Monday, September 19, 2011

Point of Comparison...

I am somewhat exasperated with people (well with the upcoming listed qualities) lately. I don't know why, but being in their presence is just head-ache inducing. To the extent, that I've outright avoided them, or walked away from them, or started having a totally different conversation in my brain, or even just continued to nod in their presence while trying to steer the conversation in another direction. It is like, over the last week, I keep running into people exhibiting these qualities. The reason I say it like that, is because they are not people who are typically like this.... in all facets of their lives. Maybe I've never noticed it before, but more accurately, I don't think they were every like this, unless when under extreme duress. Which begs the question (at least in my brain) -- should I ask them what is wrong? (what if nothing is wrong) Or should I just let it go? (despite the fact that they induce migraines)....

So, what has been happening?

First, I have been interacting with people, who constantly use themselves as a point of comparison. Almost, to steer the conversation away from the issue/topic at hand, and bring it back to themselves. Now, there is nothing wrong with comparing situations for purely epistemic (deeper understanding) purposes. But to constantly belittle another's experiences with reference to your own just isn't appropriate. For example, (TOTALLY FAKE RANDOM EXAMPLE!) - me talking to Emily about my difficulties with grad school, and Emily saying something like "your life is not as hard as you think it is, you are a kid with no responsibilities, just college". Now, if Emily was to say something like "oh I totally get what you mean, it's been challenging for me to balance my motherly duties with my academic duties", I see no fault with that. It's creating a point of reference in your own life. But by using it as a point of difference "your like is not as hard", that's just obnoxious.

----- God doesn't burden a soul more than one can handle ---- so you're difficulties are relative, your periods/experiences of ease are relative as well... Please, please, please just let people feel what they want, don't belittle their experiences.

Second, people who are just harsh. Now, this my overlap with the first point, but it's different. Sometimes I just wish that people will turn their critical eye towards themselves. To judge themselves 100 times more harshly than they judge others. Something as simple as "that girl is so fat" or "has a horrible sense of style" -- seriously, you have no right. Because don't dish out what you can't take in. Trust me, you aren't infallible. I am sure you are equally as flawed. How would you like it to constantly be pointed out to other people in public settings. Please, just remember, God hides our sins and protects our privacy, until we reveal our indiscretions to the world. Who are you to point out someone's past, present, or future misgivings? If you farted in the privacy of your car? Or picked your nose while in the bathroom? Is that something you want to be pointed out in public? Just let inconsistencies/mistakes/flaws of others go, unless you are one-on-one and need to advise them... then at least be tactful.

Third, even when you joke, be nice. Don't make someone feel subhuman, or at least less than you, even while joking. This ties #1 and #2 together. I was in conversation with someone, and they basically pointed out (while supposedly joking), that a certain quality of mine. This quality does not need to be positive or negative. But when joked about in a specific tone of voice, it makes a person feel deficient, incomplete, less than normal. For example, I have no qualms saying that I am very much emotional. Sometimes it is AWESOME because I feel strong levels of empathy and sympathy for people. Sometimes it SUCKS because I'll start crying in the middle of a conversation with someone in a very public setting. But to tell me that "oh reem, you'll never be able to teach, because you have no control of your emotions" then laugh it off like it was some sort of joke.... well, that's B.S. and people will eventually avoid you for your B.S.. Most people don't like to be bullied, and that what those kinds of jokes are, a form of bullying. Oh snap, now you realize that you may have been a bully without realizing... doesn't that suck.... o.O

Finally, I ask that you tap into your human center and constantly embody positive behaviors. I know this all sounds idealistic, and that we aren't at all as perfect as we'd like to be, but we need something to strive towards. If people tick me off, I have different reactions depending on the individual involved and the extent of anger. I could: smile, laugh (most of the time this is what happens with me), flip out, walk away, give them the "look", get confused, change the course of the conversation, or just talk out the issue. How I will react changes all the time. But, If someone is being negative towards you, then find a way to turn it into a positive experience. Whether it is during, before, or after the experience.

I guess that's it. I know this was long and tiresome, but I had to get it out of me. This is my post ex facto blog post to turn my negative experiences into a lesson learned. Because, honestly, no one really reads this.... So, it's more like an organizing of my personal thoughts. o.O