It’s Monday, booooo. But I get to rant, hurray! And today I’ve got a right bee in my bonnet.
People can be mean. Like, poke you in the eye and kick you in the shins mean. And I’ve worked out that there are two different and very distinct types of mean people.
The Machine Gun Meanie. These are the people who openly and unapologetically say mean things. If they become so much as mildly displeased about something then you need to quickly step out of the way. Take cover because they will open fire at anyone. They don’t mind who they take out or the damage they cause because ‘they were only being honest’.
You’d think that I’d want to rant about these people. Sometimes I do in my head, because these people feel entitled to say what they like without consequence. And that does irk me no end. But what really fires me up are the second kind of mean people.
The ‘No-Offence, but’ Meanie. I can feel my blood pressure rising already. This person is the sly fox of the mean world. At least with the Machine Gun Meanie what you see is what you get and they own what they say. But the ‘No-offence but’ Meanie hides behind this prelude of politeness. They know it’s going to be offensive. But they’ve stated that they don’t intend for any feelings to be hurt so therefore what follows is a-ok.
They actually believe that this buffers the grenade they are about to throw. But even the simplest person can interpret the ‘speak’ of the ‘no-offence’ Meanie:
No Offence… But when was the last time you had a shower?
You stink to high heaven.
No offence…But I don’t understand why you did that.
You should not have done that you idiot.
No offence… But you look… tired.
You’re looking rough girl. Go put some makeup on.
The thing is, kids are picking up on it. They hear phrases thrown around by grown ups and link it the best way they can to their own little world. Only kids tend not to be sly foxes. Don’t blame them. They’ve heard endless grown up meanies begin their conversations with ‘no offence but’ only to be met with equally composed (albeit cold) and polite responses. They don’t pick up on the problem. So they imitate. Kid style.
No offence but that picture is rubbish.
No offence but you run like a penguin.
No offence but I don’t like your face.
Yes I’ve heard all of these. And Yes the second one was directed at me. The pain was real.
So, to the ‘no-offence but’ meanies; we see through your not-so-sophisticated methods. Thanks for the split-second warning that a major insult is just about to be launched but the other option is JUST DONT SAY IT. Is it absolutely life-alteringly necessary to crush someone with your passive aggressive ways?
And to ALL the meanies: Please. Think about your words.
The most stupid thing I was ever told as a kid was that that ‘sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you’. What moron came up with that? Words DO hurt. Last Sunday, some out-of-the-blue absolutely unnecessary and cruel words floored me. On the mean spectrum it was pretty high up there. And it was done on social Media. Cringe. With fresh eyes and breathing space I can shake my head at such immaturity and callousness, but for days I was left reeling.
Once it’s out there, words can’t be unsaid.
And they take a heck of a lot longer to heal than broken bones.
Say nice things. Lift people up rather than pulling people down. Be nice humans.
I challenge you to think of nice things to say to people this week. Go forth and spread the love.
Mrs C x