A decision to protect myself from harm

I am not the world’s greatest PR person. Therefore, I have chosen solitary work and I don’t have to rely on others who may be unreliable. I recall when I used to compose music I was frustrated at the musicians who didn’t show up on time for rehearsals. I got tired of relying on the presence and full cooperation of other people. I wasn’t good at recruiting responsible fellow musicians.  Many other composers shared my frustration.

Writing, on the other hand, does not involve these annoyances. I don’t have to meet with others.  I like that I am fully responsible for my work, and if I fail or fall short, it isn’t because someone was a no-show.

However, from time to time, I’ve had to deal with pain-in-the-butt humans. People who are just plain rude, or who act disrespectfully.  What to do?

I don’t handle that kind of behavior well. I am much better than I used to be. I consider the source and content before I do anything else.

An immature rude comment coming from an immature person I can easily dismiss. Or from someone with no background, either via experience or education, in the topic at hand, is easy for me to dismiss as well. Some people are born know-it-alls and I just have to accept their need to be “experts” at everything. Or they bully for the sake of bullying.

I think you guys know what I am talking about. If a three-year-old calls you a witch, are you going to fly off the handle, or are you going to realize that this kid has toddler motives and isn’t going to call in the witch-hunters.  He’s probably thinking, “Halloween.” Perhaps he is complimenting your thick, dark hair, and you should take it as such, lightheartedly. Or maybe you should ask before assuming anything. Maybe he was upset that you commented on his thumb-sucking. Or maybe you didn’t hear right.

This aside, what if an adult insults me? Someone I figure should know better and is responsible for his/her actions. The cyberbully who posted a few comments on here (most I didn’t allow through) was clearly an immature jerk behind a computer who matters little to me. I didn’t pay any of this much heed.

However, if someone I put trust in insults me, I tend to react rather badly. I am well aware of this and I try to prevent these situations from occurring. I do this to protect myself from harm. I think anyone would do this.

If the person has insulted me in the past repeatedly, I tend to avoid any further encounters with that person. Many people would recommend such action. I am wondering…how long should a person wait before ending all contact with this person?

I used to argue back or defend myself. Often, I try this tactic. The person might immediately apologize. If I hear, “I am sorry you feel that way,” this is not an apology. If, on the other hand, I hear, “I am sorry I said that,” this is an apology. The person may continue by saying, “I’m sorry, that was a typo due to the fact that I was using a cell phone autocorrect. I had no intention of being hurtful.” I will laugh and assume everything’s okay.

If this isn’t the case, and the insulting remark was intended, I sometimes remove myself from the situation. I take a break. This is to protect myself.

I know in the past I have reacted so badly to insults that I have ended up starving myself. I am well aware of this risk. I need above all to protect myself and see to it that on all costs, I don’t starve again. It will kill me. Death is permanent. What is an insulting remark? Fleeting.

I am, of course, fully responsible for myself and I don’t blame the insulting person for my own self-starvation. However, I am not perfect and I am aware of my peculiarities.

Yesterday, I received a nasty insulting remark from someone in an e-mail. I didn’t want to be on the defensive. As soon as I could, I shut down the computer and cell phone both, and shut off contact with this person. I blocked certain online access and also tried to block the person from ever e-mailing me again. Unfortunately, I guess I screwed up the e-mail blocking. It doesn’t matter. This person isn’t worth my time nor do I want to get into a huge tizzy over it.

2 thoughts on “A decision to protect myself from harm”

  1. some people really need to get a life Julie! You did the right thing blocking this person. I do the same when ignorance rears its ugly head.

    1. Yeah I used to be afraid to block thinking it would hurt the person’s feelings. But any reminder of what the shrinks did to me brings back the trauma so it’s best for me to immediately put a stop to it.J

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