There is a phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. What a crock of shit.
Sticks and stones may well break your bones, but they will heal eventually. The words that wound you will stay with you for years. They will mould who you are as a person, for better or for worse, and the rips and tears they cause in your psyche can become such a part of you that you begin believing they ARE you.
People, children in particular, will absorb what they are told and use it to colour their worlds.
Over that side of town are the people who will hurt you, I am lazy because I don’t want to mow the lawn, the sky is blue. Never mind that the lawnmower terrifies them and it is midday in mid summer, now ‘lazy’ is a battle they will win or lose for the rest of their lives.
Another saying that is a crock of shit is “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
That one is used to silence and shame, particularly women and children, into conforming and complying. (It is often used by women, which I suspect is a sign of how deep their compliance is.)
If you don’t have anything ‘nice’ to say then use your fucking brain and think of a way to say what you need to say, without harming anyone else, and get that shit out of your head. If you literally cannot find a way to say something without damaging another person then you really should be questioning where those thoughts are coming from. Were they yours in the first place, or were they drawn from the scars and injuries you suffered?
Many (many, many) years ago I decided that finding happiness wasn’t for me. I concluded that constant happiness didn’t exist and really wasn’t that desirable anyway. Moments of happiness? Yes, grab them and savour them. But constant joy must be exhausting and humans get used to things very quickly, if you are permanently happy how soon before you stop appreciating it? I decided that what I wanted (and needed) was Balance, a middle ground between the realities of life and the contentment I could create for myself.
I then discovered that contentment only comes for me when I avoid unnecessary drama and the people who bring it (hence the title). I know that some thrive on those exciting interactions with others, the loud and passionate fighting sometimes followed by the loud and passionate making up, but when you are surrounded by that much fakery how real can your own life be? Balance for me is finding the fulcrum between rolling the ‘work/career’ boulder uphill, along with all the other social commitments life brings, and spending time alone or with the people I love and that I know (100% KNOW) are on my side. My life is not the one everybody would choose, but it’s what I am carving out for myself.
Going back to the phrases I started with. I am a strong believer in using only considered, compassionate, meaningful words when dealing with others (when did we become so scared that we’d be forgotten the moment we stop talking?) silence can be an ally.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your gob and prove it” – NOT Mark Twain.
On the other hand I think it is a kindness, a favour, almost a responsibility and duty to speak up when someone deserves praise or congratulations. Telling someone you agree with them can be the difference between them quitting or carrying on, when they are battling others who don’t see what they’re aiming for. Admitting to more than just yourself that you were wrong about something isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength and only an arsehole would use that against you, which tells you a lot about them and whether you should be avoiding them in future. Speaking up when you see injustice (if it’s safe to do so), standing up to be counted (and voting in every election), crediting the people around you for the good things they’ve done all add positivity into the world (and boy, oh boy do we need that right now) but they are also steps AWAY from the words that hurt you so harshly in the past.
You’re not “bad” when you stand up for people less able. You’re not “lazy” when you work to make the world a better place and you’re not “worthless” when you bring joy into other peoples lives.
(Not a llama that needs avoiding)