Excuse Me, What Did You Just Say?

by Frank

Young Man Screaming

Photo by Ian Kahn

I have a guest post on Discovering Purpose titlted, Perception vs. Reality. Please check it out.

Does any of this sound familiar?

I can’t believe you just asked me that.

How would you like me to respond?

Wow! Is that really how you feel?

Well do it then. Hit me. I dare you to hit me. ­čÖé

In the midst of all of the Thanksgiving fun there is sometimes pain tucked in between the sweet potatoes and mac and cheese. When the egg nog gets flowing people start speaking their minds. They also start slurring their words, knocking things over, and without regard to anyone else they start hurting people’s feelings. It is the people that are closest to you that can hurt you the most. So watch out because things from your past just love to re-emerge when the family gets together.

Do you have a crazy uncle that says whatever comes to mind?

How about a mean aunt or grandma that just screams at you because she doesn’t have anything else to do?

None the less there is someone who always rubs you the wrong way. Like oil and water, lamb and tuna fish, cat and dogs, there are just some people you don’t go well with. I have been called fat, ugly, stupid, lazy, and cheap. I mean goodness, I am not fat. The rest I kind of see where they are coming from. ­čÖé

These are the people that I love that talk to me like I am crap. Now I don’t want you to think I am the victim because I can dish it out just as well as I can take it. I just want to give you a few tips to help you survive without having to have a fist fight with the in-laws.

Some of these are valid. Most of them are playful. I will mix them all together and let you decide. Let the games begin. Good luck!

Tip #1

The Dumb Stare

One time a person (my family reads this site) said something extremely rude to me. Instead of getting angry and overreacting I gave them a blank look. I stared at this person like they had said something to me in French. I don’t speak French. Eventually the person got the hint and walked away.

Tip #2

The Someone More Important Maneuver.

One year a person was really letting me have it. I was at my boiling point. They were laying it on thick like turkey gravy on dressing. During our conversation a random person walked in the door. I didn’t care who it was, it could have been a toddler, they immediately became the MOST important person in the world to me. I stopped the person from talking by saying, “Is that ….. I haven’t seen him/her in years,” and walked away.┬áRepeat as necessary.

Tip #3

Reinforcements

I was backed into a corner. None of my other techniques would work. I couldn’t run away. I couldn’t give a dumb stare. I was trapped. I literally would not be a free man today had I not called in for help. This person had crossed the line, stumped on it, spit in it and tried to erase it. They were going to tell me what they really thought about me.

Feeling the anger build up within me I quickly called for backup. This is a code word for a random member of the family to come over and witness the verbal attack. I would have the other party come over and then I would say exactly what the attacker said to me. “He/She just called me an……. Can you believe that?┬áThen throw in┬áthe dumb look┬áwith both people staring at the attacker and you are good to go. Bye bye evil family member.

Just make sure you don’t pick a person who will agree with the attacker. This also make the attacker re-visit what they just said. Many times this is enough to get them to stop.

So there you have it, three tips that will help you avoid going crazy on your arch enemy during your Thanksgiving holiday.

How would you handle it differently?