So I was in the supermarket last night, buying drugs (tea) for pombagira. It must have been Couples Night or something, there were lots of them there, and to my amazement, lots of them were bitching at each other.
I don't get it. The other day as I was walking up Cuba St, I passed a couple going the other way, and overheard her saying to him "And you could get your hands out of your pockets and stand up straight too, dork!" In that 'I'm just having a go at you because I'm shitty' kind of way. To which I went O.o
Last night was more of the same. People sniping at each other, acting like they didn't like each other, taking cheap shots. Is this normal?
Funny thing is, a few years ago I might have said yes. Now, I'm shocked and kind of horrified by the thought that two people who love each other might communicate like that. I understand that people don't always agree about everything, and I understand that nobody communicates perfectly all the time - but there's a difference between having an argument and constant low-level bitching.
Surely if you love someone, that includes enough respect to be polite. I mean, when you love someone, they're special to you, right? I'd assume that means they get normal-level respect-and-politeness Plus, not normal-level respect-and-politeness Minus. Not dressing them down and insulting them as you walk down a public street might be a good place to start with the respect and politeness, I reckon. It's a bit of a statement about the relationship when your partner is more polite to the cashier at the supermarket than they are to you, especially in front of the cashier.
Dunno. Maybe I'm judgemental. Maybe all these people were having a bad day, at the same time. But for me, there are some things that are dealbreakers in ANY relationship (I'm not just talking about romantic ones now) - and disrespectful treatment is close to the top of the list. Whether in private or in public, treating me as though I'm somehow 'less than' will make me avoid that person's company and seek out people who hold me in enough regard to be polite. Because I've seen where cutting people slack for disrespect leads. Perhaps not surprisingly, it leads to more disrespect. And in a particular type of person, it leads to them thinking they can do whatever they want to you, be that physically or emotionally.
Questions: Think of someone you respect. Someone you respect a lot. Would you lie to them? Would you hit them? Would you rape them? Would you risk their life by having unprotected sex with other people and not telling them? Would you destroy their property? Would you insult them, in private or in public? And if you wouldn't do it to that person, would you do it to say, your Mum? Your boss?
What makes people think it's ok to treat their partners badly? If they really have that low an opinion of their partner, why are they together? Surely it's better to be single than to be in a relationship if insults and sniping are the norm, and you think your partner is lower than dirt?*
I don't get it. I feel very privileged to be in a position where I don't get it. And to be honest, I think part of the reason for that privilege is because for so long I TOTALLY got it, in a total-immersion kind of way.
This is me, over here, able to see just how shitty that kind of thing is in a relationship, and avoid it. See how far I've come. It's nice to get a reminder every now and then.
*I also cringe at those bitchfests (they are common to women and men), where people talk about how useless their partners are.
OK, think I'm done now. I guess that bothered me more than I thought. Hmm.