|The Shame Monster. Of course!|
Being called out on your shit is the worst. It can be humiliating, frustrating, and hurtful. When it happens, the natural reaction is often to be dismissive, defensive, or to complain that the other party just "doesn't get it/you/jokes". I say, go with that feeling. Because if lots of people are telling you that you're dead wrong, you definitely don't want to stop and examine why that is. It's like my dad says, "Sorry if you don't like hearing the truth, but...”You know, your basic republican non-apology “apology.” My remarks were not meant to be insulting. I’m sorry if anyone misunderstood.
What’s so hard about saying a nice, clean, genuine I’m sorry? It just means that we admit that that we fucked up. For some of us, being wrong (admitting it and apologizing) feels like an indictment of our entire blessed character. The big bad SHAME Monster comes flying in. I understand. Like TOTALLY. I used to duck my responsibility for ill chosen words and stupid behavior too. Accepting my well deserved blame, being in the wrong freaked me out. I figured I’d be kicked off Friend Island permanently for even the smallest of infractions. Best not to cop to the crime, eh?
Ho, ho, ho, NOT so! The first time I offered up a clean, non-defensive mea culpa was revelational. Not only was I forgiven (immediately!) but my friend and I moved on, past the dreadful event. My hurtful words or deeds weren’t held over me like a buddy version Sword of Damocles. FABULOUS! A brill learning experience is what it was. Not everyone who's visited by the Shame Monster gets this though.
If the Insulter is the stone oblivious type it's unlikely the Insultee’s gonna see any remorse action coming their way. That rascally antagonizer might be the sort with a diamond hard I’m-always-right carapace. You might actually hear them recite that Marilyn Monroe line.
Honest to Bast someone once proudly proclaimed that to me. It was all I could do to keep myself from snapping Babe, you’re not a bad person but you’re no Monroe. Grow the fuck up and take responsibility for your egregious shit! But I didn’t. No point. My words would never have gotten past her armor.
One twist on the non-apology apology is the You know me better than that or You know I would never do/say something like that defense. What this does is turn the sitch around so the person who was insulted or taken advantage of ends up apologizing. Oh you’re right, I know you didn’t mean that the way it sounded. Of course you’d NEVER take advantage...
Yeah, that shit don’t fly.
I may know a person very well BUT, at the same time, I fully understand that we pathetic humans are entirely capable of dimwitted behavior with our loved ones. As much as the friend may love and respect me/you, he/she just didn’t think through their actions or words before putting worst foot forward.
My pal Joe says that I’m very direct. It’s true. I’m not, generally, shy about calling out friends, strangers and co-workers on bullshit behavior. At the same time, I’m not inclined to confront certain people. Why not? History. It's shown that they don’t respond as I'd wish—non-defensive open hearted discussion isn’t possible. Not, for whatever reason, with me at any rate.
Just FYI—the only ones who get to walk all over me with impunity are Coco and Rocco. I fucking KNOW who’s the boss of me!
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word—Elton John