One thing about me, which really anybody who gets to know me in any real way learns, is that I have a real problem with keeping my mouth shut and going about my business when I feel that I've been unjustly treated in some fashion. Now, you might be saying, "But that's a good thing, Crazy! You should stand up for yourself!" Except. Well, maybe sometimes I should take the high road rather than the road of self-righteous indignation, which is the one that I most often choose to take. Because I find myself calling people out on fucked up behavior not so much because I want them to change the behavior as it relates to me (indeed, there's no way they can take this sort of thing back once it's happened, even though I will ultimately forgive it) or to explain the behavior (in other words, my agenda is neither productive nor meant to give a person an opportunity for redemption) but rather because I want to make it clear exactly how much they suck for having behaved that way. I want them to feel badly, not just about how they acted but about who they are if they would dream of acting that way.
This, my friends, is not a nice quality to have. And I know it's not. And the more compassionate side of me does feel sorry for the people at whom I direct this kind of treatment. The problem is, and why I continue to behave in this way in spite of my more virtuous instincts, is that when this sort of situation comes up, I'm always convinced that the other person deserves to be told off in this particularly vicious way. And even though I feel sorry for the person after I've done it (notice: I feel sorry for the person, not sorry for what I myself have done), I continue to believe that they deserved it. I continue to believe that they shouldn't have been allowed to get away with whatever it was they did to cross me, and so a large part of me is pleased with what I've done.
I've been thinking about this part of my personality a fair amount lately because of how I responded to a recent situation. On the one hand, I think that I'm kind of an asshole. I think that a more mature individual would have kept her mouth shut and went about her business, since ultimately what the person did was nothing more than to offend my sense of good manners and fair play, and I didn't really object to the end result of what was going on. My problem was with the form - not with the content. And so I probably shouldn't have said anything. But on the other hand, I can't get past the feeling that people should be made to take responsibility when they behave in a bullshit way. So as much as I think I'm kind of an asshole, I also feel like sometimes people deserve to encounter assholes like me, and that without assholes like me, people who do fucked up things would just keep doing them in perpetuity because they'd think that there's nothing really wrong with their fucked up ways.
I could say that I'm not going to do this anymore, but that would be a lie. Every time I've vowed that I wouldn't do this anymore, I've always ended up doing it again. And I know that no apology I offer really works once I've done this, that I can't really expect a person to forgive something for which I'm not really sorry, or to forget something that is so downright mean. Those who have forgiven this sort of behavior on my part haven't done so because I've expressed remorse about it but rather because they've found a way to accept it as part of the package that is me. They've decided (I imagine) that my good qualities somehow outweigh this crappy one. (Not that this is the only crappy or difficult thing about me, but it is, I think, one of the most difficult for other people to take.)
So I don't know. I'm not really sure how to conclude these musings. There is a part of me that wishes that I did feel genuine remorse, rather than just feeling like through my own mean-spiritedness things have been resolved fairly. There is a part of me that wishes that I didn't feel quite so content and at peace with myself after having behaved in such a way. There is a part of me that wishes that I were better at letting some things lie, even though I know it's intrinsic to my personality (and, maybe 3 times out of every 10, good) that I don't.
5 years ago