Adults acting childish

Adults acting childish

After working early voting and election day, I was surprisingly disappointed in the campaigners’ and observers’ behavior at my location. Neither side followed proper protocol, and then both sides continued to “tattle” on each other. There were absolutely zero voter issues in my area, but the site supervisor, and I, spent too much time listening to opposing campaigners and observers complain about each other.

They even went so far as playing “one-up” with each other.  If one side got a sign, the other one got a bigger one, which caused the other side to get a bigger one, then a giant one, then a monstrosity. The same thing happened when they were approaching people. They were not entirely running, but certainly rushing to get to someone first.  The election workers likened their behavior to kindergarteners. It was ridiculous.  The police were even called, at one point, due to an observer harassing election workers as she reported every possible minute infraction the opposite parties observer did.

There are better ways to disagree with each other and compete than to resort to childish behavior.

Some of the basics of disagreeing with respect include:

Using “I” statements instead of blaming “them.”

Avoid making it personal or letting your emotions get involved. Stay calm.

Listen to the other person’s point of view without belittling them for it.

People are entitled to their opinion. However, you can’t argue someone over to your point of view.

If you are mistaken, apologize. If they are wrong, realize they may not apologize.

Stop trying to compete with the Jones by pushing them down.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

One day a campaigner reported that the opposing campaign team had set their tent up one inch over the line where they could be. One inch!  We had to go out and explain to the group that there had been a complaint made about their tent’s location and that they would have to move it back an inch.  They complied, but I was appalled that it was even reported – for one inch. Come on, be a grown-up. A foot, sure, say that, but one little inch didn’t make a bit of difference. Let the little stuff go!

I was surprised that all this childish behavior was going on, in public, for all the voters to see.  I heard many people comment that so & so wasn’t on their ballot, but if they were, they wouldn’t vote for them, based merely on the behavior they were exhibiting, and that went for both sides.  When other people observe an adult acting like a five-year-old, the level of respect they have for that person takes a deep downward plunge.

Remember, too… your children are watching your behavior. They mimic what they see. If you would like to raise respectful, responsible adults, make sure you are one.