How many of you manage to touch a nerve with somebody on various topics? If you’re like most people, you can say something where you open your mouth and insert your foot. Sometimes it can be something so innocent that you don’t think anything about and the other person hears it in a context that angers them or frustrates them. I’ve had that happen more than once. I also had it happened last night at a committee meeting. I have this terrible habit of saying what I think. Sometimes people are very open to what I say. Other times they’re ready to tell me to put a cork in it. Last night was no exception. In essence, I told some folks that we needed to practice what we say. That information got me a dirty look and a lot of quiet.
I’m used to touching nerves. That’s one of the problems with being open. Yet, the question remains that if we don’t touch people’s nerves, are we being honest? Sometimes, the answer is a resounding yes, and other times, we remain quiet because there are times and places to cool our opinions. My friends and I often say that we “don’t like people.” And it’s not that we don’t like them, but instead, we don’t like how people act. When I say, “I love my family, I just don’t like them.” I’m not saying it to be mean. I’m only referring to the fact that some family members push my buttons in ways that I try to refrain from being vocal to them and ruining what small relationships I have with them. People often laugh when I tell them those two things, but I’m not joking in many ways.
My boss came in yesterday to retrieve the monthly paperwork. He tried to avoid the subject when I told him that I needed a raise. But I felt that I deserved one with so many businesses raising their minimum wage and the fact I haven’t had a raise in a couple of years. I work my tail off and have tired of working for very little money, especially when I have extensive education. I’ve decided to change my circumstances and learned that if you don’t let it be known in life what you want, you’ll never have the opportunity to acquire those things.
A few years ago, my Dad was fighting for his life with cancer. Anyone who knows me well knows that watching my dad fight so hard was destroying me. I was angry at the doctors who misdiagnosed him and mad at cancer. I became frustrated because my job laid me off and angry with my ex-husband for getting involved with a look-a-like, had a child with her, and continued to make bad choices. To say that every nerve I had was gone is an understatement. I learned who my true friends were in all of the mayhem. When Dad went to the hospital, one of the doctors looked at me and said, “Why do you want your dad to go home when he’s going to die?” I retorted, “He’s going to die anyway; I’m not willing to let you guys blow him up like a balloon off fluids.” He responded, “Touché’). I may not be the brightest bulb in the shed, but I’m not the dimmest either, and healthcare had proven to me that we have many folks in the profession who need to learn what bedside manner is because they’ve forgotten what it means to be patients.
I have tremendous respect for many men and women in the healthcare industry. My mom is a nurse, my cousin and her soon-to-be ex-spouse are nurses. I have another married cousin in the field, and I know very little about her because she appears to be too good to deal with the rest of the family. Yes, I went there. To say she rubs me the wrong way is a gigantic understatement. All I see with her is the gold digger label. But back to this topic. The biggest issue is when people continuously push a person’s buttons when they know how much that person detests it. Ask anyone who has ever felt bullied in their lives. Do you think that those folks enjoy bullying? Many don’t. If anything, they believe that they are picked on for other people’s enjoyment.
One thing people who continuously touch on other people’s nerves do is yield power over that individual. It’s the same premise with bullies. Everyone has people in their lives at various times who have made them feel this way. But if people can remain calm and not let others intimidate them, then those actions help in the long term. The truth is that when we face the truth about complex issues, we are going to have our nerves touched. We may not like what’s implied or stated, but it’s up to us to determine how that information will affect our lives. I wish I could wave a magic flag and make all the negative energy disappear. Unfortunately, I can’t. I wish I could make the assholes of this world quit showing their true colors, but life doesn’t work that way. The only thing we can control is how we deal with other people. We can choose to be a doormat no longer, or we can choose to remain invisible. It’s our choice.
I hope you can see your worth and not let others make you feel frustrated or agitated. If they do needle you, figure out what truth is in their words and what you are willing to change, if anything. Strength may lie within, but that doesn’t mean that we are strong all the time. We all have days that our weaknesses prevail. The key is to take the control back and stop letting the little things get to us. We all deal with different issues in different ways. I hope this day fills itself with opportunities for you and that you can move forward without tension. Have a great day, everyone.