Personal Essay #9 – Human Interaction

Personal Essay Button I’ll be writing and posting Personal Essays on the last Tuesday of every month. They will be honest, sometimes vivid explorations of my life.

I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.

Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.

Let it begin:

They say that feelings engage a reader. I think they drive people forward too; actions bring on reactions and consequences. Not that the people on the street pay them; they’re too far away. No, those consequences seem to be paid by the ones closest to me. I just don’t know what to make of it.

I’m drawn toward or away from my family and friends by their reactions toward me. I can’t help myself. A warm hug is welcoming whether physical or verbal. But I’ll immediately pull away when thoughtlessness occurs, it’s only for a moment. Although logic dictates that nothing is meant by it, the wound doesn’t go away. What is this about?

I sometimes think it’s more natural to treat strangers with more respect than the people in our circle. It is possible I’m more offended or hurt by the ones closest to me. I expect them to know my boundaries. And, I will simply make an excuse for a stranger—must have been in a hurry, had a bad day, etc. Where if my son is rude, I verbally slap him back.

So my son’s reward for being close to me is the simple fact I have less restraint with him, and speak my mind. I’m willing to express my unhappiness like verbal diarrhea. When I’m logical, like now, I find my behavior to be unacceptable. I’ll sit down with myself and say, stop it. I’ll promise myself it won’t happen again, but I never keep my word.

I love the people in my life and wish I was less reactive—more consistent. Whether I give them a hug, or not, may pass me by unnoticed, but I know I give them acceptance. Simply meaning I take their crap and try not to make a fuss, just as they do for me. Yet I still wonder, why is my instinct to treat complete strangers better than the ones I love. It’s a mystery.


10 responses to “Personal Essay #9 – Human Interaction

  1. I agree with this and it’s like the saying that we always hurt those we’re closest to.

  2. Very well said.
    Your son sounds like a real tough guy.

  3. I agree with the others, bad of loving someone is taking the bad with the good and sadly sometimes the ones we love get more bad than strangers would.
    I think with kids especially an apology goes a really long way and more often than not they are so very forgiving, even when we don’t always feel like we deserve it. 😉

  4. I think this is a simple manifestation unconditional love, Anna. When we’re secure in our love for someone and their love for us, sometimes we don’t edit our behavior as we would with a stranger. The reverse is also true, and stinging words from a loved one strike a deeper cord in us, our pain is more extreme.

    VR Barkowski

  5. Yeah. For some reason, because we trust them to love us anyway, we have a tendency to dump on our loved one. I think we all need pets. They don’t mind if we rant and don’t take it personally.

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