One Upmanship


I know that it’s not the intention of others.  My logical, rational brain knows this.

But it’s very hard not to feel like people, especially people who have had kids before me, are being extremely condescending and one-upping me when I express feelings of frustration over something as a new mom.  When people respond the way they do, it feels like my feelings in the moment are invalid.  Wrong.  Like I shouldn’t be feeling what I feel.  Again, I know it’s not the intent, but when in an emotional state, things like that tend to snowball.  Like anyone else, it takes time to calm down and re-evaluate.  Even upon the re-evaluation, I do not think my initial emotional response to my personal situations are wrong.  It’s an amalgamation of a lot of factors, and it’s bound to happen.  I accept that.  But I do not want to feel belittled for feeling it.

It really pisses me off, to the point that I’m seriously thinking of not posting things on Facebook anymore regarding my feelings at times.  I do enough self-censoring as it is, and it grates on me to feel the need to do even more just so I don’t have to feel like this on my Facebook page.  And yeah, I know, Facebook is not exactly an important thing, but I personally see it like a mini version of my blog.

Sure, I open myself to whatever people want to hurl at me, because I put it out there.  I get that.  But I am allowed to feel as I feel.  And after a long time of not really having a lot of conflicting and highly charged emotions, I’ve been tossed into a world I vaguely remember and am having a bit of a hard time re-adjusting to.  So I’m trying to accept that I feel like I do, rather than beating myself up for feeling the things I do.

I have worked very hard to be far more conscious of the things I present to people in the manner of my emotions and my presentation of those emotions and how hard I try to convey and communicate those emotions in a way that is clear and concise.  To have those things be challenged and seemingly ridiculed is a very, very hard pill to swallow.

Yes, I know other people have “been there done that”.  I know that I’m not the first, and won’t be the last.  But this chapter in my life is a new one to me.  There is a lot I have to learn to deal with.  I get that.  I signed up for it.  And I try very hard to behave in a way that doesn’t intentionally try to give the impression that I feel like I’m special, or unique in this, compared to others.

I’ve tried very hard to change the way I communicate, the way I think, how much I think before communicating.  Change from the way society seems to encourage.  By and large I think before I speak.  Did I always?  No.  We’re “taught” phrases like that, but are we really taught HOW to think before we speak?  Or to even think before we speak?  How was it actually enforced as an idea, rather than parroted around?  To me, that phrase lost a lot of it’s original intent over the years and I’ve spent years gaining back the weight of that phrase in it’s meaning and intent.

Back to the things people say to me.

Good intentions.  Another phrase that irks the hell out of me.

The road to hell is paved in good intentions.  This phrase is incredibly true for me and hasn’t lost it’s gusto.  It seems to become truer and truer as I experience more life.

And it’s another phrase I’ve attempted to embrace fully and remember often as a way to remember how to behave in a way that I can look back on and feel good about.  It’s very much connected to the other phrase, think before speaking.

I’m just as guilty as anyone else, but I try actively to not be.  I don’t just hope afterward that it works out.  How something comes out of me, regardless of it’s intent, can be taken wrong by others.  And I actively try to temper what does come out of me to the audience, so that the likelihood of that is low.  However, I can’t say the same for other people.  We weren’t given the proper tools to do the forethought for this, and it was a hard path for me to walk alone to figure it out.  I learned a lot of hard lessons, and I continue to learn those hard lessons.  Not as often as I did in the beginning, but I still need to be reminded from time to time.

The problem for most people is in that they aren’t made aware.  And even if they are…they react emotionally rather than logically and introspectively.  They become defensive and don’t do anything to change what elicited the reaction they got in the first place.  Their emotional response to the emotional response is just a cycle of things that can be avoided.  Instead of being offended because something you said to an emotional person was met with an emotional response (duh) people need to stop and think.  Hell, stop and think before you even respond to an emotional person.  Take into consideration those emotions the person is obviously feeling at that time.

I’m sure there’s more thoughts on this rattling around in my head, but I need more coffee.  I’ll end here.

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Mary

Wife, student, new first time mother. Crafter and creator. Animal enthusiast. I had a miscarriage in March 2011. But we tried again. March, 2012 was the birth of my first child. Off and on I have been dabbling with small business, trying to get it off the ground since, every so often changing direction.

One thought on “One Upmanship”

  1. I have noticed this on your comments and some of my other mommy friends. It really irks me when you post something and people think it is their platform to add their 2 cents and not always in a nice way. I think they do it with good intentions or atleast I hope so but it is really annoying to see! A smart woman (CandidMommy) once said “every mom is different and every mom is right” keep posting! I love hearing your thoughts and opinions!

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