Monday, October 6, 2008

I'll bet you've known one.

Have you ever known someone who didn’t know the difference between being blunt, assertive and outspoken and being rude, bitchy and petty? I’m sure you have. We all do. These are the people who feel they can act with complete impunity because anyone who reacts negatively to them or gets upset at all is being too sensitive or is too thin-skinned. After all, they were just speaking their mind and everyone who knows them knows that’s just the way they are.

It’s been my experience that people like this are exceptionally narcissistic and quick to take offense. I know this may sound like a harsher topic for my blog than I normally write about, but it seems as if I’ve been bombarded with individuals like this of late and the whole “be understanding” thing is getting old. So I’d just like to go on record with the following:

1. Being rude is not the same as being outspoken. You can speak your mind and be honest with those around you without being rude. You have a choice of how you say things to others and if you don’t have the time or consideration for others to find nice ways of telling the truth then the rest of us would prefer if you shared your “feelings” and your “honesty” with the mirror and not the rest of us. And that friend who finds your outspoken nature refreshing will only find it so until you turn your rudeness back on them.

2. Being assertive is different than being a bitch. Someone who is assertive states their position, needs, desires and plans in a way that makes their position clear without infringing upon the other person. Sometimes asserting yourself will create hard feelings. That cannot be avoided. However, that does not mean you have the right to be petty and bitchy about everything around you and expect people to just take it because you were just being assertive. Got news for ya, darlin’, the rest of us have a right to assert our own positions, needs, desires and plans, too. And no we will not necessarily be swayed or change our plans because you don’t like it.

3. And finally, yes in most of the western world you have a protected right to free speech within limits. Those limits vary. For example in the US you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. You cannot incite others to violence. You are not supposed to yell “jump” at the guy standing on the ledge. These are not protected speech. So go on and say whatever you want to say, however you want to say it. However remember, honey, you are going to look around one day and find that the only person you have left to be petty, catty and bitchy to is wearing your underwear.

Is this post targeted to specific people? You bet it is. Not all of whom will ever see this blog. Why not, you ask, address this issue directly with them? Mostly because they chose not to address issues privately but used them for their own personal fodder, glorification and in attempts to sound oh-so-witty and blaise, so why should my response not be just as public?


Jenny Beans said...

You know I like to be outspoken, just as you often do, and I have found that in my own experience that being personally outspoken is often cause for misunderstanding. In other instances, it's just outright annoying. :( Hopefully whoever overstepped their bottom lip finds themselves chewing their own foot sooner rather than later. *HUG*

Molly Daniels said...

Well said, Jae:)

KellyMarstad said...

Yay!!!! Go, go, go!!!

Jacquéline Roth said...

On one hand maybe it's sad that some people have such difficulty finding and holding on to things that bring them joy that they can't remember it feels to be excited about something.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

Thank you for saying this, Jae. You put into words what I've been feeling for a long time about a certain person, and couldn't manage to say coherantly. Well spoken!