Monday, September 17, 2012

Someday is Today: Sassy pants

Most of the goals that I've covered so far have dealt more with my physical nature: acne, exercise, and drinking more water. I'd like to shift gears a bit and discuss something that's a little less tangible: my attitude.

Growing up, I began to cop an attitude with my mother when I was a teenager. If she said or did something that I didn't like, I became the typical wiseass teenager and would put my sassy pants on to let her know how I really felt. As time wore on, I left those sassy pants on whenever I disagreed with my mother and didn't leave them behind in the phase pile. To me, I felt justified in putting on my bitchiest attitude when dealing with her because her compulsive hoarding hurt me more than she, or even I, knew that it did. I felt like I could be the biggest bitch because of what she made me live through. She put me through years of humiliation, so me being super sassy was totally okay, right? Especially because I was super nice and patient with everyone else in my life.

Well, fast forward to present day and my readiness to put on my sassy pants when I feel either hurt or impatient with the one whom I love the most and am closest to (i.e., my boyfriend) is now a habit. A really awful, hurtful habit. I've been trying to make sense of my tendency to be a bitch at the drop of a hat to someone who has always been so kind to me and I can only conclude that I have become hardwired from dealing with my mother to lash out when I feel the most vulnerable. Basically, it's kind  of like my emotions turn into a 3 year old and yell out, "I'm going to hurt you more before you can hurt me more, nah nah!"and sticks its tongue out before I start spewing out words that are dripping with disgust.

As you can imagine, this is absolutely horrible for a relationship (and makes me feel like an awful human being). Why would someone put up with being bombarded with either hurtful words and or words spoken in a hurtful tone? Yeah, I don't know either. I guess I'm dating a saint. No one deserves to be treated that way, not even my mother who is basically a puppet for a shortage in her brain. Knowing all this does not always prevent me from checking my attitude when I get upset though. I guess it's just been that engrained into my behavior. It also doesn't help that it's hard for me to detect inflections in my own voice.

So, what can I do to stifle that sassy tone? I'm going to make an honest effort to try some of these tactics and see if the boyfriend and I can notice a difference:

Take a step back from the situation, breathe, and think before I say anything. Is what I'm about to say going to be overkill? Is it going to be hurtful? What's a better way to say this or maybe not say it at all? Ask myself why I'm upset. Remind myself that I love him, first and foremost.

Be patient. I can't expect everyone to know everything that I know, just like I don't know everything  they know. That's impossible. Explain it in a way that isn't unintentionally insulting to his intelligence, just like I would like to hear something being explained to me.

Communicate in a way that makes sense for him. Tough love might be effective for me to get my ass in gear, but it can backfire and be really hurtful for the boyfriend to hear. Find a way to say something that will be effective and increase his receptiveness while being sensitive to his feelings. We all communicate and react in different ways and I need to be respectful of that.

When all else fails, pretend like I'm talking to someone else. This sassiness only tends to come out for my mother and my boyfriend (lucky them!). If I can't get the edge off of my voice by another method, try to imagine I'm talking to my grandmother or best friend. My words tend to be far softer when I speak to them. 

Do you have any suggestions for me on how I can avoid turning into a megabitch?

Short update on other goals:

Acne: Honestly, I'm not really talking to my skin right now. I want to find something that is more effective, but I'm not willing to try things out right now because I have a job interview in a week. I don't want to chance it and have my skin be worse than it already is.

Exercise: Thanks to traveling and a hectic schedule, I haven't been swimming or going to yoga for over a week. I'm all set to get back in the saddle today for yoga!

Water: My water intake is up and I've been visiting the bathroom nearly every hour to prove it. My headaches continue to be minimal and I'm feeling all around less blah.

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