By not retaliating and biting my tongue instead, I’m not being a pushover. It’s not that I don’t have a spine or don’t dare to stand up for myself. It’s called self-restraint. For every flaw you point out about me, I can counter it with 10 more about you. (I don’t say that in a negative way, I say it in a matter-of-fact way. People have flaws. Why do you demand perfection of me?) I don’t want to do that. It’s funny how after everything I’m still trying to protect your feelings. Maybe it’s a bad habit I need to kick.
I just hope you’re gaining some sort of substantial joy or self-efficacy from antagonizing me. Maybe then it’d be remotely justifiable in some twisted way.