the thing about ‘just’

Following on from yesterday, isn’t it funny how some things strike a chord in people whilst many things are like ‘water off a ducks back?’ that is, barely gets a first thought never alone a second one. I got lots of responses from yesterday most of them private which illustrated my thoughts, we as the human kind over think and over feel too much. What some people don’t consider as important, knocks others for a six, meaning they take it to heart so much so, it can stop them and get them thinking of responses and ‘what if’s’ for days even weeks, after the event. Most times the person who causes this has moved onto their next target and completely forgotten you along the way.

There have been times in my life where my first reaction is to come out fighting, either verbally or in writing, there have been times when some ones word have reduced me to silent tears of despair and feelings of inadequacy. This is where the old saying of “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Most of us have felt the sting of words written and verbalized in our lives. I have taken over the last couple of years to have written lengthy emails in response to some I have received, sent them to myself or a friend and asked the question of myself is this what you really want to say or to my friends should I send this? I think if you ask that question you already know the answer is NO. The email states do not respond to this in under 24 hours so that I can think it through more but in some cases I get an immediate response “DO NOT SEND” (capitals) “CALL ME INSTEAD” inferring urgency in their response.

Most of them have the word ‘just’ in them, like “I just need to let you know…” well actually I don’t, it should be “I want you to know” or “I am letting you know” any of the following is better than using the word ‘just’. ‘Just’ by it’s definition denotes some characteristic or according to the dictionary “based on or behaving according to what is right or morally fair”. Isn’t this sometimes an oxymoron? especially when you know the perpetrator is anything but fair, and what has been stated or leveled at you is nothing like the situation (as you understand it) or witnessed it but the other person has gotten in first to paint themselves in a better light.

Perhaps we need to remove ‘just’ from our language or speech as an operating theatre nurse , we would have to state to the closest male or female “I am just ducking out to go to the toilet.” as they needed to be aware that you were no longer there to help. It took me a long time to stop asking / telling people what I was doing when I first changed careers. People would look at me and say “I don’t need to know that.” Well in my old occupation they actually did, as you would have to get some one to relieve you so no patient was put in danger.

There was an email Tuesday sent to me under false pretences, using or responding to a previous happy email sent a week earlier (going by the subject matter). There was nothing in this email that was about the subject matter and in fact it gave me statistics and a personal opinion of what they thought (it wasn’t nice) about me, in actual fact it made me laugh which is not what I think the writer wanted. There certainly was an expectation that it would affect me, perhaps make me respond back but I laughed out loud. It made many assumptions from a third hand comment passed to this person and missed the whole base of the original concept. It actually affirmed many things for me as the initial question was not even touched upon. It also made me think I wonder why the writer thinks that I would care about the opinion that they expressed about me would affect me, trust me it was designed to upset me and it didn’t upset me. I do not hold them in the high esteem that I once did so perhaps they weren’t aware that I felt this way but the email had a couple of ‘just’ in it.

I am going to try to work in my world without ‘just’, because I can. I can set an experiment to see if people respond better, more honestly or perhaps make myself included think about my conversation so that the messages I want to get across do get there without moral interpretation. “say it like it is” I wonder how hard that will be, let me (‘just’) think about this for a while. 🙂

What Others think of you is none of your business

How true is this, we spend our childhood learning how to please others so that we can 1) get what we want, 2) get friends 3) grow up. It pleases parents when you learn to walk, read, talk, eat, use the toilet and become well ‘civilised’. More to the point become part of a clan, we are the clan called human, we are bipeds, carnivores, herbivores, mammals to name a few. As parents they hope for their children to grow up, become educated, get a job, meet a partner and move on to begin reproducing this clan and starting the process again.

As teens we become socialized, our parents take us to interact with others and schooling helps us learn to adapt and change to suit the needs of a peer group, those of ones own age or within a close age group. This is where we learn about ourselves, be it good or bad, whether we are friends or foes, mean or nice we become running into the group called adults. Being a teen is not without trials or tribulations you just hope that somehow you get through it and it makes you a better person and helps shapes you into knowing ‘learned behaviour’ when it comes to others.

We hit the skids in Adulthood, it seems time races, nothing is as long as being a teenager, I don’t think. But in Adulthood we establish a network, have relationships, become friends, lose friends and most importantly we are asked our opinion about others. Here is the danger, we jump into the group and we (generally) divide them into male & females, we tell our secrets to our female companions and we tell our stories to our males. Both sexes play a vital role, females become the sisters, the confidants, the keeper of secrets, personal advisors, fashion advisors, friendship makers in our lives, Men become friends, lovers, partners, fathers to our children and honesty speakers (well mine is). The difference is only noticeable when we loose one of these groups or people in our lives.

We spend a lot of our ‘young adulthood’ talking about ourselves in relation to our work, our partner and friendship group. Other people’s opinion of you matters, down to how you wear your hair, who are you going out with? and how you respond to others in the same situation. This can be ego inflating or soul-destroying and many of us don’t identify that emotional vampire in our lives till it’s too late. They are not distinguishable by sex – both sexes are guilty here, it’s the partner who keeps ‘hooking up with others’, it’s the girlfriends who make social arrangements to cancel them on the day / night and the no shows. They devastate you, then if you question them they have a way of turning it to make you feel guilty.

Then as we grow to middle age – these people are easily identifiable and ones from younger years can and should be left behind. I have a couple of girlfriends that every time I see numbers on caller id, I bless the universe for giving me the option of knowing who it is. I will never visit those relationships again. Then there are others who appear as your friends – you may not even know they are peripheral dwellers, suckers of info to take to their networks and speak about you to whoever they like. Normally they come unstuck and it’s hurtful.

I have not been the perfect person in my life and I am sure that may would agree, we have been all and nothing to people with our behavior. I have done and said things I am not proud of but I am part of that flawed group called human. Sorry to those I have offended but please be assured my opinion of you is just that an opinion. If I have an issue with you, I will call to discuss, not put it into the universe, twittersphere or Facebook. I value myself and others enough to respect that, so if you feel I need to explain something I have said or written, I am selfish enough to admit when I write I do it for me, with no thought to others (expect the two not named here – they are also not friended on any social pages) even then I am not vindictive enough to harbor hate. I have grown to move on, so if something affects you that I have written- perhaps it’s your opinion of yourself that has taken a hit, not my opinion of you and if you ask me I’ll explain, not go running to others to make a complaint.

A wise person, my sister Jacqui taught me – email has no tone, it is words on a cyber piece of paper, you are reading more into it than what it is, except if you are doing it in capitals – then you are just SHOUTING.