I really can’t stand it when someone says “Cheer up!” to me. It makes me want to roar into that person’s face like an angry lion. I just find it wrong on so many different levels.
First of all, in that moment I’m obviously not in a good mood for a reason. I might be down about something. I might have the need to vent. I might be pissed about something. It’s not like I’m constantly in this state, and I’m also not taking my mood out on you in any way, so back off and leave me my right to express my shitty mood.
Secondly, not everyone was born with the sun upon his or her head. Some of us carry a cloud above us instead, and still others only know rain pouring down on them. Everyone comes from different circumstances, has a different personality, and their individual story. So, how about being a bit more understanding and trying to validate my mood before you tell me to cheer up?
It also drives me up the wall when someone says “You’re too nice”!
Is this another way to say that I’m naïve or stupid? Because that’s how it ultimately comes across, especially when you add something like “I would have …” or “You should have …!”
And again, I think you haven’t really paid attention to my story. In fact, I haven’t even had the chance to explain it to you fully because you think you already know what I'm about to say because you think you know ME. The truth is though that the only thing you know about me is the perception you have of me, and THAT's based on what experiences you have made in life. Your perception of me is NOT really who I am.
Also, ... If you think I’m too nice, please ask my husband. He's seen me in all my facets.
I can be a lot of things: Kind, passionate, furious, overly sensitive, strong, determined, down, hopeful, bitchy, brave, self-conscious, supportive, moody, loyal ... The list goes on and on. And in this particular story I wanted to share with you but didn't have the chance to I was a lot of things but I wasn’t “too nice”.
But hey, why make the effort and really get to know me when you have your perception of me that seems to do the job for you as well?
And on top of that I always have to hear a comment like “Do you want me to take care of that person?”, which totally proves that you believe I’m incapable of taking care of myself and that you think I need a big brother or sister, who “beats up” the other "mean" person for me.
Maybe you think it’s heartwarming to me to have someone who is like a big brother or sister to me and will stand up for me. But instead I would really prefer a grown-up conversation in which I'm not being looked at as Little Red Riding Hood, who needs to be rescued from the bad wolf.
I know you mean well and I know you truly care about me but what I want to say is that - and I'm including myself here, too - all too often we are not only NOT good listeners but also use language and words without putting much thought into them. Phrases like "that's the way things are", "get over it", no offense, but ..." and many more are being used without meaning much. A lot of those expressions simplify an issue to such a degree that they make you feel as if you are not being taken seriously in a conversation.
Communication in its early stages?
Not only do we tend to interpret a story we hear from friends or family according to what our perception is of that person and ultimately what we want to hear, we also use a lot of empty words and pointless comments when we have conversations.
Don't you think communication could be so much more but instead we choose to throw it at each other like mud?
Communication could be more understanding, efficient, kinder, and wider. What a great step in humanity that would be.
Communication is a huge topic and often I feel like I could write dozens of essays about it. "Too far afield" as Günter Grass would say.
I'd be happy to hear what you think.