Thursday, December 1, 2016
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm far from perfect, but I am decent. I'm more than decent. I make a conscious effort to be nice to people, to be kind, and not intentionally to hurt anyone's feelings. As I've gotten older, I've become better at recognizing the difference between someone's bad mood versus his or her conscious decision to speak to me in a demeaning, dismissive, insulting, condescending, hostile, or hurtful way. Generally, I'm very perceptive about what other people are trying to communicate, but I always give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she's having a bad day. Maybe he's really stressed about something and this is misplaced hostility or transference. Maybe he didn't sleep well. Maybe she has an undiagnosed brain tumor.
Eventually, I do run out of patience, close up shop, and walk away. I've done this my entire life--faster if someone kicks me when I'm down. I'm very good at moving on. When I feel like someone is blatantly treating me with intentional disrespect, why would I stick around? I'm really hard on myself--I don't need that coming from external sources, too.
As 2016 winds down, I'm reflecting on this being the year I refused to let anyone keep undermining my dignity for their own emotional bump. Sorry. No. Bullies and emotional manipulators will no longer be tolerated.
If I don't kill myself, I figure I have, what, 20 or 25 years of life left. That's precious little time to accommodate the mean-spirited and condescending barbs of the disdainful.