble that fully covers you and your poop box. The poop sprayer sprays, poop still goes everywhere (Unfortunately, this part is unavoidable. If you figure out a way to avoid the poop fallout, let me know!"), but you are clean and dry, and your poop box is at the same level.
5. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I wish I could say that eventually poop sprayers get tired and quit spraying poop once they figure out you have a poop blocker, but that's just not the case. At least not in my life. Poop sprayers are often oblivious to the fact that their crap is going everywhere, or they are just those weird kind of people that like crap. You cannot change these people — remember acceptance is the key — but you can and should change how you respond. Don't become a victim covered in crap. Put up your poop blocker and defend your happy place.
What poop-blocking strategies have worked (or not worked) for you?