Yep, I am a mean girl!

Sometimes a seemingly small and insignificant event occurs yet it stays with you and you just can’t release it no matter what. That happened to me a few months ago when I had an online altercation with a fellow blogger which resulted in the other blogger calling me a mean girl. In the end not only was I called a mean girl but a fellow Maine blogger who was also an offline acquaintance actually cut off all contact with me because she too deemed me a mean girl. I have to admit that comment has bugged the shit out of me for a while, in part because to know me offline is to know I often bend over backwards to not be mean to fellow humans. Shit, I have spent most of my life being overly emotional and carrying not only my burdens but the burdens of all who share with me. I joked with a friend of mine who shares my birthday that we are like emotional sponges, it’s funny but there is actually some truth to it and it is something I have been working to overcome as I strive to move past my anxiety. Sorry, my life is challenging enough at times, no need to add anyone else’s woes.
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In reflecting on whether or not I am in fact a mean girl, I realized that I am a person who uses humor, sarcasm and sometimes good ole snark as decompression tool. I come from a long line of folks who use sarcasm, as the Spousal Unit learned when he married into my clan a sense of humor is needed to be with me.
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I have a confession that at times my humor has grown darker and snarkier over the years in light of my work. Most days I love my work, I love knowing I can make a difference in the world but the price of making a difference can exact a high price at times. I was chatting recently with a colleague and it came up that many in the helping professions cope with the stress in a variety of ways. Honesty in social services you meet a lot of drinkers, and potheads, not unlike physicians who also tend to have a higher than average rate of substance abuse. When your line of work is actual real people with real issues, it’s a lot harder to separate and without a good support system and awareness we are all at risk. For me throw in a family where alcoholism is a family staple and well I know I need to always be mindful.
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In reflecting on whether or not I am projecting an image of a mean girl, it hit me that maybe to someone who does not know me that could be an accurate assessment in a single snapshot. The bigger issue though is as a culture as we continue the dance to be politically correct there seems to be less room for honest emotions. Honest emotions are sometimes not neatly packaged and well frankly at times can sound mean. Lately I find myself in all areas of my life striving to be mindful of others at times, that getting to the heart of a matter is harder to do because well…I don’t want to be mean. I know I am not alone in this either as I have witnessed professionally several people not telling a colleague the truth about a person’s actions because no one wants to hurt the person’s feelings. Never mind the fact that the lack of willingness to be ”mean” is having a very real and adverse effect on all who have the misfortune of being around this miserable SOB.
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In the end when we refrain from open and honest dialogue for fear of being mean, we lose out on the sometimes messy work of diving deeper that creates true harmony and connection. Sometimes to truly connect or to accomplish anything deep, lasting and meaningful requires a willingness to be “mean” or even messy. So yep, call me a mean girl but know that if you hear me as mean, then you maybe overlooking some truth that needs to be heard.

2 Comments
  1. November 28, 2011
  2. December 3, 2011

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