Being Called A C*nt By A Stranger

Writing

It’s not everyday that you can indulge in the luxury of having off-the-cuff profanities spat at you on a public street whilst on your daily commute home from work.

So given that exactly this unfolded this very evening makes me really want to count my lucky stars and thank God for all of the socially defunct individuals who scuttle through our streets, waiting to pounce unannounced on the unprepared passerby a.k.a. moi.

No matter who you are or where you are, rest assured, an ill-mannered, pale and stale son of a b*tch will force their way into your life if only for a moment to p*ss on your parade. What kind of world do we live in where you can’t even walk down a residential street without being told you’re a c*nt by a stranger? Cat calls are bad enough but to say something so vulgar such as the C-word is a total disrespect and disregard for me as a human being.

If the world p*sses you off, don’t take it out on me. Mental-illness gets a bypass, but if you are not mentally-ill and instead you are someone who quite bluntly gets a kick out of straight-up verbally insulting someone you know nothing about then  you’re someone we should feel sorry for. For your life must be in a seriously dire state for you to be so cruel.

As the hooded man in his late-thirties stared into my soul while simultaneously slating it as he spewed the expletive with such conviction, I felt a tremor of shock ripple through my body. I turned my head to ensure he wasn’t going to step up his verbal assault with a physical one.

I stopped momentarily, struck by confusion as to why someone who doesn’t know me felt so compelled to say such a thing. As I watched him fade into the darkness of the Winter evening, my thoughts of confusion followed and faded alongside him too. In exchange came one clear intrinsic thought – ‘why be an enemy to yourself when you have plenty of enemies in this world’, not to say that every stranger I encounter is an enemy but moreso it’s this idea that we are all so hard on ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies, we look at self-love as something which is either mushy or big-headed. But those who see it in these lights fail to understand the true meaning of love. Perhaps love means different things to different people, to me it is an unconditional kindness and care for someone/something. Absent of harm, and full of compassion. It’s funny how we can apply all of these to another human being yet can struggle so much to apply them to ourselves. I am notoriously hard on myself, and I’m sure there has been times in your life where you have been so too. When you reflect on the ‘stick over carrot’ model this, do you think it has led to better or worse outcomes? Better or worse moods?

Perhaps I really should be thankful for the stranger who called me the c-word. For he made me realise that self-love is more important than I may have believed previously. I’m not saying that we need to put our guards up to strangers and repeat affirmation after affirmation to ourselves in the bathroom mirror before blowing ourselves a big kiss each morning. But I do believe if we were to even pause for a moment each day and reflect on how we are feeling, how well we are looking after ourselves then really all of us would be in a better place. Maybe even the man who swore at me today, he needs some self-reflection! Some self-care.

I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself, and if you are then don’t be! Because someone may just call you a c*nt for being so!

 

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Bullying In The Workplace

Writing

Being bullied is never an easy thing to deal with, and compounding the matter is dealing with bullying from someone at your place of employment. In this situation you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, for alot of us, we can’t just get up and move jobs or tell the bully how we really feel about them. Showing annoyance to the bully could make us look like the aggressor infront of other colleagues or just fuel their taunting even further.  So what to do?

  1. Try Ignoring It

This would be my initial advice, there are twisted individuals out there who get a rise out of making good people feel like victims. If you don’t show them the irritation they are looking for from you then in some cases the bully moves on.

  1. Try Reasoning With Them

The saying that ‘hurt people, hurt people’ is true sometimes, perhaps they are irritated with something about their own lives and they’re taking it out on you. Perhaps patience and trying to understand why this person is acting a certain way towards you may be a step in resolving the situation. It must be noted that this can’t be said for everyone in my opinion and in no way should someone’s past be an excuse for abusive actions. But trying to settle things by talking to someone may be alot easier than escalating the situation further. Ofcourse this depends on the kind of behaviour the bully is exhibiting. If they are assaulting you or being verbally abusive then reasoning may not be an option. Instead I would take step 3.

  1. Seek Support And Guidance

If you feel like the bullying isn’t ceasing up, you should  seek help. No one has to tolerate abusive behaviour from another person. I would seek advice from a manager, if the manager is the bully or just generally unhelpful  then I would suggest contacting Human Resources or an external helpline not linked to the workplace.

Being on the receiving end of a bully at work, I found it difficult on how to confront them in this environment while still defending myself. If you are being bullied do not accept it. Seek help.