Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sometimes I can be harsh, but I'm not afraid of snakes

Evidently I can be harsh at times.  This was brought to my attention yesterday.  This was brought to my attention two times.  I can be harsh.

There are two ways I can look at this revelation.  One way would be to blame it on a bad day.  Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Maybe I wasn't feeling particularly cheerful yesterday.  Maybe there was a fragment of underdone potato that wasn't digesting properly.  (I believe this is from the book, A Christmas Carol, but I'm not completely sure.)  This would be one way to look at this observation of my demeanor.  By looking at this criticism of my personality this way, I don't have to do a thing about it.  I can stay just as I am and let it roll off my back.

Another way I could look at this revelation is to take responsibility for it and acknowledge that, indeed, I can be harsh.  I can accept that, at times, I am not careful of the feelings of others.  I, myself, do not get my feelings hurt very often.  I really don't live in a world of feelings.  I live, more or less, in a world of facts.  For me, things are or they aren't.  Feelings are very messy things to deal with in other people.  I find, often, that people with lots of feelings don't even understand their feelings and can't name them or identify them in any real and concrete way.  This is difficult for me to wrap my head around.

I am trying to figure out how to soften this part of my personality.  I guess saying nothing is a better response to someone than telling them to "get over it."

Yesterday a student, with the support of her parents, said she would not be able to sleep in her dorm room because she saw a snake in it on Saturday (it is now Monday).  She, and her parents, needed proof the snake was gone.  This proof was provided, in my mind, by the 24 sticky boards laid down along the baseboards of her room by the exterminator, for two nights and one full day.  I suggested this girl, and her parents, needed to "get over it."  My boss said this was harsh.  Of course, I didn't say this to the snake-phobic girl.  I said it to my boss.

I know this post does not paint me in a very favorable light.  I know my personality is exactly what is needed in times of stress or crisis.  I can make decisions at critical times with a calm demeanor.  I guess I want to learn to put on the "being nice" face when confronted with people sinking deep into their feelings and being controlled by them.  Even though I don't understand their feelings, I need to find a way to speak to a person in this situation without being harsh.

This is the tiniest snake I have ever seen

538.  People telling me the truth about myself
539.  Students willing to talk about their views on different current events (it's so fun to see how their minds work)
540.  Being acknowledged for doing a good job
542.  Being ok with writing this weak post, and hoping that someone will tell me I'm ok just the way I am and there is a place in this world for harsh people and sometimes people really need a person like me in their lives.  Just hoping.


  1. smiles...fears are tricky things...and def unstable people...i may not be afraid of the snake but can i lush my own expectations on someone else...or where do i draw that line...i know some that would be just as uncomfortable...

  2. a snake is a snake for me. Not welcome in my vicinity. 

  3. Love the title of your post.  :)  How'd that snake get in there anyway???

  4.  Did you see how tiny it was (I say was, 'cause it's dead now)?  Those little guys can slip in anywhere.  We are down here in the country, doncha know.  There are critters everywhere.  I liked the title, too.  Thanks.  :)

  5. I've been accused of being harsh too.  I think I'm just being honest, but I guess it can be hurtful.   It's exhausting to always second guess yourself and think, how might what I want to say hurt someone?!  I don't know the solution, but I'm always working on it.  Sometimes I think I have it down, and then someone still remarks to me that I could have been more tactful.  So, I guess I don't hear/see it....I'm not a good judge of if I'm doing better.  Let me know if you figure it out!

  6. Hey, harsh occasionally has its place!

  7. Well you know we are very similar in personality and I don't deal with people who have lots of feelings well.  I have a hard time respecting them and often times I view people who are always slave to their feelings as "weak."  I used to have the word vomit where I would say whatever I felt no matter who I wounded until someone I loved told me about myself.  They let me have it and I didn't even realize how bad I was until I looked at myself through their eyes.  I tamed down.  Then I got saved and I really tamed down.  Walking with Christ has really allowed me to eliminate a lot of my brash ways.  The more I've practiced speaking in a kinder way the less I even have the thoughts of word vomit to begin with.  :)

  8. I think the term is a straight shooter.. you .just tell it like it is!


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