The Cool Kids

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 27 of Forty: I'm sorry, did I offend you?


I was talking with two of my friends this week who both told me stories about people who had offended them, to their faces...but did it with a smile. The offending words weren't outright cruel, but were arranged in such a way that feelings were hurt.

It got me thinking, do people say these unkind things in Shakespearean fashion where the person affected will be hurt, but in a way that isn't blatant? Or are people so caught up in their own worlds that they don't realize they've hurt another with their words? Does being unkind give people power? Is there insecurity involved?

Both of these friends are wonderful women. Both of the comments were backhanded "compliments". Both of the situations made me really angry. I hate seeing the people I care about be so hurt. The sad thing is that I hear more and more about it from different women everyday. Maybe we've become desensitized to other's feelings. Maybe it's just me who is overly sensitive...

So I have to ask you, when was the last time someone hurt your feelings with their words? Was it on purpose? Did you call them on it? How did you deal with it?

Let me give you some examples of things that have been said to me lately. (With a smile of course!)

I. You've lost weight. You look SO much better than you did when you were teaching!

2. Wow. You're pretty lucky that your husband LETS you stay home. What do you do with all that time to yourself? I would go crazy if I didn't have anything to do all day..

3. Why are you so tired? I thought you weren't working anymore.

4. Have you been sick? Because I know people who are dying, so it really can't be that bad, right?

Yeah, those are just a few. I held back my OWN words in those encounters. Lucky me, I heard two of those comments in ONE conversation. Those of you that know me should be both really proud that I kept quiet AND extremely surprised that I didn't get myself arrested.

Happy Kind Monday, friends :)


  1. I'd like to believe that they don't realize what they are saying- like in the conversation I had with a substitute after a field trip she went on with my oldest daughter. It was 2 years ago, but the words will stick with me for a lifetime:

    "Wow! I had no idea so-and-so was your daughter! She is nothing like your son! They are complete opposites. She is a very good kid- very helpful and obedient, and I just really enjoy her."

    Did she really just compliment one of my children while insulting another?!! The compliment wasn't appreciated in the least. Does she realize that I know them better than anyone on this earth? I am very aware of their differences, yet I love the both the same.

    Sheesh...some people....

    I really need to work on the grudge thing.

    1. Christie, you made my day. I'm famous for saying, "You know that thing you said to me on Tuesday, November 6, Nineteen Ninety-Something?"

      Grudge holding is my biggest problem. Especially when someone has hurt my children. That's a big no-no. That substitute was more than likely NOT a mom, or not a mom of more than one child. All our children are vastly different; that's what makes them uniquely wonderful.

      If one can't understand that all children shine in their own ways, they need to get the heck out of teaching. Yeah, it's a good thing I'm not bitter. :)

  2. After being hit in the leg with a ball..
    "wow, I was aiming for you butt, don't know how I could miss that target?" (your father to me at Q's b-day party). Of coure it was a "joke"...but the feelings were hurt. I am 116 lbs for the love of God.

    Nurse at my primary...
    "You are 37 and have a 3 yr old! Wow, I had my child when I was 23, I didn't want to be an "old" mother. Not that you're old..."

    And if I hear one more time, "well so-and-so has a family memeber/best friend/guy from work, with the same medical issue and they are just fine. You just need some meds and sleep." I will scream. P.S It is never myself that brings up the medical issue to begin with.

    Just to name a few. :)

    1. Thank you, Amen to that last one. LOL. You living in A2 would make me think that you are just the right age to have kids :) Remember, I've been quite the target of the "thick jokes" myself. The good thing for you is that each one of those scenarios is an obvious misconception. Remember my rule, girl. NEVER tell anyone anything about your health that you don't want spread like wildfire. People either make illnesses sound like they don't matter or they go to the other end of the spectrum and wear it on their sleeves. "Guess what? I know someone who has......" Pay no attention, just focus on the love. And you. BTW, that advice doesn't count for your big sister, who must know EVERYTHING. Remember the stock answer, "ME? Everything is great, tell everyone you know! Oh, and thanks for asking!"

  3. Lately people have been using me as a basis for comparison. Like, "Oh my son's hair would make your curls look straight." I think awesome, I love curly hair... wait... Then people look at my skin and make all these comments about pale skin and, "Do you EVER go out?" Yes I DO people!!! It's just not right to compare one person to anyone else. We are all different and all have different situations that grant different experiences. I myself am guilty of saying things and putting my foot in my mouth (One of my worst habits!) But I am learning to be more aware, and not senselessly throw a comment that I think is innocent or has nothing to do with a situation out into the world. You never know who could be hurt.

    1. Savannah, every day is a growing day. I stay up at night rehashing conversations with people and wonder if my words were used for good or bad (even if I only intended them for good). Being aware is always a good thing; I think every single person in the world can work on that. Words are a gift. They can be so powerful. Like spiderman says, "WIth power, comes great responsibility." It's a goal for everyone, but especially woman. It's our job to use words to help build each other up, instead of tearing one another down. I'm working really hard on that as well. Thanks for posting ;)...BTW, Alex says I misquoted Spiderman, and that it was actually Uncle Ben who spoke the wise words ;)

  4. Man. Some people! What ever happened to caring about other people? Too much! Always gotta be above everyone else.. Some of my favorites:

    1. Oh I see, so you given up on pursuing career on being anything significant? *Favorite*
    2. You really are going to eat ALL of that? (No. I wasn't. But thanks to you, now I will. Gladly.)
    3. Oh I used to love that store!! You probably would too, although I don't think that you fit their sizes anymore.
    4. You're so much prettier, what happened?!

    Okay, cool. Thank you for your complements you two-faced.. the important thing here is, I'm not bitter. Forgive and forget.. and keep your mouth shut! Truly, people. Try being kind to someone rather than psychologically insult them, I dare you. Cheers to inconsiderate people with such extreme cases of tunnel-vision that they can't see past their own regret, flaws, and lives. But on a happier note, at least I can eat as much as I want, passing the 'skinny' (baby gap triple 0) store by, moving on with my life possibly pursuing a career in anything-everything (ribbon dancing) and still be pretty.(-ier than I was?) ;) hahahaha

    1. Dearest Alice, I love you with my soul. For one, I've always known in my heart that you will pursue your career in ribbon dancing. Number two, if someone told me I couldn't shop at Baby gap for my t-shirts, how would I possible fit in? And three? if I didn't know it better, I would have thought that I wrote the proceeding comment. You are hilarious. That is a compliment I don't mind giving. p.s. At least people ask you if you're going to finish "all of that". WIth me, they just assume so and hold on to their own plates a little tighter. pss. Will you please ribbon dance for me at my job? Oh wait,.... :) <3

  5. What is that old saying - if you can't say anything nice, find a nice way to say something mean - right? I'd like to believe that most of the time people just aren't thinking when they say hurtful things, but I know that's not always the case. Just remember, for every person that might say something hurtful (on purpose or not) there are probably ten more that say something kind to you. Focus on the positive and whatever you do, don't get yourself arrested. It's not worth it :)

    1. Mr. Man. Thanks for the advice. I think it is a bit different for boys. They usually say what they mean succinctly, or grunt. It's a very tight rope for girls. I will try very hard to focus on the positive (you're right, there are a lot of positives when we take notice) and try not to get arrested. Again. ;P


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