Sometimes people tell you your faults.
Sometimes they get on such a roll that they have to stop to catch their breath before they can start again like a sprinter getting a pain in their side and holding on to a lamp post and stretch it out before starting again.
Sometimes what they have to say, although harsh, may be rooted in a trace of truth. But it’s the kind of truth where someone takes a good thing, puts it through the wringer, jumps up and down on it for a while, drags it through the mud and then presents it back to you as a truth. There’s a trace of the original there but it has become twisted and tainted.
Sometimes, because there was a trace of truth, it stings.
Sometimes it’s just vicious.
Someone close to me took it upon themselves yesterday to tell me as many of my faults as they could squeeze in within a two minute window.
It was only my love for the person that stopped me yelling “Hold My Hoops” as I metaphorically took out my earrings.
There’s only a handful of folks who qualify for me biting my tongue.
The viciousness of it was the surprise.
We’ve had words since, and it is resolved.
The bit that got me thinking was when they told me in no uncertain terms that I’m “stuck at my level in business because I am stupid and surely my bosses have to put up with my stupid behaviour and treating people like idiots”.
I’m not stuck at my level at work.
I’m rewarded handsomely for my labour.
I declined an opportunity in an adjacent industry recently because although it was significant pay rise, great prospects, opportunities for advancement, company cars and kudos, it would take me away from the time I needed to raise my family, to be on hand, to do what was necessary.
I chose family.
One of the hardest parts of filling the role of Mother and Father, nurturer and provider, is that something has to give.
My personal sense of fulfilment was set aside in favour of the needs of someone else, and that was a hateful position in which to be placed.
Two conflicting demands, to provide and to nurture, were competing for dominance and I had to choose. So I did.
So while this person was yelling at me, I had to keep in mind they only had their side of the story, their perspective.
I still want to tell them all of their faults, and like them I’d be holding on to a lamp post to catch my breath, but that is not the right way nor an effective way to proceed.
Ezra Taft Benson, a Mormon Prophet, (www.lds.org) said something like “words are like a kite with the string cut mid-flight, they cannot be taken back”.
I don’t know that I’d have the wherewithal to refrain from retaliation again.
I strongly dislike having to behave like a dignified adult.
I much prefer the shouty, air all your grievances, get it all out in the open, sunlight is nature’s disinfectant approach but it doesn’t fit with where I live nowadays but internally The Essex Will Out.
So today, I am tired. Being dignified takes a toll. Someone fetch me a desk-pillow please.