There are a lot of ways, I suppose, but part of me has to believe that a fair amount of the time, the bad guy didn’t really start out that way.
A friend gave me the socks I'm wearing when she divided up a collection of villain inspired stockings with witches and evil stepmothers amongst her most seemingly fitting friends. While none of us is actually evil, all of us can pull off a wicked cackle~ and perhaps more importantly, we all give the impression of frightening ferocity when we need to.
Like the other villain sock owners, I’ve personally been considered the bad guy, or bad girl as the case may be, enough times in my life to realize that you really don’t even really have to actually be that bad at all to get the name.
The people who think I’m bad have clearly never run with any actual bad girls. Although, I suppose that could be a matter of opinion.
I’ve also been called scary and mean, which is probably more accurate, as I suppose I can be both on occasion (generally when provoked!!)
But that still brings me back to the question of what makes a person be considered a bad guy in the first place?
Sometimes, it’s just that they have an opinion and they express it and people don’t like that~ which isn't really fair.
Or they have boundaries that other people don’t think are valid and don’t want to honor. Again, not all that fair.
A lot of times, they get labeled because they flipped out for some reason or another, the scale of which frightened everyone within a 12 mile radius.
Clearly, explosions are not the healthiest or most pleasant way to deal with things, but the thing is, people don’t explode over small isolated events (even if it sometimes seems like they do.)
People flip because of the build up of unresolved frustrations~ sometimes because they have stifled what they need to say, feel or do about something, and sometimes because they’ve unsuccessfully tried to express themselves so many times, and they still aren’t being heard or helped.
If it seems out of the blue, my guess is that other people weren’t paying attention to the bazillion and five hundred clues that led up to it.
The trouble is that once you lose your shizzle, everyone just looks at you all crazy like, and maybe they do some sort of short term compliance in an attempt to calm you down, but they never, ever actually think about what you were freaking out about, let alone consider the validity in your stance.
No. They just act like you’re nuts and that they need to momentarily patronize your overly emotional wacko-ness so you shut up and they can go back to life as usual.
My question is, why the heck do we have to get to the point of no return before people listen?
A good friend was just telling me about a woman who is known for just saying no.
No excuses, no explanations. If she doesn’t want to do something, she just says no.
Can you even imagine?
Apparently, and as I would expect, this dumbfounds people. I, personally, am fascinated by this concept~ I mean, I suppose we’ve all seen the memes telling us that “No is a complete sentence” but who actually stops there at just plain no?
And do people actually listen? To just one word???
My tendency has been more to explain things in not just one or two, but 75 ways or so. My point is that I want people to understand my reasoning, and I don’t want to be an a-hole who is just saying no to be mean.
But maybe I should, because really, I think many people could care less about all of my explanations. In fact, I suspect a good number of them may actually have a strong dislike of hearing me drone on. (and on and on and onnnnnn)
So, as much as I’m trying to be helpful, it’s possible I’m not helping at all and no one is actually feeling any better or caring, let alone understanding my point.
Sometimes, you try really, really hard to nicely tell people no. I’ve actually tried saying things like: “Hey, this situation isn’t working for me. Continuing this way is not an option, and it needs to change.”
But then……... it doesn’t.
So, you mention it again. “This is still bothering me, and I’m not OK accepting it.”
They say they hear you, and there might even be a micro movement in the direction you hope for (yes, yes, I know to celebrate these….I do!) But months later, you are still 99.9% in the exact same situation.
I realize that in all honesty, I probably never have actually JUST said no and stopped there. I have however tried things similar the above versions of no (which I thought were pretty freaking good….at least as good as I could muster from all the dang communication books I’ve tried reading) but it came along with a good deal of “blah, blah, blah, blah” until I eventually am exhausted from trying to get my point across with soooooo little progress.
Or, even worse….I have tried to hold my tongue and work around my frustrations in a feeble attempt to care for people because I know my words are not always gentle enough for fragile people and situations. Ugggh. It’s awful.
I’m really rather tired of both of these methods, because they clearly don’t work and more than anything, I’m tired of the unhealthy pent up frustration that eventually leads to an explosion~ after which I still feel awful~ sometimes more than before.
One thing I really hate in situations like this, is that the person who flips, whether it was me or someone else, gets painted as the bad guy.... and the people who wouldn’t listen to twelve million requests for help / change / whatever don’t seem to make connection to their actions (or lack of) and the resulting flip out.
Sheesh. I mean, how about a little self reflection, folks?
When my Boy Child was a little thing of 3 or 4, he would sometimes attack. As in launch his body onto another, fists and feet pummelling and jaw open for a bite. It’s not easy to be the mother in this case, even if it was not unprovoked nor without warning~ it was generally a case of another child pestering him, sometimes physically poking or pinching and after repeated warnings and requests to stop, he would eventually turn into Hulk mode and whoop them.
Sometimes, the mother of the pestering child would get all judgey, which was really annoying because my kid had tried to use his words, and while I don’t think attacking was the right thing to do, I always wished they would consider sharing the concept of consequences with their kid. Because it’s not like the attack was out of the friggen blue.
Perhaps the nut did not fall from the tree, which brings me back to me and my coming to terms with the fact that sometimes, no matter how much I try to explain it away, I am just going to be considered the bad guy.
And that’s OK, because in life, the reality is that sometimes when you mess with the bull, you get the horns.
And while I don’t like it, I’m learning to be ok with it, because really, I’d rather speak my truth and be unpopular than carry the burden of pretending to be ok when I’m not.
This post doesn’t really have a resolution, other than acceptance.
So, while I’m trying to learn to just say no without explanations and to make boundaries that are firm yet somehow friendly at the same time and all that non violent communication style stuff, I’ll also pull up my villain socks, and practice my evil cackle just in case I need it.
How about you? What do you think about being the bad guy?