Have you ever noticed that sometimes, the things that annoy you most about other people are things you do yourself?
I tend to say what’s on my mind. I’m honest. Do your jeans make you look fat? I’ll tell you. Did you say something stupid? I’ll tell you.
This particular quirk can be good. It can also cause trouble.
I like to say that I lack the filter that most people have that keeps their mouth from saying exactly what the brain thinks without first reviewing the consequences. A friend of mine says she can usually tell when I start a sentence with something like “I don’t mean to be rude, but…”
Case in point:
Recently, a coworker said a family member wanted to move. Since the economy is not in the best place, it was asked what she would do with her house should she move. Apparently she paid cash for her current home, so selling would not be as much of an issue for her as it might be for others.
I? Opened my mouth and said: “Must be nice” (thinking it must be nice to have cash to pay for a house!)
To which she replied: “Not really, it was from a life insurance policy from when her husband died”
(I totally need this necklace….Pinterest said it came from etsy.com but I couldn’t find it)
Yeah that was not one of my finer moments. In my defense, my brain didn’t put the connection together. I forgot about the death in the family and I wrongly assumed that meant they were just well off. Then I felt like a real @$$hole.
Interestingly, I often get annoyed by comments that are made to me regarding our trying to have children. My personal favorites are: “Why don’t you just adopt?” Why don’t you just do IVF?” and “Just relax and it’ll happen”. I’ve vented to fellow infertiles about the crassness of such comments and wondered (mostly in the beginning when I was nothing but bitter) why people don’t think before they talk. I feel stupid even writing this because sometimes I can be the worst offender.
A pregnant friend of mine recently told me that someone at a store said to her recently “you look like you could go any day!” to which she thought to herself “man some people really have diarrhea of the mouth”
Ugh. I? have totally said something like that before. Because I don’t know what it’s like to be or feel pregnant and so the response to me is totally innocent. To me, a pregnant woman looking like she’s ready to give birth soon just means “hey a baby is coming soon”, and not “you look horribly big oh my gosh how do you stand up straight?” I honestly think that the bigger the belly is, the cuter it is. It never occurred to me that the comment might be slightly offensive.
*light bulb!* Perhaps that’s how others’ feel about my situation? I’m sure that in my non trying to conceive days, I’ve suggested options like the ones that so annoy me now. Because at the time, I had no idea what that really meant. At the time, I was just trying to be helpful. The only thing I knew about those options was that they were available. I had no way of knowing of the emotional connection, heartache and stress that surrounded them.
So sometimes when I get annoyed now, I feel hypocritical.
I generally feel as though people have good intentions. You can’t possibly filter everything for fear of offending someone or we’d all be silent monks, but there has to be some ground rule for knowing what to say when you have no idea what to say.
(I ❤ you humor section of pinterest)
I haven’t figured it out yet. From experience, I can say that it can really kinda depend on the day. If I’m in a good mood, suggesting adoption or IVF isn’t a big deal. Other days its more upsetting.
Not much help, is it?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve installed a brain to mouth filter that does work on occasion.(I’m still working the kinks out) When I don’t know what to say, my first route is to try to say something funny (see above rabbit picture). If that’s not appropriate or would just sound crass, I try to stick with something like “that really sucks” and offer to help if I can. Because you know what? It does suck. Or offer the person an ear, because sometimes that’s more helpful than you’d think. Plus then you can get an idea of what’s really going on before making comments. Note to self.
I still get annoyed sometimes when someone tells me to relax (seriously? the plumbing has to be working…relaxing is not going to make that happen). I still roll my eyes sometimes. I’m sure there will be vent posts that sound completely contradictory to all of this. I’m sure I’ll still mutter to myself “must be nice” when someone exclaims “we weren’t even trying!” I’m not perfect, but I understand a little better.
I’m still learning.