Yep, I sure did. I asked someone I know if they had spoken to a mutual acquaintance lately and was harshly accused of trying to pick a fight. After some ranting and admonitions about “minding my own business” they revealed that no, they hadn’t spoken to the person.
Well, pardon me.
How many times has that happened to you? You know what I mean. A memory trigger brings something to mind so you ask about it, only to be criticized for asking, or accused of being nosy, or being told to mind your own business. You didn’t realize that you were drifting into sacred territory – after all, it hadn’t been a sensitive issue before – but something changed and you get cut down for not knowing what you haven’t been told.
I know it does hurt. It’s downright rude and offensive. But in such situations, I think it’s important that we keep a valuable truth in mind: the harsh reactions are a protective mechanism. These reactions are as good as
renting a digital billboard saying “I have issues with this!” They think a harsh reaction will teach you to back off. They don’t realize that may work, but they’re also exposing a chink in their armor. I compare these attacks where there’s no threat to an allergic reaction: An innocent substance gets in your system but for some reason your body perceives it as a threat, so it reacts.
The truth is that we all have emotional issues that we hold close in order to protect ourselves. None of us are really an "open book" no matter how forthright and honest we are or strive to be. We all have things we keep in our innermost circle and don't invite others in. That's fine. There are certain things we should keep private. The problem is that some people stretch that inner circle to hold in more than others, oftentimes things that others don't have a problem sharing and even seek help and support in handling. How much we hold in is up to us, but we need to kill the correlation between the one thing that pricks us and the whole world being out to get us. Emotionally charged issues tend to cloud our judgement and scew our perspective to a point where we believe it really is all about us - and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most of the people in this world don't even know us, and a great number who do know us don't have an emotional investment in us. For all our trials and tribulations, we personally interact with a limited number of people at a time and believe it or not, most of them mean us no harm. Some (gasp!) might actually want to help and support us, and our knee jerk reactions to scare people away from sacred territory may scare them away. When emotions run high, it would behoove us to realize that, in the words of the late, great C.S. Lewis, "sometimes an apple is just an apple." Believe it or not, there aren't double meanings or ulterior motives to everything under the sun.
I think the best thing to do in these cases is to back off. We all tend to cut others off from very emotionally sensitive issues and if a person chooses to do that then it’s disrespectful to try to bully your way in. It’s a shame, especially when you want to help and support them. But if they choose to shut others out and suffer alone, well, it’s best to respect their wishes and let them. After all, you can’t force people to open up, seek help or do the right thing. Sometimes the best you can do is back off and continue with the rest of your life.
And as for the person I unintentionally angered, well, I am sorry. I see the “keep out” sign now and believe
me, I certainly will. I’ll give you the space you desire, but realize the ball's in your court. It’s your responsibility to let me know when or if the landmine is diffused.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy the video inspiration to go along with this entry below. Bye!