People Cuts: Blinded By Your Words
Why is it that one hastily spoken response has more power to hurt a person than a well-thought out answer that is not the response the askee wanted?
You ask someone a question. Perhaps it isn’t even that important of a question, but it means something to you.
The response is immediate and flippant. “I’d rather shoot myself in the foot.”
Hmm. The truth is the person didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but they did.
It’s not as much the fact that they don’t want to do what I want them to do as it is their response.
First, they answered immediately. Rather than thinking through the question being asked, rather than realizing the question was way deeper than the event in question, rather than seeing the heart of the individual behind the words, they thought only of their own desires in relation to the event in question. Nope. Don’t want to do that.
Then instead of saying they weren’t interested, instead of suggesting something else, instead of asking why I was including them specifically, they answered with an almost rude, terribly flip answer. And I heard the words which totally blocked my vision of their heart.
One short sentence meant to do nothing more than tell me “No”, and instead I’m hurt.
It’s a people cut. Totally unintentional. Totally shallow. And yet it burns like the dickens.
I could tell you “Because.”. It would be the truth. It just does. I am who I am, and it just does. But, there really is an answer, and I am going to look at it.
What I really heard in that response was one, you aren’t worth my time. Hence, the immediate, thoughtless response. I don’t need to think about this. I don’t need to process this. You aren’t worth my time.
The second thing I heard was that not only aren’t you worth my time, I’m not concerned about why this important enough to you for you to discuss it with me.
See, I would not have brought it up to an individual if it wasn’t important. It seemed like a simple yes or no question, but the truth is, it went way deeper than that.
I opened myself up, as open as I get, and without the other individual knowing it, they slammed the door shut.
I’m retreating into safety. Don’t count on others. Don’t expect others to enjoy things you enjoy. You are fine by yourself.
I’m reminding myself that it’s ok to be different, to have hobbies, to do things just for me. I know all of that is true. It is.
But there’s another truth.
I’m tired of doing things alone. Sure, I get to do the things I love, but how much enjoyment can one get out of doing things they love when there’s no one there to talk to, no one there to be frustrated with, no one there to share the joy with? Sometimes I just don’t want to do everything, or anything for that matter, alone.
So, I have to look deep inside today and ask the question I don’t want to ask. Who has to change?