This is going to be an awkward post. I’m going to call myself out on something that’s been really bothering me. I figure that maybe if I shame myself on the internet, it’ll jump-start some action. That has been known to work.
I don’t like my tone when I talk to my parents sometimes. I think I need to stop using it. But it keeps happening.
I remember even as a kid, being over a friend’s house and getting annoyed because she was being rude to her parents. It’s one thing to have a private argument or disagreement, it’s another thing entirely to snap at a family member repeatedly in public.
“Mom!” my friend would snap. “Go away! We’re busy! God! Obviously.”
And it wasn’t just her. I had so many friends who would adopt a bratty, whiny, frustrated tone with their parents. With their siblings, too, but mostly with their parents. In college, hanging out at a friend’s house, she was still using that tone. She was squabbling endlessly with her mom, who seemed innocuous and friendly to me. Her mom would leave the room, hands up, backing out like she was trying to placate someone with a gun. No sudden movements. Maintain respectful eye contact (“I hear you, honey. I’m listening to your words!”)but adopt a subservient posture.
“She just doesn’t get it,” my friend told me, explaining as she flung open the refrigerator. “This goes way back.”
What? You being mean to her?
I nodded, confused.