Knowledge November - Day 30 - Willing Wounds
It is sad and deflating to realise that at the ages of 41 and 42 respectively, my husband Love Chunks and I still feel the pain of knowing that someone doesn’t like us.
Despite all the ‘I don’t care what they think about us, rhetoric and the ‘They don't know us at all’ throw-away lines, the realisation that someone doesn’t like us really hurts.
We’ve both also found out the hard way that being brave and speaking out, tackling the ‘Why are you behaving this way?’ or ‘What have we done that we can change to make things right again?’ hard questions invariably blows up in our perplexed faces. We’re the ones who end up looking like the troublemakers when we are clearly expected to keep the peace and put up with the shabby treatment.
A lot of the dislike we receive is via perception and feeling and atmosphere. As per Knowledge November Day 26 unlike the movies, rarely are disputes aired openly in real life; they’re instead done via sneaky manoeuvres that make it hard for the accuser (or ‘The Disliked’ as we find ourselves being) to actually describe specifically. This is just as common at work as it is in personal life.
I'd originally put a few examples here of what our Disliker had done, but they're mostly done well enough to be 'hidden' from anyone else present and look trivial when put in cold, hard writing. The Disliker knows what they're doing and knows that we know, and that seems to be enough. For now.
All that Love Chunks and I really accept is that there’s nothing we’ve done to be ashamed of. We’ve been hospitable, friendly, provided a fantastic meal, conversation, a spankingly-clean home (my hands are scaly dry from forgoing gloves when scrubbing the bathroom, toilet, kitchen and laundry) and done our damnedest to ask about The Disliker's life.
It is a particularly bittersweet trap to be caught in: calling them on their recent rather rude behaviour will just get them defensive and claim that we’re trying to cause a drama, are obsessed with finding fault or won’t let bygones be bygones. We’ve both apologised before for real and perceived slights and already feel as though we’ve been the more generous and open party in this desperate little duel.
LC and I have decided not to say anything. The next gathering we meet at will certainly be interesting, but there’ll be other friends, family, food and fun times to work our way around without having to bump up against each other too often. We've decided that 'say and do nothing' is the tactic we'll use. For now.
Behind me, the sliding door opened as I was sitting at the table reading the paper. LC was outside cleaning the BBQ and tapped me on the shoulder.
“Let’s face it Kath, we can’t stand the fact that someone doesn’t like us.”
He’s right. Who does?