Part one: comments and critiques may break my bones, but silence will break my heart.
“People who really know you can’t be mean to you, because they know your story and the battles you have fought to be who you are. So anyone who is mean to you does not know you. So it cannot be personal. In which case they’re not being mean to you, they’re just being mean.”
With all respect, I must disagree with him.
There are several people connected with me who have been mean to me and it is because they know me very well that they are able to do so.
Usually this is just one of my siblings, angry at me for something I did or said to hurt them. I may be nice, but I am not good. Sometimes the evilness just pours out of my mouth and before I can stop it, my verbal poison has struck deep. They retaliate by saying something equally mean. Knowingly mean. Pulling some deep insecurity out from the depths of my soul and rubbing it in my face. It can get real ugly. And only someone who really knows you can be that mean. Luckily, unconditional love is stronger than verbal poison, and it all works out well in the end.
But here is a case where it does not work out well: Lets say, for the sake of argument, that a wife leaves a husband, and the husband’s family decides to never speak to the wife, EVER AGAIN. Even though they knew her and loved her for almost twenty years before the split. These people are not just being mean, they are purposely being mean to the wife because they know her and know how much this silence will break her heart. Did she deserve to be treated this way? Perhaps… Probably… Yes, but it still proves my point: People who really know you CAN be mean to you. Meaner than strangers could ever be.
Part two: TMI.
Oops, did I say to much? What if, while building a friendship, even a blog-friendship, you learn things about a person that you don’t like? Doesn’t that kill the friendship? Friendship, like every relationship, needs boundaries. It is better to only show the nice side of your personality, to tell only the stories of the honorable battles fought, to keep the mean or judgmental thoughts and the cruel past acts hidden, in order for people to like you.
I want friends, but if honesty is part of friendship, then I will fail every time. I cannot be honest about everything I think and feel with a person who does not already have a built in unconditional love for me. Because to know me, is to not love me, to paraphrase the old saying. I am not putting myself down, I just haven’t lived the most, well… exemplary life. Deep inside there is a part of me that is selfish, who wants to lie and steal and cheat, and who can be very, very mean.
This is why I try so hard to just be nice, to everyone, all the time. I want people to like me, not for who I really am, but for the person I strive to be: generous, honest, and faithful.
But here I am breaking my own rule again, spreading TMI all over my blog, and scaring away potential friends.
Will I ever learn?