I went to bed last night with a bad taste in my mouth, and it’s all my own fault.
I realized that I have been kind of a bitch lately, and have not been holding myself to a very high standard. I have been talking about someone behind their back (no it’s probably not you), and that’s not okay.
I have always thought of myself as a very open-minded person, but maybe I have been wrong. In the fall I took an intellectual Humility test, and I retook it a couple of weeks ago. I was appalled by my results.
Not only was I worse than others on average, but I was headed in the wrong direction.
Clearly, I need to reassess how I think and behave. How many times have I hurt people and not even realized it? How many times have I judged someone unknowingly? What have I closed my mind to inadvertently?
What have I missed out on? I mean, who wants to talk with me when I talk with them negatively about other people?
So yesterday I reached out to the person I felt I had wronged. I apologized, and she laughed it off with grace. Said she’s not unused to being talked at behind her back, and snarked at to her face.
And that brought up a whole new problem.
As women, should we be okay with this? Do women in positions of authority laugh it off, and say they are used to being treated so meanly? That it’s ok? That they have gotten over the hurt?
Do men tear each other down like women do (and when did I become one of those women I loathed so much?). Do men accept the rudeness and the hurt? Or do they not even notice.
Do women take everything personally?
Is that good?
Do we care more? Do we work harder because of that? Are women motivated by the desire to rise above it, or to get approval? Or do we just swallow the hurt (to what emotional, mental and physical effect?) and become more focussed on accomplishing our goals?
Why do I do the things I do?
I will be the first to admit I am a personality and emotional contradiction. On one hand, I don’t give a shit what people think about me — but I am simultaneously desperate to be everyone’s friend.
On the one hand, I am proud of my directness. I hate the idea of pussy-footing around something. If someone asks my opinion, I tell them. (and clearly, as I discussed above, I’m not always great at my delivery). I dye my hair bright colors. I like to have loud ringtones with rock music. I wear shoes that light up and post pictures of my crazy manicures. I am an over-sharer — social media was MADE for me.
And yet I am always wondering: do they like me? Why don’t they ask me to hang out? Are they having fun without me? One of my biggest social hurdles has always been that I assume I am not included unless I am explicitly asked to participate. I have had folks be absolutely baffled that I am hurt that something occurred and I didn’t get to participate. “You know you were invited!” they say. No, I don’t. Unless I am specifically asked, I don’t know. And I get jealous when I see people I know doing things without me. Mind you: we are insanely busy most of the time, so it’s not like we are hurting for things to do. But I have an insatiable, almost debilitating desire to be included.
Well. This blog took a turn into self-analysis.
But maybe that’s where it started as well.
So: back to the beginning: I need to be a better person. I need to shut my mouth when my when I don’t have something positive to contribute. If I have a problem, snarking about it to someone else will not solve it. Go to the source and see if there is a solution. Don’t let other people get to me.
Scroll past that post.
If I don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
And listen more than I speak. Man, THAT one is hard. I am not sure exactly how I am going to correct half a century’s worth of experience that has led me to this point. But I do know that I don’t like feeling guilty, and I like it even less knowing that I may have hurt someone.
They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.
Step one taken.