Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Jab

Sometimes I feel like everybody in my life wants to give me a jab because either they’re in a bad mood or they resent me for something.  Maybe it’s all in my head, I don’t know. As of lately, I’ve noticed certain people who are in my life poking at me for the smallest of things, making a big fiasco out of nothing. I find that if I don’t respond the way they want me to (combative and explosive), then they seem to get angrier. I simply accept what they say, without it seeming arrogant or nonchalant, nor undermining their feelings, and then I get blasted with a well thought out rebuttal as though they were saying, “Watch--this’ll get under her skin...”

Even when I try to go out of my way for these people to do nice things for them, or to make them feel better when they’re seemingly in a disgruntle mood, I get comments like, “Aww, was that a Hallmark moment for you?” Maybe I don’t understand people as well as I thought I did. Maybe I’m doing something wrong here but all I know is, people hurt others for the strangest reasons. Some I’ve found are so insecure with themselves, that they’ll jump through hoops in order for you to feel the same way. If they’re having a shitty day, rest assure that they’ll find a way to make yours shitty too.

I truly believe that if you’ve ever been burned, hurt, or verbally abused in your life - this does not mean that everyone else is out there to get you, or will do the same thing as others did to you in the past. I know many people have trust issues. Even I have trust issues, but in life, you have to take chances with people and give them the benefit of the doubt. The way I see people treating one another, (and I’m not excluding myself here either, ‘cause God knows I’ve said some awful things in my time)-- it's just so sad. We communicate with proverbial shields and double-edged swords. We try to protect ourselves so much and lash out when needed, or sometimes, when it’s not needed at all. Our temperaments have spiraled down into an explosion of raw emotions and our patience has dwindled down to a pile of ashes.

So next time you feel like giving someone "the jab” just because you’re not feeling up to par that day, just remember- life has a funny way of boomeranging the jab right back atchya’. Karma’s funny that way, and in no means do I imply revenge, it’s just how the universe works.

13 comments:

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

At one time, when I was much younger, I had what a aunt said was "think skin." The thing people said, did, or didn't do would "hurt." I really think I learned to feel that way from my mother's family. Even now, at age 85, my mother still talks about people who "hurt her feelings."

At some point in my life I realized that other people don't have the power to "hurt" my feelings. After all, they are MY feelings.

Since then I had basically ignored actions that used to "hurt." Of course, with some people that leads to an escalation of the "jabbing" because their payoff seems to be to get a negative response. Not getting that negative response seems to frustrate them. However, I choose not to get hooked into their game.

On the other side, when I feel I want to take a jab at someone, I do my best to follow this simple rule: "Be sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth."

Deb said...

Nick, I think you just wrote what I needed to write in this post: to not get hooked into their game. It is a game to these people. "Let's see what kind of reaction I'll get with her today" type of thing. At one time, I did react and I was hurt, I lashed out, I said, "Why why why" and then, when I finally realized that it was all a game, I simply respond, "Okay, well if this is how you feel, then that's alright." I accept it - not to be confused with getting walked over upon, but let them have their say, and then...walk away. Your mom sounds so cute. She still gets her feelings hurt? :( Awww... Thanks for your comment! I really needed to hear your words of wisdom, I mean that. :)

paz13 said...

Good point and somethinhg we should all follow.

Kevin

Deb said...

We're all imperfect, so I take everything with a grain of salt and just sit and wonder... God knows I have my own flaws that are still under construction! :)

d said...

I do like Nick's comment. And too much wasted time and effort to actually think of ways to make someone react negatively. Don't they get tired?

Dana

TeeJay said...

In situations such as what you describe, I think there are a couple of different dangers. One is to respond to the provocation, which is, as you say, exactly what the other person is looking for. It helps them perpetuate their narrative, and unfortunately, makes you a part of it, even if you don't want to be.
The other danger is to not respond to the provocation, but then to punish yourself by feeling that you got walked on by remaining mum.
In both cases, it's one's ego that is the driving force beyond your actions/feeling.
So what's the best response? I think back to a previous blog you wrote entitled something like "It's Not Me, It's You." If you choose not to responod to another's provocation, and then also choose not to feel walked on, you are taking the "It's Not Me, It's You" approach. A pretty healthy one if you ask me....

TeeJay said...

And re: Nick's comment about a person owning their feelings, obviously I concur very strongly with that. We are always in control of our own selves, and we should also remember that that's the ONLY thing that we truly have control over.

Just_because_today said...

Although hard to do, it is better not to see things said as a provocation, maybe just poor humor or poor timing. When something makes me wonder, I try to remember that there is no reason for that person to want to hurt me and I am usually right (they don't want to hurt me)

Deb said...

D: It has to get exhausting at some point. The energy that goes into is definitely a waste - I agree.

TeeJay: Yeah, it’s when you get to that point when you have to say: I don’t care, I’m pointing the finger. But then again, when I point 1 finger, 3 are pointing right back. Have you ever been in a circumstance where you truly did not know you said something wrong, but, to the other person it came out as offensive? I mean, we all know when an insult when we hear one, but what about those in between-ers? The ones where you simply do not know if he or she was in the wrong, or we took it the wrong way. So, I do agree with you on that one. I’m not so sure if I totally agree that we all have the ability to control our behavior. Some people have behavioral issues, chemical imbalances and other factors that make them do things that they later regret. Sometimes, things are out of control. Just think: if we all had complete control, we would never get into a bit of drama, nor would the world have so many wars. Just my two cents on that! :)

Just because today: Right... Hey, sometimes it depends on their moods, the time of day or stressors that they’re going through at the time, but sometimes you gotta ask: “WHY WHY WHY???” *grumble* Some things come out "fowl" (haha) especially on your facebook page! ;)

Just_because_today said...

True! I dont know why FB has that delete button, even when you delete, it is already on everybody's mailbox aghhhhhh - yeah, I know, better not to even say it - or write it. :(

Deb said...

Wait, so when you delete a status message, it's still up on everyone else's updates?

the walking man said...

Rule# 3


I have long felt that I won't scrape my shit onto your plate if you don't scrape yours onto mine. BUT if you in fact feel the need to scrape you must remember I do not eat broccoli or shit (they are both the same family tree). Yet if you need some help finding the compost pile and want to scrape your plate clean there then I am ever willing to aid you in that endeavor.

TeeJay said...

On the subject of having control of ourselves, I didn't mean to imply that everyone exercises proper self-control. They have have chemical/medical issues, or emotional demons, etc. But what I am saying is that we - as humans - have the basic capacity to choose how we will behave in a giving situation. Conditioning usually dictates our personal behavior, and we can all re-condition ourselves if we choose to do so.
To elaborate a bit on what I mean, I don't think a person comes out of the womb with, for instance, a bad temper. I believe that people with bad tempers *learn* to explode, either as a way of expressing themselves, or a way of attempting to gain control of a situation. And what I'm saying is that we can *learn* not to explode if we choose. I'm not saying it's easy work, but it lies within the scope of our own personal abilities to change how we behave.
I know, I know, I'm rambling....