It started like any other monthly call with a vendor, partner, or customer. Then, a small comment or slip by the other party happens, and the frustration wells up and erupts. This particular incident was nothing in itself, but it was one more thing in a series of minor events. It was the last straw, and the dam had burst.
Now, they are in scramble mode because they were not aware our frustrations had been building.
As I think back, we swept so many minor issues under the rug that this less than desirable interaction was inevitable. Furthermore, we did the relationship no service by withholding all the small items as they occurred. We ignored or did not feel the minor stuff raised to the level where it needed to be addressed. Oh, how we were wrong.
Blaming someone else or another group under the guise that “they should have” been aware of the issues is counterproductive and dodging the real problem. We are in control of what we do and say, and only, what we do and say. We cannot control others no matter what we try to tell ourselves.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that has to be learned over and over again. A series of “little things” and time make for big problems. No matter if we feel that we are “majoring in the minors” or being trivial, the underlying feeling can be suppressed but not alleviated unless it is candidly discussed with the other party. Failing to address minor issues causes them to compound through a reinforcement loop and come out in ugly, explosive, and unexpected ways.
Let little things be little, meaning address them while they are minor, so they do not have a chance to grow into big and ugly problems later.