Day Six: Flaws
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how easy it is to see your own flaws when you’re in a serious relationship? And no, by “see your own flaws” I don’t mean “for your significant other to point out your flaws.” This is something I’m noticing more recently that’s changing from when I was single, probably because I pay more attention now to how my words and actions affect the person I’m going to be with for, like, life.
Don’t get me wrong, I never thought I was perfect. Come to think of it, I don’t know anyone who would readily say that they’re perfect; but don’t a lot of us just assume we’re “pretty good”? I could get into a religious discussion about this, but that’s not where I’m headed today. In this context, I’m referring to our ignorance of ourselves.
Let me establish that I don’t have much of a filter. This characteristic of mine usually comes out in a snarky, sarcastic comment, not always meant to put the other person down, but more often just a humorous observation of the situation, which the other person takes personally, and it’s usually not until after the words are out of my mouth that I understand that. Sometimes, I’m sure I’ve never understood when I’ve upset someone, and therein lies the ignorance. As I’ve said before, Cory and I joke a lot, but I can tell when I’ve said something a little too harsh. He doesn’t have to say anything – and he never does – because it’s all in the subtle changes of his demeanor. After this happened enough times, I got wise to what I was doing.
When Cory and I first met, I was at my snarkiest. Rather than my comments flowing through an expensive, high-grade, heavy-duty refrigerator filter, they gushed through tissue paper. Partially, this was because I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship and didn’t feel threatened with loneliness if someone didn’t like the way I was. But partially, it was a defense mechanism.
Brashness = seemingly untouchable = won’t attract a waste of my time = won’t fall in love or feel unsubstantiated happiness = won’t get hurt.
Looking back, I see that not all the recipients, be they friends or otherwise, of my borderline rudeness deserved it, and my equation – just like myself – was flawed. As my life takes a turn in which I must always consider the feelings, schedule, wants, needs, etc. of someone else, the cause (selfishness) has to be treated in order to lessen the symptom (cutting remarks, among other flaws).
My point is (and I dislike even using that term, because the reader is like, “Obviously this is your point, or you wouldn’t be saying it.” In fact, just forget I said that.)
I won’t claim that from here on, because I’ve seen the error of my ways, I’ll strive to be a meek and mild woman who never speaks ill of anyone. I’ve got wit. That’s who I am. I’m human. I upset people. I feel bad about it later. But being without a husband on the horizon made it hard for me to see what I was doing to upset someone close to me. Since being engaged, I more often consider what I’m about to say, not just to Cory, but to my mom, my coworkers and my friends. Having to consider just one very important person has started to become a habit in my other relationships.
Am I never going to make a snide comment ever again? Uh, like I said: not perfect here. Will I continue to bruise the egos and feelings of Cory, my family and my friends? You better believe it, though not always intentionally. I know days will come (and have come) when one of those people will hurt me or anger me so badly that I’ll want to hurt or anger them just as much. And sometimes I’ll act on it. Sometimes I won’t.
Then again, not having a filter intrigued Cory enough to keep hanging out with me. So I guess our flaws can have a charming flip side, which can make all the difference because they make us who we are.