There came a point in my life where I started to be very honest about my truths.
I think there are times in our lives where we tend to sugarcoat or even gloss over uncomfortable times.
I remember being in high school and living by the “laugh with them and they will get bored” adage.
It was all too convenient for the bullies in my school that my maiden name rhymed with whale.
Laugh with them and they will get bored.
Laugh with them and they will be confused.
Laugh with them and it will eventually stop.
Honestly? It never worked.
Sitting in school I used to dream of the day that I was an adult and that would all just magically go away.
People would grow up.
They would be far too busy adulting to bully one another.
If only that were true.
I quickly learned while entering that adult world that the folks who were mean in high school, typically grew up to be mean adults.
Not always, but more often than not.
I worked at a credit union many moons ago and had a coworker that was one of those people.
She was just genuinely unhappy in her own life and it leaked out in her aura.
She liked to play a game called “I am going to park really close to Nanci’s driver’s side door so that she can’t get into her car”.
I don’t recommend this game.
It played out almost monthly like this:
Hey, I need to leave for lunch and can’t get in my car. You parked too close.
Oh really? You can’t fit in there? Hmm..
Just flat out rude.
Not even slathering Crisco and saying a prayer could get me into my car with how she parked.
I began to wonder, what causes people to be so petty?
What causes that mean spirit?
It all comes down to the fact that hurt people, hurt people.
There is something that was broken within her.
Whether it was recent or something that stemmed from long ago, it was fractured.
Rather than fixing that fracture, she chose to feed it.
That choice has ultimately caused her to live the way she does.
It’s hard, isn’t it?
Trying to figure out why folks do what they do.
I have to admit, I have had a lot of strangers come at me about my weight.
It seems to be the go-to insult when they have nothing else that they can pick on.
I had a woman on an airplane yell from the front of the plane when she realized she would be sitting beside me that she did not want to sit by a “fat woman”.
Airplanes are not my favorite in the first place.
Stuffing a lot of people in a tin can and placing them nuts to butts is not my idea of a good time.
AND, we PAY to do it!
This woman insulted me the entire flight until the woman in front of us offered to switch seats.
Before I left that seat, I placed my hand on her arm and said to her,
Whatever has happened to you in your life to make you so mean, I am sorry.
That’s really it, isn’t it?
We must accept the fact that we won’t always know why people behave the way that they do.
It’s the same with coworkers, members, and even just day to day people that we may meet along our day.
I dabble in speaking to groups at events and classes and one of the topics is called “Maybe it’s not about you”
It’s about realizing that the actions that may hurts us the most, are not always about us.
It’s about looking beyond the attitude to empathize with the story behind the behavior.
I wish that when I was younger and dreaming of being an adult that the truth was that once we hit some magical age the bully stage “POOF” disappears.
But alas, it doesn’t.
We just learn how to deal differently.
Sometimes I still use humor to fend off the miserable people that drip their negativity all over my day.
Sometimes I call them out in a way that hopefully makes them think.
Sometimes I just flat out realize that who they are and choose to be is none of my business.
I can correct them.
I can talk with them.
I can accept them
Or, I can walk away.
We will always be faced with people in our professional and personal lives that rub us the wrong way.
Sometimes it will take “Crisco and a prayer” to get through it and that’s okay.
Just make sure the journey you are choosing to take speaks kindly of the human you want to project to the world.
Your greatest responsibility as an adult, is to be a better version of yourself each new day.