I say a lot of things that annoy people, or sometimes just confuse them. It’s mainly because I am kind of tactless (also known as honest), I’m pretty assertive (I don’t believe in not being clear about my feelings or thoughts) and I am definitely powered by more testosterone than most women (also known as I’m kind of… a tiger), and I’ve also been in a lot of therapy (also known as I’ve been in a lot of therapy).
Here are some of my favorite things to say and what they really mean. These will be useful if we ever talk.
What I say: I don’t watch TV.
What it means: My life is very hectic. I only get a lot of things done because I make time to get a lot of things done. You can watch all the TV you want. It’s not a priority for me and no matter how “awesome” or “life-changing” you think your favorite show is, I probably won’t have time to watch it.
What I say: I’m sorry you feel that way.
What it means: Your perception is that I hurt you/offended you, but the reality is that wasn’t my intention. And I am sorry.
What I say: That doesn’t work for me.
What it means: I know you want me to do something, but I don’t want to. I don’t actually have to give you a reason. I am politely telling you I don’t want to do what you want me to do. It’s actually my right to refuse an offer that does not benefit me [or your own words]!
What I say: I don’t belong in this world.
What I mean: I don’t understand a culture that denigrates women; that disrespects people of color; that harasses and persecutes gay people; that doesn’t allow for people to exercise their civil and basic human rights. I don’t understand a world that sells children into sex slavery, selling children to be bought as wives for men old enough to be their grandfathers; and that traffics animals to be abused and killed for sport. I don’t understand why the human condition is so complicated; why communication between couples can be so fragmented; why families so frequently are unable to be close or honest with each other. I don’t understand a world where mental health services are not a human right; where it’s more expensive to see a doctor than to buy narcotics on the street; where resources are available to the rich rather than the people who need it. I don’t understand how people can make millions and millions of dollars and not feel the need to give it to shelters, to homeless children, to abused women. Sometimes I feel like I wasn’t made to live in this world because it hurts so much.
You don’t understand me?
I’m sorry you feel that way.
Let’s talk. And we’ll figure out a way to live in this world together.