Tuesday 7 January 2014

Random thoughts: Own it and mean it

This is how it's done. You admit that what you've done was wrong. You own it. You apologise. You mean it. You earn back the respect that you had lost.


It still seems to be beyond what most people manage to do, and that's just not right. 

I was in a similar situation just before Christmas when someone who calls themselves my friend was extremely rude to me. Don't get me wrong, this was not a matter of a difference of opinion, a discussion or the exchange of harsh words. I'm used to that and I can handle that without any problem whatsoever. No. What I experienced was a public, spiteful and disrespectful attack on me as a person, with a number of F-bombs thrown in for extra spice. It was hurtful and shocking.

I didn't react and walked away, but the incident stayed in my head and almost managed to ruin my Christmas.

What's probably even worse, is that only a few hours later, this person was sending me Christmas wishes as if nothing had happened. Not even an acknowledgement of what had happened between us. Not a single attempt to make things right.

Am I overreacting? Maybe you think I am, and that's fine. 
What makes me sad is that it seems to be fine for people to treat each other with so very little respect and the other person is simply expected to swallow it, not 'get emotional' and move on. Again, that's just not right.

"...be willingly good, extra good, extra peaceful and extra forgiving..."
(Richard Armitage's message to his well-wishers, Christmas 2011)

I'm very specific when it comes to my relationships with the people in my life. My husband always says that, not counting the very few people in my life for whom I would gladly confront a fire-breathing dragon in Erebor, you are either in my top drawer or in my bottom drawer, and there's nothing in between.

Everyone starts in the top drawer, everyone has the benefit of the doubt. As long as you're in that top drawer, you could call me from god-knows-where to ask for my help at 3 o'clock in the morning and I will gladly leap out of bed to do whatever I can do for you. But I can't stand injustice, especially when it's aimed at me. Treating me unjust will land you a spot in the bottom drawer. You need to really hurt me to fall down to the bottom drawer, but it will take you a lifetime to climb back to the top. I forgive, but I rarely forget, and once you've fallen, any chance of us becoming anything even close to what would fit into my definition of friendship is out of the question. You're done. But always, the very first step of the long road home, is an apology. 

Own it. Mean it. And you're on your way.

Oh, if you were wondering: my own definition of friendship is illustrated rather perfectly by this quote from A.A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.” 


  1. Well put. I'm so sorry you had that experience, it's crushing and you wonder if this is how that person has always felt. It messes with your sense of safety. You keep doing what you're doing, you're just fine as you are. :)

  2. The old "sticks and stones" adage is so very far from truth. I don't know of anything more hurtful than words. I'm sorry you were on the receiving end of hurtful words from someone who was your friend. Those are the ones who have the most power to hurt us. A big healing hug, Sweetie.

  3. What's that old saying about not wrestling with a pig because you get mud on your pants & it annoys the pig? Well, I say give that pig a kick in the slats! My Mum always admonished us as kids to "take the high road." but now I think so few people are called on their appallingly bad behaviour that I see it as a public service when I give them a big buzzy blast of sh*t -- or a slap in the mouth -- when it's deserved. I'm sorry this person took advantage of your better nature. The Universe will get even with them! :)

  4. So sorry that you went through that. Hugs!