Category Archives: destructive criticism

Patience

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Many songs, poems and essays have been written on the

subject of patience. I will not try to make this a

witty commentary nor a play on words. I have just

a few people that have been getting on my nerves

lately. I need a little patience!

I have to laugh, because this week we had a small

family gathering for my five year old grandson’s

birthday. I went there after dinner, around 7:30,

to be part of the festivities. My oldest daughter

is the one who has had theme parties for all 9

years of my oldest grandson. This year, she and

her partner, Mike, had taken the weekend to spend

time with both my oldest and youngest grandsons.

This was a ‘cake only’ and ‘gifts optional’ fun

time.

While waiting for the kids to run off some of

their steam before settling down to watch gifts

being opened and cake to savor, some of us were

sitting on the living room set. We were relaxing

and suddenly Micah ran into the living room,

turned around to find his recent ‘shadow,’ Kyah

behind him (age 3 on March 3). He looked very

exasperated at her and said, which stopped the

flow of our adult conversation, loudly:

“Stop following me! You are annoying me!”

It takes almost every ounce of my ‘being’ not to

laugh out loud at such things, while my serious

daughter scolded him,

“That’s not a nice way to talk to your cousin!”

I raised my eyebrows at my son, who also smiled

back at me. He knows what it is like to be one

of the only boys! (He has an older sister, had a

single mother (‘moi!’) while growing up and has a

younger sister!)

This is rolling into the ‘same old/same old’ stuff

that I am mainly wanting to write about. The way

some people are annoying. At work, in lines, in

public restrooms, to name a few places where I

have been showing a little irritability.

Yes, me!

There are numerous comments at work about our

limited hours, during the winter. I think the

ten to twelve hours we work during the summer,

in the hottest place I have ever worked, brings

home a lot of extra cash, which I save for when

we have our slower periods. We have had slow

months of January and February this year. It

may continue into March.

I get tired of the pleasant lines I deliver to

those who are ‘broke’ and complaining:

1. “Soon enough, we will be super busy and will

wish for some ‘down time!'”

2. “I try to save money from those big checks we

get in the warm months, from April or May up until

last November. It seems that we have less months

to rest up each year!”

3. “I am happy that we will soon have our income

tax refunds, do you declare 0 dependents?”

My cheery self, has been beat down and worn out on

the weather complaints. I mean, I was raised in the

cold northern part of Ohio! I did not mind 6- 12″

of snow as a child, try to see the fun, beauty and

enjoy the walks through the snow.

I especially love the way the stars seem so much

brighter at night and the daytime skies seem so

brilliantly aqua, turquoise and azure! The sunrises,

as I head to work, and the sunsets, as I leave the

library, are so awesome and thrilling.

But my good mood balloon ‘gets deflated’ and I am

dragging it behind me, on such subjects as money

and weather come up these days.

The other people who ‘get my goat’ are the ones

who have been going on and on, over Obamacare. I

have been studying and listening to this subject

without too much to say one way or another. It is

decided, now live with it!

The ones who are complaining are also telling me

that their grandchildren were born with no billing,

due to no marriage license or no insurance. I would

like to tell them, “No more free rides!” Wouldn’t

that shock them? Would everyone stop talking to me?

Sometimes, I want to be the grumpy one! But I am

NOT!

There is a woman, who at work, I have called the

“Queen Bee.” I have written about her awhile back.

Anyway, her new way of irritating me, is that she

volunteered to serve on the Safety Committee at

work. This means, she is allowed to carry around a

little pad of paper, stop you and ask you,

“Do you have any new safety concerns?”

I have given her the ones, like the Exit that was

closed, so in case of Fire, there was no Exit for

me to leave quickly and safely in the most flammable

area of the building. This got fixed, due to my

saying something, but tell her that she needs to

keep an eye on the heavy items and having them

moved from the top shelf. These are all that I

have been able to come up with. She came by, for

the second time this week, “Miss Chatty Cathy,”

and the “Queen Bee.” I do not directly let her

know my emotional uproar that shouts inside my

head when she bothers me, while I am trying to

make a good pace or ‘rate’ which is daily

measured.

When she interrupted my counting out 24 of these

items that usually are stocked in handy dandy

boxes of 12, so plunk, plunk, and two drops of

those boxes and I am done. Nope, I had to re-count

the 24. Already mad at the stockers who unpacked

and dumped these into bin boxes!

I take a deep breath and greet her by name. Oh

yes, I am using a pleasant voice.

“Tomorrow is the Safety Committee meeting at 6

a.m. and I won’t have time to ask you before I

head off to this, what are your concerns this

month?”

“Authority positions are a dangerous way to go

with certain personality types,” I think.

“If I don’t give her any ideas for the meeting,

maybe she won’t bother me next month,” I also

think. 23, 24!”

Out loud I tell her that I appreciate her waiting

for me to count the products that should have

been kept in their boxes of twelve. She nods

politely. This is, after all, ‘not her territory.’

She is one who works in the Mezzanine, where I

only have to deal with her once a week, except

on these occasions. I do want to say, she circles

round our table at lunch time but with the Force

of Four:

Tammy, Trevinal, Robin and Peggy, we all give her

a glare, pointedly staring at “The Price

is Right Show,” and she usually walks away from

our table.

This all takes willpower.

It is not a ‘pretty side of me,’ I admit.

The one who doesn’t want to cooperate with the

one who made me cry, seems like ages ago, due

to her rudeness.

She is also the one who drove my friend, Cheryl,

at work, to ram a cart into her. Fortunately,

Cheryl could honestly name a few people in that

area, who saw the “Queen Bee” ram her cart first

into hers.

“She did it first!”

So, I look at the woman who sometimes yanks my

chains and tell her…

“No safety concerns at this time.”

I didn’t fold nor flinch. I delivered my line in

such a ‘don’t mess with me’ tone, she walked

away.

Just as she walked away, I thought of the movie,

“Bambi,” a classic animated film, 1942.

Where Thumper got a lecture from his father, then

he used a re-phrasing of it to Bambi:

“If you can’t say something nice,

don’t say nothin’ at all.”

(Of course, the original parental speech would have

been, “If you don’t have something nice to say,

then don’t say anything at all.”)

Someone Busted My Dream Bubble

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Someone, not a friend, but an acquaintance who has been often

negative around my friends, really did it this time! My dream was

a beautiful ‘bubble of joy’ that would rise up when I was down. I

won’t say what it was about; since it may or may not come true!

The special bubble that was mentioned to another person, got a

definite pop!  If it had been (figuratively) in my head popping, the

sound of a gun shot echoing in a tunnel would have been somewhat

like this loud noise!  And if the bubble were balloon sized, it would

have deflated, hissing and flying around the room!

Why do we keep toxic people in our lives?  I may have sometime

mentioned a good, old friend of mine I kept from seventh grade on

until I reached fifty- two years old. She got put on my “dump list”

five years ago.

I had read that if you are always “giving” and the other person is

always “taking,” then maybe you should re-evaluate the worth or

value of your friendship. This can also apply to relationships that are

in a push and pull situation, where you never seem to be balanced

and calm.

I decided when I lost my career, my house and my marriage, that this

woman, from my past, was not able to be supportive. You know the

kind…

His or her plight is far much worse than yours? There could never have

been, knowing her all of those years, any of her experiences to equal

what I went through in one year:  2008.  She could not let me be the

one, for once, who needed a listening ear.

Regardless, this woman is gone.

This recent bubble bursting episode was done via email by another

woman.

It was as lethal as if it had been written with a poison pen! My wishes,

expressed feelings and thoughts were “trashed.”

I was radiating hope, using glowing words of speech, telling her what

I thought might be a great way to enter the future.

It was a Dream!

She could not resist.

Something made her impulsively stomp on my ideas.

I know you have had this happen. I can only hope it was not a

member of your immediate family who was like this. This subject

has been featured on several talk shows, Dr. Phil included. The very

serious issue of negativity can be found throughout society, it is

pervasive, including on news items featured on the internet.

It is lethal, it is hateful and I wish people could realize how much

it alienates. Not only their friends, lovers, spouses, coworkers but

eventually, it could alienate themselves!

Another bad part of my personal experience is, the person has

“fooled” someone close to me. That person believes that her

actions are not meant to be damaging. I am afraid to say my

friend is naive.

Believe me, my very best friends are on “my side!” They cannot be

easily fooled, nor can I!

But this acquaintance has “pulled the wool over” someone I care

about’s eyes.

It makes me want to scream at her.

“DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL BIG WHEN YOU SQUASH A PERSON LIKE A

LITTLE BUG UNDER YOUR SHOE?”

I picked myself, figuratively, up and wiped the mud off my face. I will

carry on, I will journey forward to where dreams may come true.

Meanwhile, in my loving heart, I would like to say my piece of advice

for anyone dealing on a daily basis with negative (or toxic) people.

Try to surround yourself with good, kind and caring people. Find

positive people that are trustworthy and that listen. Also who share

their thoughts.

This will help you to stay centered, make you a more giving person

back. When someone says something you don’t agree with, you may

say your own thoughts without worrying that you will be accepted.

You have a right to say, “No” or “I need my space,” along with varied

approaches to give you time to regroup and become more balanced.

Don’t give up your dreams for anyone!

Keep trying to reach the stars!

I believe in dreams and I believe in you!

 

 

“No offense…”

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These words along with the words, “Don’t take this personally,

but…” are the most sinister words that come across innocently.

The answer to the first, of course, is “No offense taken.” No matter

what awful string of words follows. The answer to the second

comment is a little more challenging to me!

I tend to be a very sensitive person who does not take any criticism

well. I learned in one professional job I held to take a big bottle of

water or a cup of coffee with me to my annual reviews. I could sip it

slowly and “swallow my (defensive) words!” This particular boss

was known for crushing new or younger employees’ egos. I was not

going to let her beat me down!

Another relevant situation is when you are in a social setting and

have a circle of people around you. One person who may vaguely

know you, may try this unnerving approach.

“I know you, wait! Don’t tell me…. Hmm… Did I meet you

while going to so and so’s house?”

“No, I can tell you where I met you…” but said person interrupts

and says,

“I met you while you were working as a waitress at Cracker Barrel.”

(or the earlier waiting job was at the Delaware Hotel.)

Yes, I am not proud of that fact but I will admit to it.

I would rather have let me tell what I am doing now or what I did

professionally…

Constructive comments, positive thoughts are always wonderful to

hear! It is the destructive comments or negative thoughts that need

quick replies or “comeback lines.”

I usually answered, in reply to her announcing to a big group of

people that I served tables at a restaurant, like this,

“You don’t know me very well but I am pursuing my Master’s Degree

so that is why the second job.”

If it was a comment about my children, their progress in school or

life, like a recent social setting I was in my comeback is not so quick

but I stewed awhile. I was at a recent party for cancer remission

where a past teacher of my two oldest children was standing right

by the food table. I set my appetizers down and went to get a beverage,

but as I turned to leave (on purpose) she said those dreaded words,

“Wait, I know you!”

I answered that I had been a middle school substitute and my last

name had been Long. I also tried to make a joke, “I subbed a lot for

Mrs. Delong who taught home economics. So I would tell my students,

‘I’m Ms. Long for Mrs. Delong today!'” The person talking worked in

that middle school.

She, of course said,  “No, no, that’s not it. Did you have any children

there?”

I tried my first foot forward and led with the one who is to all outsiders

‘successful,’ “Did you know _______, my youngest?”

She wrinkled her face up and said, “No, what year did she graduate?”

I told her the year, also trying to escape by  saying I needed to get a

beverage and move to where the guests I knew and liked were

standing, she turned to a friend and younger coworker and said,

“Do you know I can guess what people’s children are doing if I find

out their name and know them.”

So, I turned back and gave my first and second children’s names, she

said she knew them but would hate to guess what they were up to.

Now, that was kind of mean! I knew she had had both and their last

names were the same (first marriage children).

If she had said her “guess” what they were doing, and prefaced it with,

“No offense but…” I might have lied. Sorry, I have two beautiful adult,

fully grown children, who are a father and mother. They have children

and are trying the best they can to earn sufficient livings to be able to

give their children nice clothes, some after school activities like soccer,

baseball and football.

One of my granddaughters is a junior cheerleader. The cost for her new

uniform, with socks, shoes and the special skirt with top was over $100!

My son’s income covered it.

But do my two oldest earn professional incomes? No.

Both have extra training, one in art and the other in cooking. I am

proud of them so I finished the conversation with this positive retort:

“You could not find better parents nor human beings than my three

children.”

How is that for my “stewed” and thought out comeback line?