I’m a Huge Bitch, and I Love My Life (For the Most Part)
She wouldn’t stop complimenting me.
It felt weird.
We were at one of those hotel bars, drinking overpriced bourbon. Within five minutes she told me how much she loved my hair, and my shirt. She told me how smart I was three or four times. Finally I asked her what was going on. That’s when her smile faded.
“The truth is,” she admitted. “I can’t stand you.”
So we eased away from the group and started having a real conversation. Turns out, I’d done a couple of things to offend her way back when we were in grad school together. She was trying to overcome her dislike for me by being especially nice. It wasn’t working.
I apologized and told her I’d recently found out I was on the autism spectrum. We offend people without trying. Sometimes what we think is nice actually hurts. She seemed to get it, sort of. We didn’t hug each other. We didn’t become besties, but I think she hated me a little less after that. More importantly, we have genuine interactions now.
No more fake compliments.
I’m content to be a negative bitch.
A lot of people think I’m a bitch.
You don’t have to bypass your emotions or act nice around people you don’t like. You get to say what you think. You get to be friends with people you actually want to spend your time with.
You should try it sometime. Because I think if we can all agree on one thing for a few minutes, it’s that pretending to be super nice to people you don’t like is a terrible waste of your life.
Disclaimer: No, I’m not really a negative bitch. But that’s how I come across. So I just own it. And so can you, even if you’re a guy!
Let’s stop talking about attitudes.
Yesterday, I read an article about luck. It used the example of a woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima and went on to live a long life. According to the article, an optimist would consider her lucky.
A pessimist wouldn’t.
Here’s the thing:
For some reason, I doubt this woman thought she was going to survive the bombing of Hiroshima at the time. She was probably terrified. I don’t think she was fleeing the destruction of her home thinking, “I’m so lucky! If I can make it through this, I’ll live to be a hundred!”
Maybe it’s just me…
Even later, she probably spent years wondering if it was going to happen again. Also, let’s not forget that atomic bombs didn’t simply fall out of the sky on their own, raining radioactive hellfire down on her. The most powerful nation in the world selected her city for annihilation, because her country decided to join forces with a fascist tyrant.
I don’t really believe in good luck or bad luck. I believe there are decisions you get to make, and ones you don’t. Surviving a nuclear attack is good. Losing everything you’ve known is bad.
So, what stance is that?
We mistake pragmatism for pessimism all the time.
I’ve called myself a pessimist.
The truth is, I’m not.
I’m actually a pragmatist who just doesn’t give a shit about how pessimistic she sounds anymore. Positivity wonks call me a pessimist, and that’s fine. I’ve decided to own it. I’ve appropriated the word and repurposed it. What I practice is actually called defensive pessimism.
What’s that, is it even a thing?
Yes, it is.
Go look it up.
Defensive pessimism is about anticipating the worst outcomes and planning for them, not pretending they won’t happen. It’s also about honesty in times of crisis, and avoiding false hope.
You can’t kill someone with kindness.
I’ve been very disappointed with the results.
Being kind to someone without a conscience makes things so much worse. History has been down this road a few times. When you appease monsters, they just take more and more stuff.
Pleasing people is how so many of us become pushovers, exploited by bad bosses and ungrateful lovers. If you have to kiss someone’s ass just to get them to listen to you for five minutes, then you’ll be kissing their ass forever, and they won’t even care.
Most people don’t have an ass worth kissing. The legends of their ass have been greatly exaggerated.
Positive people are complete hypocrites.
Here’s something I’ve noticed about “positive people.”
They’re positive, as long as they get their way. The minute something goes wrong, they start whining and bitching worse than the people they call toxic. It’s really something. They keep all their frustration and disappointment bottled up instead of dealing with it, until it erupts and they blow up at someone they’re supposed to care about.
Or they just let it gurgle up in little passive-aggressive comments and petty asides behind your back.
I’ve never been someone who had all my shit together, at least when it comes to my emotions, but at least I’ve never poured syrup all over someone I hated and pretended to be their friend.
Personality traits are overrated.
The truth is, a lot of people out there use terms like “happy” and “miserable” simply to shame people who aren’t like them.
I’m over it.
I’m just going to say it…
We’re all bad listeners sometimes. We’ve all gone through a phase when we were the toxic one. We all struggle with stress and sleep, and we all fumble the work-life balance. We all talk down to ourselves, without even realizing it. All of us have a past we deeply regret, and a head full of embarrassing memories destined to get longer.
So let’s stop pretending.
None of us have a fucking clue what we’re doing most of the time. We might think we’re hot shit when we’re not, or we might feel like a hopeless loser when we’re actually killing it.
How do you know?
No instruction manual for life will ever be good enough. You figure it out through trial and error. There’s no other way.
Stop trying so hard.
Here’s a paradox:
Psychologists have found the single most powerful source of unhappiness. It’s a simple question:
Am I happy?
The second you ask that question, you start thinking about happiness and what it means. That makes you less happy.
It’s downhill from there.
That’s kind of screwed up, but it’s true. I’ve felt it. I’ll just be walking along through my neighborhood, admiring the foliage, and bam. I’ll ask myself something stupid like, “Is this what it means to be happy?”
And in that moment, I’ve lost that nice feeling. You know what the best answer to that question is?
I don’t know.
There’s no such thing as a toxic person or a happy one. There’s things that make you happy, and things that piss you off. There’s people who like you, and people who pretend. There’s people who can’t seem to find any happiness in the world, and we’ll never know why. They might put on a good act for everyone, or they might turn their misery into a broadway show. We get too caught up with what we think we should be.
It creates a real mess.
I’ve dumbed my life down considerably, and I love it.
I’ve got a house and a kid and a spouse and a cat. When I wake up, I don’t want to deal with any of it. The first word I hiss to myself in the morning is, “Goddammit.” Then I have a cup of last night’s coffee, and things come into focus. At some point I catch myself having fun.
Stop trying to perfect your life.
Just be a bitch.