“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Remember that old saying mom used to tell us? I think it is a useless piece of advice at times when it is necessary to stick up for one’s self or set a healthy boundary with someone. However, say for example, you are given an opinion for which you did not ask, then yes, maybe that person should just keep his mouth shut.
Case in point: I got a new hair cut yesterday and my youngest daughter comes home from school, takes one look at me and says, “I don’t like it. It’s too puffy on the sides.” Normally I would have been secretly hurt a little, but laughed it off and responded with something like, “Oh yeah, it kind of is. Oh well.”
However, I have noticed something inside of me as I have stopped allowing myself to have negative judgements about myself. I am suddenly feeling the urge to challenge those who negatively judge me as well. So, instead of my usual response, I gently said to my daughter after she criticized my new hairstyle, “Please only say positive things about me from now on unless I ask for your opinion.” She said she was just giving her opinion and I reminded her that I didn’t ask for it. Then I asked her if she would have said something like that to one of her friends and she said, no.
In general, my kids tend to say negative things to me about the way I look and act in a teasing way, and we all laugh about it, but after awhile it starts to wear on me and my self-esteem. I feel like I am at the point where I don’t want to listen to it anymore.
Of course, my normal self is saying, “Oh, Jessica you are being silly. They are just joking around. Quit being so sensitive. You are making a big deal out of nothing.” After all, I tease my husband, and really, we all tease each other sometimes.
I think I may just be extra aware of it because I am being so conscious of my own negative judgements. It is such a fine balance between being able to joke around and being offended. I am truly confused right now about where I stand with everything.
I know with the hair comment, what my daughter said was rude. But, with the other stuff, like them teasing me because I cry over sappy commercials or because I am forgetful or about getting old, it really is said in loving fun.
What do you guys think?