This morning my sister posted this status on facebook: “i’m past the point of yelling….i’ve entered the defeated stage.” I responded with something (two things actually) about how I was right there with her but this other woman, someone who I’m sure is a completely lovely person, responded with “It gets better, I promise!”
Really? Really? Was this response necessary? Of course it gets better, the fact that there are still humans on the planet proves that it gets better. If it didn’t get better then our parents would have killed us all when we were kids and driving them crazy and we wouldn’t be here to have kids of our own to drive us crazy (in what some like to call the great circle of life).
Why do people feel the need to post, or even say, things like that?
When I complain (which I do with some regularity) I don’t want reassurance, I know that “this too shall pass”, and that “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” (or permanently debilitated), and I know that “it gets better”. I don’t need you to tell me. I don’t want you to tell me.
If that’s all you have to say then I want you to leave me alone.
However, because I am nothing if not helpful and accommodating, here is a list of the kinds responses that I will accept.
1. Snark right back. I comment that I hate the weather go ahead and tell me that the weather hates me too.
2. Tell me to get over myself. This is best done with overblown and somewhat amorphous problems used in comparison (“really, your kids are crying? Well there are kids in Libya who can’t cry because their despot governmental leader will kill them if they do”) as compared to something more tangible (“Your husband worked all day? Well my sister’s husband just bankrupted the family and then took off leaving her alone with 4 kids under 5”) but really the point is the same either way, in the grand scheme of things I don’t have it so bad.
3. Give me your comparable story. This is not done in the spirit of one-upmanship, I don’t want to hear about how your day was so much worse because… just tell me about how yours was bad too, misery loves company after all. (Unless your day really was that much worse, if I’m complaining that I stubbed my toe and you broke your femur you can go ahead and tell me to “get over it you whiny little baby.”)
4. Blow it out of proportion. I tell you that I messed up dinner, tell me that you’re so sorry for my loss (of dinner) and you hope that with some time to mourn and some therapy I can move on and still make something of my life. There’s nothing like blowing something even farther out of proportion to give a little perspective.
5. Make me laugh. Seriously, something, anything. In context or out, if you can make me laugh you’re golden.
6. Give me an “amen.” If you agree with me, you know what I’m saying and you agree with me and have felt or are feeling the same way toss me a “sing it sister” and be done with it.
7. Just stay silent. Often when I’m complaining I just want to get it out. I don’t need your support, I’m not looking for your sympathy, I just want to get it out there. If I’ve done that then my job is done. You read it and if you have nothing to add then your job is done. Wasn’t that easy?
I have one more thing to say because as obnoxious as the pointless platitudes are there is one thing that makes me want to stab myself (and the commenter) in the eye it’s the (((hugs))). Seriously people.