Monday, September 29, 2008

Thin Skinned

Am I mental?  No wait, I know the answer to that one.

But even so, what I do not know is why random people--strangers really--can get under my skin.  Why on earth would I give more than three seconds worrying about them.  But I do.

For instance, I just got a call on my cell.  "Hi, is this Jenny?"

"Um, no, it's not."

"Is this Sarah?"

"It's not, you have the wrong number."

At least 5 seconds passed here, and I started to wonder if she'd hung up when, "Okay, thank you for being so rude" sounded sarcastically through the other end of my phone.

I'd like to inform you (since you can't read tone) that I was in a pretty good mood at the moment I'd answered, and I thought I had a friendly, smiling sound to my voice as I answered this person.  I had no opportunity of inquiring what about my manner had been so rude.  Maybe that's best. 

I related all of this to #2 who laughed a little at the silliness and went right back to looking through the Pottery Barn Teen catalog.  I realized that in telling her I was searching for validation and comfort, which I was not given.  I should have been able to follow her example;  laugh and move on.  This was such a tiny thing.  And tiny things like this seem to happen to everyone now and then.  It wasn't really about me.  I should have been able to blow it off.  But that accusation continued to ring through my ears.  I wanted to defend myself as a generally un-rude person.  

So how do I do it?  How do I disconnect my self-image from the misunderstandings of people who hardly know me or don't know me at all?  Imagine how I fall apart when folks who DO know me disagree with me or the way I've handled something.  It can be days and weeks of internal turmoil.  I need a thicker skin.  Well, Christmas and my birthday are coming up, so if you needed any present ideas ...

1 fishy comments:

Jeanne said...


I can't stand when I get incoming calls on my cell from strangers. Why should I pay for calls that a stranger makes to me?

I'm sure you did or said nothing rude at all.

Keep in mind that this person was distracted enough (or whatever their issue was) to dial the wrong number AND then make multiple guesses as to who it might be.

This person was the one who was rude! It is normal to be annoyed by someone who calls you on your cell phone, is told politely that they have the wrong number, and then turns around and insults you!

SHE is the one who is rude! It can be hard to let these things go... but some people just march to their own drummer. Sounds like you got a call from one of these ppl who is in her own world!

Try not to let it get to you. Laughing about it and moving on is a good idea.

It may be harder for you to do that than it was for #2... but you have to remember that the rude person who is accusing YOU of being rude is really on her own planet... from what you have decribed!