Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Hardest Thing

Today was an odd day. Most of it was good, but then came that sinking feeling that I'd hurt someone's feelings unintentionally.

Emotions are a prickly field. I'm unsure how I'm feeling most of the time, but nothing can make me feel worse than when it feels like I've said something wrong, or unintentionally caused someone pain. It's why I'm bad at teasing people. It's why people think I'm earnest most of the time. I am. I was teased a lot as a kid. And by teased I mean made fun of, shunned, and insulted. I think today they would call it bullying, but I'm lucky it was nowhere near what it is for some kids. I'm over it, for the most part, but things come back to you from time to time and you can easily find yourself reacquainted with old feelings and react with old reactions. You can do a few things with childhood experiences like that as an adult: you can become bitter and angry and try to hurt others; you can learn to tease back to be part of the group; you can take things personally, when sometimes they aren't meant that way. I'm sure there are other options, too.

I tend to fall between the second and the last most times. I'm pretty good at taking teasing now. It happens a lot as bonding I realize now, and I try to join in when I can. I try to be light. I do try. I caught myself being sensitive to something a few months ago someone said that stung me for some reason, and I actually responded, "what is it about hurting another person that you find entertaining?"

I guess I have a little work to do.

I still have difficulty divining the difference in intention. So, of course, when I feel I've said something wrong, or stumbled, with someone else, it causes a surprising amount of pain. And I suppose part of not being the bitter and angry person that I've seen people become is being a little over-sensitive to people's feelings at times. Even imaginary ones.  Even ones no one has told you they are having. I'm not being purposefully vague here, I just don't even know if I've hurt anyone's feelings. I'm just concerned. Writing about it gets it off my mind. I do love how that happens.

Did I mention I do go to therapy?  This might be a good time to reveal that.  Really, it's in good hands.

Every time I try some levity, I'm afraid I'm hitting with a brick and not a feather. I can certainly joke. I love to make people laugh.  But laughing and pointing I'm very bad at.  I supposed it's not an awful skill to be bad at, but I'm working on honing it.  Making people laugh is something I like to do, and good spirited teasing can bring people together, when it's done with affection.  I'm trying to figure out how to do that, and receive it.

Feeling bad about it really does no one any good. It's best to just not do it.  Just try to never hurt anyone's feelings ever again. Sounds simple, no?

Here's where I get the cream pie in the face.

Okay, back to levity.


dixiebelle said...

I feel your pain as I have these wonderful size nine feet that fit in my mouth all the time. I suffer from "open mouth insert foot disease". I'm trying to think before speaking more these days. I have learned though that what anyone else thinks is none of my business. I do not intentionally try to hurt anyone ever but unintentionally, I have. I am not responsible for how others react to what I've said or done. That might sound cold but it's the truth. I am only responsible for myself , my feelings and my actions and reactions. I try to put good into the universe because it has a ripple effect on others.

I was teased mercilessly as a child because I was a "four eyed snaggletooth". Kids are mean and my skin grew thick until I learned that my reactions were what those meanies were looking for. When I stopped reacting to them they stopped bullying me =)

Our humanity makes us aware of the needs of others...whether they be physical, emotional or otherwise. So, I'll close by saying your humanity is showing =) Have a great day and don't be to hard on yourself. Therapy is always good for anyone who feels the need for it. I've just stumbled along and figured out life on my own but could have probably used some professional help at times =)

Criticlasm said...

Thank you for that. I really appreciate it.

And funnily enough, I did put my foot in it for real today and person was very understanding.

I like the non-reacting thing. I'm working on that. :)

dixiebelle said...

I have had to "bite my tongue" on more than one occasion just to keep myself from reacting negatively when someone else is being a douche bag. As you practice it more and more, it becomes easier and then just natural.

Have a great weekend =)