Sometimes it's seems like there is an abundance of mean all over the place and that's rough to deal with. With social media giving everyone digital courage, people sticking their feet in their mouths, and bully media there are days where I feel like everywhere I turn someone is saying something snarky or insulting something or being generally nasty. I have always been incredibly sensitive to nastiness--I was picked on growing up and when I see someone else getting the brunt of someone's mean streak it makes me cringe. When someone is mean to me it kills me a little bit, I've never been able to just shrug off an unkind word or a dirty look.
"But why would they say that? Is she mad at me? Did I do something wrong? Why did he look at me like that?" As I grow older, I let less of what others think affect me but it still does.
The Incident: Recently a close friend said some unkind things to me. I don't believe she meant to be malicious but in the course of conversation she told me her mother called me fat. Not just fat, but something about how I joined "Club Fat-Ass." I let the comment slide and didn't bring it up again. She went on to say things about someone very close to me and my husband. Never one to confront things head on, I let the comments go by without a negative reaction. In the following days though I realized how deeply what she had said hurt my feelings and how much it was affecting me. I felt terrible about myself and those bad words crept back into my head, "You ARE fat. Why bother trying? You'll never look the way you want to look." I thought all these things as I sat in the kitchen and binged. People's words hold weight, it was a cold slap in the face when I sat back and realized that things people say really do impact me.
I decided to discuss the comments with her and I was met with a genuine apology and an open dialogue. It was refreshing to confront something head-on and receive a positive reaction.
Don't think I'm counting myself out of this whole mean thing. I do massive eye rolls, saying shitty things, and the whole nine yards. After the Incident I reflected on my own actions and what would cause someone to say things like that. I'm sure I've stuck my own big foot in my bigger mouth numerous times and I know I've said a nasty tidbit here and there. When I dive into deep thought about those behaviors I realize that I've acted those ways when I have felt badly about myself. Maybe I had a bad weigh-in or got in trouble at work or fought with Rhyno. Maybe I displaced that anger and decided to talk shit instead of confront my feelings. I'm trying to become more aware of negative feelings in my life so that I don't transfer my bad moods to everyone around me (and hurt someone's feelings in the process).
How do you deal with mean?