Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Pet. — Don’t Be So Sensitive, Kid.

on January 13, 2013

As I walk through life, (and my house), just like everyone else around me…there are a few things that just get on my nerves. Little things. Yes.

Little things that I don’t really get upset about.

Little things that happen over and over.

Little things that no matter how many times I fuss…little things that I am fairly certain won’t change.

Little things that probably won’t change any time soon at least.

So, I shake my head and take care of them.

Like this:

This little thing happens pretty often. I am not sure why this is a difficult thing to do. The grown-ups that live here know how to do this. I’ve taught the short people how this little contraption works. I’m not even going to be picky about the ‘over’ or ‘under’ (although I do have a preference: OVER!) And yet, I walk past bathrooms all the time around here to find this little predicament. I don’t fuss anymore. I just shake my head and fix it.

Then there is this:

Now this one, I probably need to do some more teaching around. This one, I have to say, was passed on to me from my own Dad. Growing up, this had to be one of my Dad’s pet peeves. (That, and turning off lights when you leave the room. Once, he was so frustrated that we always forgot to turn the hallway/stairway lights off, that he actually took the lightbulbs out!) Yes, the little people need to learn that toothpaste efficiency, in my humble Momma opinion, comes from squeezing the tube from the bottom, thus pushing the toothpaste up and out of the tube! Instead, they both tend to take an Incredible Hulk approach — Hulk: SMASH! — and squeeze from the middle. I just shake my head and reshape the tube and see what I can still get out of it.

Then, there is this scene:

And maybe this one is unique to our place. This is the half-bathroom in the hallway near the front door. This is the pit stop area. This is where the magic of ‘hair and teeth’ jobs happen as people are being rushed out the door. Now, not pictured here is a little basket where all of this nonsense is supposed to go when they are finished with it. But instead, the short people who live here must have decided that the tiny little place behind the faucet is the perfect place to store these items for safe keeping. At least they will know where they are for the next time they are needed. I do fuss at this one a little bit, but then I shake my head and put the brushes in the little basket.

So, all of those little pet peeves are confined to one little space in my world. Which I can deal with.

Here’s one with a little more weight, one that frankly, I am tired of just shaking my head.

Recently, I have become aware of another ‘pet peeve’ of sorts. I won’t have the time or energy to go into too many details… simply put, it is the assumption that … if you say something off-color, politically incorrect, rude, make a joke at someone else’s expense or even blurt out a downright insult…and I take offense to it or say that I don’t agree… you assume that I am somehow being too sensitive. My entire life I have heard phrases like:

“Don’t be so sensitive.”

“Grow some thick skin.”

“It’s nothing personal.”

“I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.”

Enough. I am not being too sensitive, because I respond to something that you said that I perceive as rude. I am responding as any normal human being should respond. If you say something, and someone takes offense, then simply take responsibility for your words. Sure, you meant it as a joke. Sure you didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. Then say so. The appropriate response should be something like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean it that way. Let me explain.” Not, “Don’t be so sensitive, kid.”

(I have experienced this several times in the past few months. FYI, I do know the most recent episode of this comes from someone who loves me that I love very much and I know where their heart is.)

But…..big picture…if I’m naming pet peeves and things I shake my head at…

That is such a copout excuse. To blame another person for their response to your actions/words that started the whole thing in the first place is a copout.

And if you did in fact, mean it that way, then you were, in fact, trying to hurt someone’s feelings, so don’t be surprised that your words actually had that effect.

As a Momma, I want X and Y to know that being sensitive is NOT some personality defect. I want them to know that having empathy or being aware of others’ feelings is not a bad thing. There’s a balance, of course, as with all things. And on the flip side, I want my children to know that it is not OK  to find fault in a friend for being sensitive, because X or Y made the choice to say something insensitive.

Remember The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? Those agreements…they go both ways.

The first one is “Be impeccable with your word.” That means choose your words carefully.

“Don’t take anything personally.” Which does not mean you are being too sensitive if impeccable words do hurt. It just means the bigger problem is most likely not about you and you alone.

“Don’t make assumptions.” Find out the truth behind things. Don’t judge. Try not to criticize what you do or don’t know.

“Always do your best. ” And if we are … all… ALL of us….Trying everyday to do our best… none of this would be an issue.

And I would always have toilet paper and toothpaste when I need it and be able to find the hairbrush in its right place.


3 responses to “Pet. — Don’t Be So Sensitive, Kid.

  1. Lead Our Lives says:

    Someone one once told me that people don’t choose against YOU, they choose for THEMSELVES. I only wish I had heard that when I was your age, with a house full and working full time. The very things that you write about here are the things that got to me as well. Today, my children are 32 and 31 and they are fine. Relax…let it be…you will feel better and they will turn out to be fabulous people. 😉

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thank you so much. You had me at “Let it Be.” That really is it, isn’t it? Take it as it comes and let it be. I’m working on it. Shaking my head, but working on it! 🙂

      • Lead Our Lives says:

        It is a GREAT challenge….I get it. Wishing you peace, patience and love…for that is what overcomes all of our self-created suffering. 😉

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