Ask Aunty Bel: Say something nasty or turn the other cheek?

| Posted by Bel | The time is 8.42pm here in Wellington NZ |

The first in our  previously non-existent series "Ask Aunty Bel [or Lou, whomever is not in Las Vegas at the time]".

A reader says that they are currently brewing with bilious nastiness to be directed at a particular person, and don't know whether it's best to be up front or drown it all in the chardonnay sea.

I once had someone say something really nasty to me. This person had thought about at length and discussed it with other people, mutual friends even. They thought they understood the situation and that they were very much in the right. Objectively and subjectively, they felt justified. Not only did they need to say what they were saying, but I actually needed to hear it for my own benefit, too.

Of course what this person was actually doing was incredibly judgemental, vindictive, and hurtful for the sake of being hurtful. I don't think they will ever fully realise this - for them it will always be a moment that they look back on as when they said what was on their heart so that I could be set straight. "Real talk" I believe the kids are calling it these days.

I wish I was referring to my first year of high school, but this happened only a few years ago. I had nightmares about afterwards. I'm not AT ALL suggesting that you are like this person (these people, The Forgotten, as I like to refer to them as) - because oh sweet Jesus you are so not - but I just want to set the scene for why I am wary of getting on a soap box and letting rip on personal matters.

There are actually some times when you ARE right to do it. And when you will actually get personal benefit from the experience of it. The verbal equivalent of Monday's 5.15pm BoxFit.

But personally, I am an advocate of the "silent but deadly" (see also: Farts, Effective) in that I will just cut you out and will not even miss you. You will realise you haven't heard from me in a very long time and eventually your son will tell you that actually your granddaughter is throwing all of the mail from you unread straight into the rubbish because she doesn't want any more opportunities in her life for you to hurt her, or maybe he won't, you know, because he's never been able to stand up to them and protect his own child from their hurtfulness because he's still too desperate for their affection, at any cost WAIT TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

I think this all comes down to pain. And the most important thing, really, is what is going to cause you the least pain? In the long term, as well as the short.

I've seen situations where empassioned outbursts of angry emotions have lead to, well, pretty much just shitstorms. It doesn't necessarily make it any easier on you and that thing you had to get off your chest in the first place can become an even heavier weight on your shoulders.

Now give us a cuddle and try one of my passionfruit yo-yos with blue icing!

Aunty Bel

One thought on “Ask Aunty Bel: Say something nasty or turn the other cheek?”

  1. Not knowing the situation at all I can only add to the above by giving the anecdote of when I've had a friend needing a good talking-to in the context where she was not being at all intentionally mean-spirited just unintentionally completely crap in her behaviour and so I told her how I felt about the situation and it was all very civil and fine.

    Only you, Mystery Reader, can know whether the situation is one in which you want a constructive resolution, a kamakaze finishing blow, or a silent but deadly.

    In #1 you want to preserve the friendship, in #2 you don't really care whether or not it ends the friendship but want to get your point across at all costs, and #3 is when it has gotten to the point where you just want them GONE from your life.