I just have to vent here for a minute because I've needed to for a long, long time. And how many times can you tell your mom the same story? Sometimes, you just gotta take it to the blog, ya know what I'm saying?
Yes, I know the internet is very public and that it's possible that the person I am about to vent about could be reading this... However, I will not be using any names or identifiable information and trrrrrrust me, she would rather poke her eyes out than read anything I had to say, so I'm placing my bets on the idea that she will not be reading this. Like ever. Not in this lifetime.
So this person... Ok this woman... is someone that I would certainly not call a friend, and really not even an acquaintance. However, she is someone that I HAVE to see/run into like, allllllllllllll the time for the last year. Ok, I'm not going to say where I run into her, but let's just say it is more than one place and for a lengthy period of time. Sometimes more than once a day!!!!!
The problem is that she's mean. Did you just start laughing? I'm being so serious. She is just plain mean to me for no reason. For example, on many occasions I have chirped "Hi! Good to see you!" and "Is this your other son?" "He is so cute!" And "How are you?" To which every. single. question has been answered with silence and on many occasions, an eye roll.
Ok, so once I did try to say hi when she was on the phone, but I didn't see the phone, until she pulled back her long hair and pointed at it like, I'm on the damn phone you obnoxious little twit! Oooops. I was very embarrassed about that time. But that was not the first time she has rolled her eyes at me. In fact, I'm not even sure how she manages to walk straight with all that eye rolling she does.
But what did I ever do to piss her off you ask? I have no idea. No. I'm serious. We have never talked. I was introduced to her once by an acquaintance and since then seen her one to two times a day. Her kid has played with mine in more than one setting. We always make eye contact and I used to ALWAYS say hello. I mean it is just the nice thing to do isn't it?! And I guess I don't take a hint very quickly because I just kept thinking, well she didn't see me say hi. Or, she was not really rolling her eyes at me. So I just kept saying hi. Every day. Saying hi. And every day. Being rejected.
Until one day I just got pissed off. Yes. Because you know what?! Would it kill you to be nice? I know she has friends and I know she is not deaf nor mute. So what the heck?! No seriously. Come on. Is this high school?
So that's when I decided that I'm giving this woman wayyyyy too much power. She is actually hurting my feelings and I'm actually wondering to myself what I did to piss her off so much, but since we have never even had a conversation, I just cannot think of anything and I need to stop giving it one more second of my time.
Here's the thing. I'm one of those people that seeks approval. I want to be liked. I'm like Switzerland most of the time y'all. Are you nodding right now because you can relate? Or shaking your head vigorously like your neck is about to snap because you could care less what people think (you GO Girl!)? My greatest fear is letting someone down or hurting someone's feeling unintentionally. In some ways, that has served me well. But in other ways, it has made me a door mat for those bossy-biznatches that mistake my kindness for weakness.
The hilarious part is, that once I stopped speaking to this woman and even looking in her direction. She actually walked right up to me and complimented me on something I was wearing and asked where I got it. Like whaaaaaat?! I kid you not, I actually checked behind me before responding because I thought she must be talking to someone else.
So what's up with that? Are some people just not nice? I mean, doesn't it take more effort to be rude than to just be nice? And why did it somehow attract her to me once I stopped making an effort to acknowledge her?
In high school I was bullied, specifically by two girls. They were like this. Mean. But my mom always reminded me to "kill them with kindness" and to never sink to their level because if I did, I'd be just as low as they were. So I didn't. When they got in my face and called me a million names, drove to my house and work to "kick my ass," and even kicked me at my locker, saying "ooops! My mistake!". I always responded with a smile and said, "cute outfit! Hope you have a great day!" It wasn't easy, but I reminded myself every time, that I was not as low as they were and I'd never stoop to that level. I don't know how effective it was in ending the bullying. But, I definitely pissed them off. They wanted me to get mad. But I never engaged in it. It made them furious.
About 12 years post high school, one of them actually emailed me. Found me on Facebook and emailed me. She actually apologized. She explained that she was a mother now and had reflected many times on how cruel she's been to me when I'd never done anything to deserve it. It still bothered her that she'd behaved that way. I told her I forgive her. And I do. I mean for gosh sake, it was high school. We were just kids! But, it meant a lot that she remembered and apologized.
Looking back, it's hard to know how I feel now about what I'd want my own daughter to do in that situation. On the one hand, I have no regrets. I was never cruel. But on the other hand, I took a lot of abuse and never really stood up for myself... But, maybe I didn't need to. Maybe my kill-em-with-kindness responses actually did that for me...?
Anyway, the point of this long and babbling post, is that everyone DOES NOT have to agree with you or LIKE you. If you are confident in your own skin, you don't need others' approval. I'm still working on mastering this. It takes time and effort. But, if you are like me, don't give up. Kindness does not equal weakness and don't become jaded by those who take advantage of your kindness. It will never kill you to be kind. So keep the kindness coming, but don't be bothered by those that don't get it or like it. You don't need their approval. Amen?