I have always been a sensitive person, always aware of how people are feeling, I am very passionate about protecting the vulnerable, I would advocate for them until I was blue in the face. I can never understand how humans can hurt other humans, I get upset when I watch the news and I see people have been conned, burgled or hurt in someway. My first thought is that I wish I could have helped them in someway, I wish I could have protected them. Normally a placid person there is nothing other than witnessing a bully in action that would send me into a rage, I would do everything I possibly could to help the person affected.
On Saturday when I was in the garden centre shopping when I saw a man and a woman, I would say they were in their late 60’s, I could hear slightly raised voices, when the woman turned around and screamed at the man. I cannot remember exactly what she screamed but it was something like “you are impossible to go shopping with…” and stormed off. I was quite close to them both and it felt quite awkward, my initial thought was directed to the woman, I mean I don’t want to be a traitor to my own gender but if he is that impossible to shop with why does she not stop moaning and go shopping on her own. Secondly I am not quite sure what the man had done to receive such an outburst but I could not help notice that he looked really hurt and embarrassed, I really felt for him.
It reminded me of an event I was at a few months back when I asked someone a question. The response was completely in- appropriate, it was rude, cold and sharp. Now normally I would have absolutely no problem in asking them to explain why they felt it was okay to speak to me like a piece of crap on the floor but I didn’t, it completely caught me unawares. I think I must have been having an off day but I felt tears stinging my eyes and I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that transported me back to a situation that I was in quite some time ago and I left the building pretty quick.
If you have ever been at the receiving end of bullying, that sick aching feeling in the pit of the stomach is a familiar daily feature. The constant underhand snipes are confusing for the individual they are being directed at and are often left wondering what it was that they did that was so wrong. As a decent human being you carry on regardless, you will treat the bully with kindness and respect because you believe you should treat others in the way that you would like to be treated. Before you realise though the snipes have eroded your confidence and your self -esteem is in tatters. It is my belief that the person who is being unkind can be forgiven, they can be shown compassion, understanding and even sympathy but ultimately they have to take responsibility for their actions and behaviours and the affect that these have on the individuals that these are being directed at.
I cannot seem to stop thinking about the man in the garden centre, I wondered if his wife had any idea of how hurt he looked. Was it a one off or is it part of a constant series of snipes, I have no idea and I am not here to judge I am only commenting on what I witnessed and my interpretation of that.
I have never understood why people are so unkind to each other, I know we all have our off days including me, but being at the receiving end of constant jibes is a tough one. I believe whole heartedly that if we ever find ourselves in such a situation that we have a right to stand up for ourselves, we have an absolute right to stand up and say, “the way how you are treating me is not right, this is not okay, I do not deserve this.” It is a hard one, I know, especially if you are feeling low but I feel it is essential for our self -esteem, self care and for the survival of the love and respect we have for ourselves.