I was reading a Facebook rant and thinking to myself, “oh my God! Get over yourself/get a sense of humor/how obnoxious/you are WRONG.” And then I was like WAIT! Is this what I am like?? Oh, no. It is. I was reading a post that could have very well been written by me.
Why does it feel so darn good to tear down someone else’s point of view? And why do we feel the need to point out all the reasons we are right and someone else is wrong? To point out that we already know so-and-so and you are just late to the party?
Is it a personality trait? Is it a need to prove oneself stemming from being insecure? I don’t know. All I know is that I have it, and I find it very, shall we say, unattractive. I physically recoil when others do it, and then five minutes later I am doing it myself and feeling superior. “She just feels like she knows everything. Let me write a post about how nobody knows everything. Of course I can recognize this because I am so much more self-aware.” Ha.
Expressing your mind and point of view can be beautiful. It can be brave and strong and heroic. It can also be belittling, condescending, and whiny. “Promote what you love rather than bashing what you hate.” Yeah. That about sums it up. YET bashing seems to be a lot more fun sometimes. The snark comes out, the sarcastic eye rolling, the bemoaning of the stupidity of the world. Think basically every political post every written.
I’m not saying we should never disagree or voice opinions that are anything less than pleasant. Lord knows I appreciate a good snarky comment. I am more wondering why some people are more needy of pointing out faults than others.
I had a conversation with my mom the other day where she was wondering why someone was so determined to point out a mistake that was made. I had a moment. Because it sounded like exactly something I would do. And I thought of the people I loved the most in life, and guess what? None of those people are like that. They don’t feel the need to point out when someone does something wrong. Yet that seems to be my first inclination some moments.
I had to stop and think about why at times I want to react to something I disagree with. What am I hoping to accomplish? Do I just need to let someone know how wrong they are? Is it my gift to them to point out that they were utterly and completely stupid on X topic? Do I need to prove how smart I am, how much better educated and how I am a more thorough thinker? Do I just need to argue with someone because I am bored that day and arguing gets my lazy blood moving? Because let’s be honest. Shaming someone, making them feel stupid, and pointing out flaws in their point of view is the surefire way to get someone to see and appreciate your point of view. That’s why controversial posts on Facebook ALWAYS end in hugs and kisses and people coming together as friends, understanding one another.
Glennon at Momastery [basically my favorite blogger EVER] recently posted this quote [emphasis added by me]: “Don’t waste your time, energy, and heart defending yourself. Not because you’re not wrong, but because of course you’re wrong. Anybody who doesn’t know that we are most certainly all wrong is a little scary to me.”
So, I am giving this a whirl. This, as in making an active attempt to magnify the good stuff and pass by the stuff that leads me quickly into the land of snark and superiority. No longer allocating time to picking apart words to make my point better than someone else’s. Most of these responses only happen in my head and never make it to my lips or fingertips, but they are exhausting nonetheless. I’m a couple weeks into this new perspective and It. Feels. Good.
Some things are worth speaking up on. I appreciate a good rant every now and again. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. But in the battle of “Happy” versus “Right”, I think I am going to settle for being wrong a lot more.