I can hear those words as if my mother is saying them to me right now. I would imagine most of you are familiar with this line: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If it didn’t come from our mothers it came from some other well meaning soul that wanted to help us along our way.
As we chatted over Mexican, my friend sat across from me quietly listening, nodding, and more as I unloaded about my day. Then, it was her turn to spill. It wasn’t until she began to share about a nasty incident that had transpired in hers that I shook my head. All I could think of was, Why do people have a need to be so mean?
Sometimes, it’s not even the saying of anything that hurts–it can simply be the actions. More times than not, I can remember when someone didn’t have to say a word. They were just “rude” or cruel in their behavior. I think you follow me on this one.
I was assisting a friend with a project awhile back. There were some other folks involved and for some reason, one person just didn’t seem to like my presence. Rather than explain what the problem was, she decided to just, well, be rude. It wasn’t the words she chose necessarily as it was the tone, or body language when she said it.
It’s amazing how people can say something like “Pass the stapler,” and make it sound like you just cut them off in traffic. It’s that vibe that gives off the-I have to be at my destination in five minutes-and you are in my way! It never ceases to amaze me when people in that frame of mind take out their anger on you when you are in their space or sphere of influence. They have a need to make you feel it’s all your fault. Strange.
And too, some people seem to have a need to let you know that the color or style of the shirt you’re wearing, “Just isn’t workin’ for ya today.” Or, perhaps you might want to rethink that “idea” you had. For whatever reason, they need to let you know, in some way, that you are a bit less, or inferior to them. Even more so, that they simply don’t like you. The thrill of the “jab”, I call it.
I don’t understand how their treatment of you and me in those situations makes them feel better, but alas, I guess it does. Someone hurt them at some point in their life, they are still wincing from the pain, and they will make someone pay. And today, that someone will be you-or me. Lucky us!
Regardless of the odd-bird whoozits or whatzits in our lives today, let’s plan to remember this old saying too: misery loves company.
With that, let’s not keep company with the miserables if we can help it, shall we? Let’s leave them alone and let them go their way. As for you and me, my friend, if we can’t say something nice, we’ll just smile, go about our business, and not say anything at all.
Just my thoughts.
Prov. 15:1