Friday, November 13, 2009

Thin Skin

There are a lot of things I could be accused of. Emotional at times. Stubborn. Passive aggressive. Some of these are positive and some are negative depending upon the situation and what I'm reacting to.

Something I would not say that I am is thin-skinned. In fact, I think for the most part I take criticism fairly well, and don't let the little insults get to me. This week might've proved me wrong.

I'm friends with a lawyer named George. He's a nice enough guy I suppose. I haven't known him that long. We both have contracts with the county we practice in to provide guardian services for juvenile court. He was there first. I think I "knew of" him prior my starting in juvenile court 18 months ago, but I didn't really know him. In the past year, because of some mutual friends, I now would say that I know him to some degree. We are not best friends, nor do we share large parts of our lives. But, overall, I would call him a friend.

George has crossed lines with me in the past. He's made comments that have been inappropriate. Most of these comments have related to race, and have been borderline in my opinion. I think my gauge of appropriateness is pretty liberal. In fact, I enjoy the slightly rude, funny comment as much as the next person, so I don't think I would construe something as off the radar unless it was...really off the radar.

This past week George got angry with me about something fairly trivial. I think he would likely even agree it was trivial. His reaction caught me off guard. He called me a profane name and then told me to ... well I suppose you can guess. These messages were delivered via text message. I was taken aback, and quite honestly, I was offended. For someone to get so angry over something so...inconsequential...well it surprised me.

Then to make matters worse I was approached my another member of the team of people we work with in juvenile court and was informed that George had told her some personal things about my life, my now ex-husband and my children. Not only had he made these comments to her, but he had chosen to say these things in front of several others on the team. By the time I found this out, I was incensed. What was he thinking? How do I react? In the past I probably would've chosen to either ignore the incidents all together or to ignore the fact that I was hurt by his behavior.

Then today I realized again that perhaps I am beginning to take things too seriously or read too much into people's behavior. My daughter was baptized today at the church I've been attending since last winter. She chose this, and was excited about it. I invited one of the people who sometimes attends the church. He was there, but acted slightly odd. Not at all warm or the person that I typically think he is. I felt sort of confused by it, and a little taken aback.

Sometimes I think I am developing thinner skin. Or maybe it's just that I am learning to feel what I feel and not apologize for it necessarily. I doubt that I will raise the issue with the person from my church. George, well I haven't figured out what to do with him. I'm sure I will figure it out. All these feelings and nowhere to go with them I suppose. Or my skin has gotten too thin. Whichever.

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