I think the most hurtful/upsetting thing someone can do to me is this: assume my motives in a negative light, and then proceed to tell me, authoritatively, what my motives are.
“You’re just doing this because _____. You just want _____.”
I HATE this for several reasons.
First of all, no other person can actually see another person’s heart. God is the only one who can do that, and no one I know here on earth is God. So, to act like you know what’s in someone’s heart is extremely presumptive.
(Along those lines, it’s hard for us to accurately see even our own hearts. How could we possibly know what is in someone’s else’s, unless they tell us??)
Second, since no human can see another heart, it is really unkind to assign negative heart motives to someone else. It’s saying, “I can’t know what’s in your heart, actually, so in lieu of knowing, I will write the worst possible story about what’s going on.”
Thirdly, if I have explicitly said why I’m doing something and someone continues to tell me a negative story about my motives, that is a hurtful amount of distrust. Basically, it amounts to accusing me of lying.
I’ve known some people who repeatedly do this, and some have justified it by saying, “Well, I don’t want anyone to get over on me.”
But I think this is a distressingly negative way to live your life. Why go through life assuming the worst, when it’s not possible that you are right all the time? Wouldn’t it be more pleasant to assume the best?
Sure, you’ll be wrong some of the time, but you’ll be wrong some of the time the other way as well. Why not choose the happier option? (which also happens to be the kinder option.)
What ticks you off in interpersonal relationships?
P.S. In the face of obvious evidence, it would be naive to assume righteous motives. I’m just talking about cases where it is unclear; in cases such as those, I think it’s better to assume generously.
P.P.S. Lest I be a hypocrite: I acknowledge that people who operate by assuming negative motives probably do not, themselves, have negative motives for doing this! They are likely just trying to be careful and protect themselves. But regardless of their motives, the impact of behaving this way is truly hurtful.
It sounds kind of harsh when said out loud, but I really don’t like it when someone talks to me like I’m stupid. As a really basic example, if someone is at my house and they tell me “Oh that goes there.” or if I’m going somewhere with another person and when we leave my house they say “Did you lock your door?” Like you, Kristen, I don’t believe the comments are not coming from a negative place (they don’t REALLY think I’m stupid!) but they really get under my skin! Kind of a petty thing, but here I am!
When people say things like, “You need to take care of yourself. Take a nap, let some things go.” This is usually friends and even some family saying this. I know they mean well, so I try not to get ticked off, but I feel like snapping back:
Fine, are you coming over to do my laundry? Weed my garden? Get my bills taken care of? Cook my meals? Shop for my groceries? Help me with my job?
Are you going to visit my husband several times a week? See that his meds are re-ordered and then deliver them to him? Get his consumable supplies he needs in his room replaced? Get him a new pair of glasses? Take him to the doctors? Take me to the doctor that I have to travel 2 hours each way to see? Take care of all his paperwork?
Will you gas up my car? Check my tires? Take my car for an oil change? Clean my house? Check my mail? Feed and water my dog? Take her to the vet? Because then I can get that nap.
I don’t say it, but sometimes I really, really want to. I fight the irritation, because I know they only say it out of concern. I’m sure I’ve done the same thing to others.
Being underestimated and/or overlooked for an opportunity. I don’t like the assumption, or being told with or without words, that I’m incapable. Please just give me a chance. (I also don’t like it if it’s an assumption that I’m unworthy or that my decisions are bad, but that’s more of a judgment call that I can’t control so much.)
This is a weird one, I know: My husband is so good to me that a friend will see him do something their partners don’t do or just notice how affectionate he is, and the friend will say some version of, “You better treat him well or he will find someone else.” Like I am some troll to him!! Although I am physically limited, I am as solicitous of him as he is of me. Every anniversary we have a special meal and talk about whether there is something we could be doing for each other that we are not, and we make adjustments if necessary. Why people assume we both don’t give 100% to this marriage, or don’t think to themselves that something is working if we have been together for 39 years I don’t know, but it annoys me to be thought of as a witch married to a saint. (He is a saint as far as I am concerned, but I am not a witch.)
I hate when people treat me if I’m stupid. My kids do it sometimes – and so do others. I read, I do research, why should I not understand this thing? I was in for a doctor’s appointment once that another office had scheduled me for, and I knew it wasn’t time to talk to that doctor, but I was told to go. He ever so patiently- condescendingly!- was explaining to me that oh, you shouldn’t be here and you need to see other doctor first.. blah blah blah. I was furious. (And I know he’s a nice guy – in fact – he’s now my daughter’s FIL!) But why assume I wouldn’t have looked at the proper process?