Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Be Kind


In my last blog, I mentioned that people seem to have no qualms about saying totally socially inappropriate, insulting or at the very least, irritating things to me.  I am not sure why this is.  I am not sure why their mothers never taught them to be kind.  I know that one major lesson I stress to my own kids is, simply, don’t be a jerk.  It is kind of a number one life rule for me: don’t walk around being an asshole for no reason.  Life is hard enough for everyone without your stupid bullshit.

I want to go over a few jerky comments people have a tendency to say to me and what they could say instead.  You know, to be kind.  Has anyone heard of that?  Being kind?  I think it can be taught.  I shall teach you.

Situation: I took a chance and dated a new guy.  He turned out to be a narcissistic, bi-polar sociopath.
Typical unkind response: "Where do you find these guys?" or “Why are all the crazies attracted to you?”
What I’m thinking: I don’t know.  I shine a giant dickwad-symbol off my balcony at night.  It's like the bat-signal but it's the image of a man with a giant penis for a head.
Kind response: “Oh my god!  People are such psychos!  Remember that alcoholic, drug-addicted, transvestite, sex-addict I dated in college before I met my sweet, witty and pudgy husband? Don’t worry Katie, it happens to all of us.”

Situation: I am a single woman who is over 30 years old. 
Typical unkind response: “You’re single?  What’s wrong with you?” 
What I’m thinking: Have you seen your husband lately?  Seriously, can you even bring yourself to fuck that guy?  The over 30 dating pool almost solely consists of bitter divorcees who look like your husband and mental patients.  
Kind response: “You’re single?  Holy cow, are you lucky!  You don’t have one extra person to clean up after, cook for, and sexually entertain.  You are the smart one.  Nice work.”

Situation: I am a gluten-free vegan.  People always ask me questions about my diet while I’m trying to eat. 
Typical unkind response: “You don’t eat meat, gluten, or dairy?  What DO you eat then?” 
What I’m thinking: I eat nothing but salad, all the time.  Oh yeah, with a dressing made of the blood of a small child…for protein. 
Kind response:  Shut the fuck up and let me eat my food.  There are actual foods that I can eat.  Maybe Google the food pyramid while I finish my meal.  No, Doritos are not a food group.

Situation:  I have been up for 48 hours straight because I was doing homework all night, I have worked a full day, coached a soccer practice, and now I’m at a school function.  I am standing by myself, minding my own business. 
Typical PTA Mom response: “That’s a nice shirt.  It’s not really your style, but I like it.” 
What I’m thinking: I’m not really having thoughts, just images of bashing things. 
Kind response:  There is no comment actually needed here.  Leave me alone.  What the hell are you doing anyway?  Who are you?  My cruel, racist, evil grandma who loves cutting people down for no reason?  Is this your legacy?  

We are not friends.  You don’t even like me.  You’re only here to entertain yourself by insulting me.  I am a hard-working person, with feelings.  I am tired.  Go away.  You know what?  The whole problem here is that you are bored with your life.  Try reading, getting a hobby, producing something, playing a sport, exercising, go…be happy…do something that makes you happy.  Then you won’t be focused on insulting me.

So, you see, being kind is quite simple.  Get off your pedestal, if only for a moment, and empathize with the person you’re talking to.   If you can’t possibly bring yourself to empathize, and you feel an insult brewing in your brain, choose to be quiet.  Your silence can make the world a much better place.

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