Sunday, January 25, 2015

MEAN DIET

Dear Olive,

When I first started dating my husband, one thing that I grew to dislike about him was his irritating refusal to be catty or to gossip in any way.  He was unnervingly nice.  I kept waiting for him to let his guard down so that we could trash talk together.  But he never did.  Since then, I've obviously grown to realize this as my own fault instead of his.  But it still annoys me that when I have a social beef, he continues to respond to with graciousness and maturity.  


Overall, I like to consider myself in the lower extreme of being mean.  I go out of my way to volunteer and to extend kindness to others.  I'm an avid proponent of social justice.  But sarcasm and quips about another's behavior are kind of a part of human nature.  And they tend to be a bit thrilling.  I've recently read this article.  Which hits the nail on the head with what I've been trying to enact ever since the early days of realizing my gossip flaw.   Sarcasm and gossip are a conversational style of our culture.  Asking a colleague, "so what did you think about that inservice?" With leading intent to bash it, is neither constructive nor nice.  But it is reinforcing and forges camaraderie.  Like little meerkats, we like to create a schema that puts us inside the social circle.  But to do so, we also need to leave someone out.  Refusing to engage in the drama is noble, but less sexy.  Endeavoring to be less sexy is a work in progress.

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