Yes, I like to analyze things, try to figure out some people's motivations. Some folks I think are driven by insecurities or fears of being unliked or unloved. At a glance, I can't say. But I also try to learn in hopes of being a better, more tolerant, and kinder person.
I'm making progress. I think? But I also acknowledge I have a long, long way to go to be fully enlightened. I might need a few lifetimes, in fact.
But not long ago I was called out for making an "at least" statement about someone's frustrating situation. It was something mother-related. An acquaintance was frustrated because her human hailstorm of a mother was visiting for one of the holidays and my take was "at least it's only one day."
After being called out on that (by someone else when I mentioned the exchange) I realized that this person might have been truly frustrated by the impending visit from her mother. (Since my mother's not alive, I wouldn't mind a visit from her, especially if it's from the pre-dementia version, but a nosy, judgmental, controlling mother -- which is the way this person makes her mom out to be -- I could see not looking forward to that sort of visitor.)
This comment made me realize I was making an invalidating statement, though. Instead of being sympathetic I discounted her feelings.
So I try to learn from it and be better. I emphasize the word try here.
This same person, however, I realize uses the same invalidations on me.
Case in point: At my workplace we've had a couple Covid cases. They've been far and few in between, though. My takeaway: At least we're not spreading it to one another. (At least? Did I just say that? But at least I'm not invalidating myself if I'm using an "at least" statement on myself, right? I'm trying to find some silver linings here.)
Also, we had tests after one scare, and as of last Thursday I am Covid-free.
My invalidating acquaintance hit me with her best shot, however, not long before that Thursday test.
When I'd shared the same above details about the Covid in our office, this person responded with a brisk "Everybody has Covid nowadays. One in 15 people in the UK now has Covid."
I replied with something along the lines of "it does seem like most everyone knows someone, often someone very close to them, with Covid these days" and let it go.
Her math checks out, obviously. (Invalidating comments make me sarcastic, what can I say?)
Also, the test I took last week said otherwise, so I guess I'm not everybody. Is that a good or bad thing? Maybe I'm not anybody.
That comment she made also hurt my feelings a bit, which I was tempted to mention, but what's the point with a routine invalidator?
(If you're curious about invalidation, here's a little blog post I found on the topic.)
I'm Magenta Wilde, author of the Poppy Blue paranormal fantasy series, and the forthcoming Happily Hereafter series. Hint: It involves ghosts.