Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones…

There are make-it or break-it moment is life. Those situations that can strengthen a bond between two people or sever it completely. I can over ignore a lot of thing expect one. I get pissed me off the most when someone has a selfish (first) response to surprising news. I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about: I call to tell you I was in a car accident and your first response (without knowing any other information) to me is, “It’s probably because you were speeding. You should really drive slower.” Are you kidding me? That’s how you react? If someone ever said that to me I’d want to stab them with a butter knife. The first thing out of their mouth was not, “Are you ok?” or even “Oh my god, that’s horrible.” No, their first reaction was full of judgment, lacking any care or concern for my well being. Like I said it’s a make-it or break-it moment. I get so angry because I it’s a glimpse into the true unfiltered feelings of the other person. Politeness has not had a chance to catch up with what’s coming out of their mouths. It’s something that I can forgive but not forget. Before moving I worked for an insurance company talking ‘first notice of loss’ calls. Basically, if you got into a car accident, I was the person that picked up the phone when you called your insurance company. They taught us to ask “Are you ok? Was anyone hurt?” when someone called in from the scene of an accident. It’s a more human response then if we coldly said, “what’s your policy number?”

In most situations we can catch ourselves and filter what we’re really thinking. When the news is surprising, our guard is down letting pure honesty out. It shows where a person true priorities lie. The example of the car accident is purely fiction. But this type of thing has happened in my real life. The two most notable conversations went like this:

When my career hit a bump:

Me: Work has become so unbearable that it’s caused me some bad depression. I think I’m going to quit.
Person X: What about the money I loaned you?

When my friendship hit a bump:

Me: I know I’ve pulled away a lot and our relationship has suffered. We really need to talk.
Person Y: I’ve noticed but I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.

As you can see in both situations the responses could use some work in beefing up the humanity. At first I was going to label this as a pet peeve but my annoyance is so strong that it can be a relationship ender.  When I quit my job back in 2009, the person X in question was actually my parents. I won’t go into the long story of the reasons that lead me to quit, but I can assure you it was one of the worst times in my life. Now that I think of it, both situations/examples overlapped back in the 2008-2010 causing a very stressful couple years. I knew deep down my parents wouldn’t be happy with my decision. Quitting a job without a replacement is a very risky move and a move I didn’t take lightly. I expected the news to cause mixed reactions but I didn’t expect the cold shoulder. When they heard about my plan their first concern was money. As I said before, I get extremely pissed off when this happens and it took me a very long time to move passed it my parents. I was angry for a long time. I know they love and support me but at pivotal moment they dropped the ball.

I used these examples to help prove a point and because they are from important moments in my life. However, this can/does happen on a much smaller scale in every day life. The lesson here is to think before you speak. When you hear unexpected news it’s a good idea to stop for a moment and let it process. Let the information sink in before you get defensive or accusatory. Avoid those land mines whenever possible. 

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