I had hoped to try to get a massage this week. It had been suggested and seemed like my best option in breaking up the tension in my neck and shoulders. Sadly, my husband and I had other things to do and we never made it. Life is good at getting in the way. Instead, I applied for a job. Here's to hoping, right? It was nice being a kept wife for a while, but it seems to be a necessity now. Which brings me to the topic of my post. Some might say what follows is a product of the lack of sleep and the immense discomfort I'm going through right now. Maybe they are right. Or maybe I really have seen the truth. Warning to the weak - the truth hurts.
So came the revelation. I'm a southern born, and raised, lady. I'm traditional for the most part. I can be very outspoken too. I'm honest. Brutally so. Employers find that reassuring. Friends and family - not so much. I never truly put much thought into it. When I see something I don't agree with, or something that seems wrong, I have a tendency to speak up. Believe me, I think my words through carefully before I speak, though that does not seem to matter. People don't want to hear what may be the truth. It can be too offensive. My husband is from Colorado. Or as he puts it, the north. He is quiet, reserved, and as most of his family are - a peace keeper. They don't do confrontation well. They have the normal family drama, but they keep it to a minimum. When they don't like something, they don't often confront the source, but rather go around it until it reaches the top and they can't dance around the circle. I get it. I don't like confrontation either. But over the years, I have learned that it is sometimes necessary in order to grow and develop better relationships. This is where I probably rub them wrong. I speak out and I don't cower. And as my husband put it, I do so because it is how I was brought up. It is the "default" that my family has. Somewhat true. We speak up when we feel something is truly wrong. Or, as I often do, when I can't keep it bottled up anymore and it just erupts like a volcano. He also made the comment that we "tear each other part" with this method. Talk about a slap in the face. But I guess if you think about it, he's right. When we speak up and put each other in their place, lay out the injustice of what they are doing, what is really happening? In my mind, we are showing a fault that needs to be addressed. Like when someone is acting as a spoiled brat, for instance. I, personally, want people to think about how they are acting. How their words affect others' emotions. But is it really my place? Who am I to tell you if you are talking to someone with the wrong tone? Whether it be your spouse or your mother or your boss. In this day and age, doing so is wrong. Or maybe it was always wrong, but here in the south we still did it.
I'm unapologetic for my words. As I mentioned, I think them through before I send that message. And since that is how I talk to most people - through typed words - they might sting just a little more. You can't read emotion in a text message. Not unless you add some cute little emoji. Something to soften the tone for your reader. I'm not a huge fan of them, but I sometimes use them to get across a tone and keep people from freaking out on me. So, if I send a message and someone else gets offended, that's that. The only thing I have to be sorry of is the fact that you didn't have tough enough skin to take it. Or that you are too blind to your behavior. Harsh, isn't it?
This is one reason I don't like being around people. I'm an introvert. I think most people are ignorant or just plain stupid. I find that most people don't think about what they are doing or saying or what the consequences will be. And people are generally too selfish. So, I like to distance myself. I'll be honest, I do this with friends and family too. I get to a point where I don't want to be at risk of being in a conversation where my personal beliefs or ideas will clash with another. So I'd rather avoid socializing altogether. There are a select number of people who can ask me to hang out or chat and I'd do so without fear. I can count them on one hand. They are the few that can handle everything I say without taking offense and are not afraid to tell me when I'm wrong. But after realizing the truth that my husband laid out this week, I think I need to tighten the reigns on my words. I think I need to put distance in my text messages. I can't trust myself to share an opinion. Not if it runs the risk of tearing someone apart. So, I'm putting up the walls. Locking away my voice of reason. Putting into park, that drive to make things right. I'm going to take a backseat and let others do. Right or wrong, it isn't my place to say unless you are my kid. Or unless it is a rant in the journal or blog. Because lets face it. No one really reads either. Okay, my mother reads the blog religiously. And she's one of the few who can take what I say with a grain of salt and tell me when I need to shut up. I say this with love. She's the one who was always telling me, "Opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has one and they all stink." We think our opinions are helpful and matter, but seriously - they don't. Unless you are asked for it - maybe you should keep it to yourself.
- Think twice before you act or speak.
- Learn to hold back.
- And develop thick skin for the times when someone else shares what they think.