Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some day I will grow up and stop worrying about this stuff

You know, you get to a certain age and you start to feel like you know yourself pretty well.  And then one day something happens that makes you shake your head and realize you still have so much left to learn.  I'm thirty-*mumbles* years old and yesterday I had a real "duh" moment about myself.

I take it really, really personally when someone is mean to me.  I don't mean that I get sad or upset if someone is mean to me.  I mean that I immediately start thinking "Oh no!  I did something wrong!  There must be something about me that's causing this person to be mean to me.  I have to try and figure out why this person isn't nice to me.  Surely it has to be an issue on my end!  If only I was nice/smart/funny/interesting/good enough they would like me and not be mean to me."

It never even really occurs to me that maybe the other person is just kind of an asshole.

Of course on an intellectual level I realize that there are mean people in the world.  And I realize that every so often I am going to run into one.  And sometimes I might have to interact with one of them.  And they might not be so nice to me.  When it happens though I'm thrown for a loop.  It always takes me by surprise.

See, I think I'm a pretty nice person.  I care about my family and friends.  I try to be polite to strangers.  I stop for people in crosswalks.  I am nice to waitresses and cashiers.  I like puppies and babies.  I like buying things for people.  I can laugh at myself.

So the question is, how is it that I can know that I'm a nice person who's generally likeable and know that there are mean people in the world and yet not know how to not internalize it when one of those jerks takes their jerkiness out on me?  And will I ever learn how to do that?  Or am I doomed to always be left to wonder what I did wrong after someone treats me poorly?

(And by the way, this is not a post about how I'm to awesome and kind to function in this cruel world and it's NOT an attempt to fish for compliments.  Believe me, I have plenty of flaws and I know it and I can deal with that.)

One year ago today Elle was wise.
Five years ago today Elle like bad movies.


Andrea said...

Three words....I Love You.

Tell the jerks to jerk off. You'll be surprised how good it feels to say that.

DawnA said...

From one nice person to another I think you're doomed. I think I am a genuinely nice person but it bothers me for way too long when someone is not nice to me. It doesn't help that I am non-confrontational. Telling a spouse, significant other or a friend who feels offended on your behalf helps! Good luck.

Stimey said...

I'm the same way. I run those things over in my head over and over. I don't know why I think I have to please everyone, but I do. It's really kind of a drag. I'm actively fighting against it. I'm losing.