February 16, 2012

be MEAN {sometimes}

There are many things that go on in my life that make me remember my unofficial motto:

"Choose your battles wisely."

More often than not, I will let annoying things that other people say or do just go because when all is said and done, it doesn't matter.  I have been taught my entire life to be a nice person, give service when needed and to treat others the way I want to be treated.  And, in general, I truly believe more people need to be tolerant of differences and overall more friendly.

But, there are exceptions to everything, including being nice.

I read a blog written by a girl named Lisa that is dealing with infertility issues.  Lisa and her husband recently moved to a new area, and she made the decision to keep her infertility to herself when she meets new people.

One day, while reading this blog, Lisa wrote about an experience she had when she had to completely hold her tongue.  She had just met a new girl in her neighborhood that made the remark that her life {meaning Lisa's life} would be much better if she had children.

Lisa chose to just nod her head and let the remark slide.

As I read what this perfect stranger had said to Lisa, I was appalled.  I was floored that someone would make such a suggestion to anyone, let alone a person she just met.

I was also floored by the comments the post generated.  Everyone was praising her behavior and that she made the right decision by not saying anything  

First of all, saying someone's life would be better if they had children is just a dumb thing to say.  A statement like that can only be said by a person that is completely void of any knowledge of life existing outside her own.  News flash Fertile Myrtle, just because you do the deed, doesn't mean you plant a seed.

Second of all, it was a mean and inconsiderate thing to say.  And because she chose to say it to a complete stranger tells me that she's learned she can say things like that and get away with it.  And, one of the primary reasons why she gets away with it is because people let her by not saying anything to the contrary. 

Can you imagine how this girl would've felt had Lisa explained that she wants nothing more than to be a mother, but that she is unable to conceive?  Yes, she'd have to share some personal details of her life in order to put this girl in her place, but at the same time she could have taught this ignorant girl a valuable lesson in manners and open-mindedness.

I'm all for being a good, nice person, and like I said before I let a lot of things go.  But, for crying out loud, when people say something that is down right wrong or offensive or just something they shouldn't say at all, call them on it.  Standing up for yourself does not mean you're a bad, awful, mean person.  If you don't say anything, people will continue to behave the same way, and you will continue to have to put up with it.

Obviously, everyone sees battles differently.  This is a battle I would've fought.  Lisa chose not to.

What do you think?


  1. I absolutely agree with you that such people shouldn't be let off like this. But, then again, I wonder if it's even worth it to explain to such ignorant bird-brains what decency really is. Trying to put that person in their place would just open up opportunities for them to make more mindless, stupid remarks and at the end of the day, you're left bubbling with anger while they just shrug everything off. If Lisa chose to explain, she would be sharing something personal with someone who has no real heart. I would just ignore that person or smile socially if I ever came in contact again. I've had such instances happen to me and I just let these ignorant people be because I'm not willing to waste my energy on them. :)

    1. You make a lot of great points. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I totally agree with you, Em.

    My mom used to bug me all the time about how she just wanted me to get married and have kids. Finally one day, I told her that I wasn't avoiding marriage and that her constant needling only made me feel bad. She apologized and stopped. She just hadn't realized how much her well-intentioned comments hurt me. And she would still be bugging me about it to this day if I hadn't spoken up.

    1. I'm glad you spoke up, Karen. It really is amazing how many problems can be solved with communication.

  3. I think you're right, though in this case I wouldn't call it a battle. Yeah, it sounds like the woman who made the comment was careless and self centered. But maybe she was just clueless. I have made remarks in my past that I thought were completely innocent until someone pointed out my mistake (like saying something about mothers to an acquaintance not knowing he had lost his mother).

    I'm glad to have been corrected, too. Because while it's painfully embarassing to discover you've said something like that, it also really opens your eyes.

    I agree with you that it might be worth saying something, but I see it as a benefit to the other person. Because some of us are just clueless.

  4. Love everyone' comments-- as sometimes people do need to be called out on the things they say, but at the same time as Bettlebuggy said probably wouldn't do much good.. but then maybe it would. I guess it depends on what you feel like you should do at the time and if you are not doing it in anger- as then they just win more anyway then yes something should be said.

  5. I hate confrontation. But I will speak up if I don't agree with something. I do it online a lot and some people get really upset when I don't share their opinion on things. I don't get it. Isn't it great that we are all different? But some people want everyone to think like them...

  6. I hate confrontation and will go to great sometimes even stupid lengths to avoid it. BUT I have learned as I've gotten older that this isn't always the wisest thing to do. I try to stick up for myself more with people that I have to interact with on a daily basis because if I don't certain situations can get out of hand. But I tend to let things that strangers say and do slide because I'm never going to see that person again. I probably would have done the same as Lisa in that particular situation, but if it was one of my friends or a family member I would have spoken up.

  7. I would have liked to tell the lady that it was none of her business and not gone into any detail about my infertility.


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