Monday, September 1, 2008

Don't hate me because I'm rude...

A dear friend was sad recently, seems someone told her she was rude. She wrote, "apparently, i don't play well with others. i always thought i was just straightforward, but come to find out, i am rude and hurt people's feelings."

Now, I enjoy this woman for the exact reason she has been criticized. Someone who says it like it is should be revered, not chased from the village with torches and pitchforks. Being someone like her who doesn't enjoy deliberately hurting people's feelings, and often feeling compelled to act when I know I HAVE hurt someone, I empathize. But there is a key concept here...deliberate actions. She, nor I, say these things that are taken as hurtful deliberately, but we are still hated for the comment.

Take your neighborhood or family passive-aggressive personality that we all know and detest...we all have one or two lurking about at holiday gatherings, smiling at our hospitality, and then later blogging about their contempt for our lifestyle, child-rearing abilities, poor decorating taste or personal hygiene. One could easily argue that the decision to be passive-aggressive is a conscious and deliberate one, and yet to persecute these people is to kick sand in the face of the weakling. How is my deliberate action of saying what I am thinking worse than you keeping yours for delayed display when I am out of earshot??

Well, guess what...and herein lays the lesson...I could care less.

I will rarely deliberately hurt you. If I do, I am sorry. I said what I thought, I told it like it is, I have that right. Like the Dixie Chicks, sometimes we are all gonna say the wrong thing. Ask yourself, "Was it deliberately hurtful? If not, move on. I have.

Now...the REAL trick is, nobody is allowed to hurt you. Yup, easier said than done, I am aware...but that is the true lesson. We only get hurt because we gave someone the power to hurt us. If you consistently give people the power to sit in judgment over you, you will be hurt.

Square one is...I LIKE me. If you don't, well, each to their own. My mother, my wife, my kids and quite a few friends and family like me quite a bit, so it sounds like you might be missing a big plus in me. Regardless, I'm gonna look for the good in you.

And I'm gonna like you until you give me good reason not to.

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posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson