Ever wonder why some folks return venom and rejection when others, as a rule, show kindness and concern with most everything they say and do. The not-knowing why a person does what he does, can drive you crazy with speculation, sometimes.
Momma use to say, "Oh, he just got up on the wrong side of the bed." Or, "He musta had a hair in his biscuit this morning."
I notice when my granddaughters are brimming over and tickled pink, it is usually because they have spent a bunch of time making mud-pies and playing outside in the sun. Or, their daddy has taken them on one of their museum trips and explained why folks say "Geronimo!"
However, when they are in a sour irritable mood, they are either tired, bored, hungry, or upset that they didn't get their way about something. Sometimes they are simply dealing with the consequences they bring upon themselves--the guilt, the punishment, the isolation, the shunning of their friends and siblings. I go through the process of elimination with them and figure out exactly what's bugging them.
I do that with lousy waiters and waitresses, too. I can't ask them nitty gritty specifics, but I ask empathetic questions with, has it been a busy day today? you look like you've had a rough day today, too. Usually, a person who is having a rough day says so. Details. It's important, I think, to pay attention to details. A furrowed brow. A clenched jaw. A pinched lip. The way they place the food on the table. Unfortunately, you can't do much observing behind a monitor; can you?
About all you can do is read what others say, study their interchanges with others, check out their blogs to gauge their character, their normal "voice" and tone on issues. You examine words and phrases, and discourse, to see what you can determine from beneath the microscope of inspections. You watch, from afar. You see if others who think like you are treated with disdain or approval. You wait to see if others are given a pass on that which you see another get condemned for doing. You see if there is a pattern of approval and disapproval--of favoritism and selective rebuke. You watch for buzz-words that trigger anger or calm folks down. You do as they do. Then you wait.
You wait to see if what you do is as acceptable as what others do. You observe how others approach what you do and what you say and try and discern why they are angry, frustrated, irritated, annoyed or plum hunky-dory. Then you decide if what you do is worth a hassle, the feedback, the insults, the condemnation. You have stood on this battlefront before. You know the arrows that will fly: Sometimes they come in full force. Sometimes a single one lit with fire. Sometimes with precision. Many times they miss the mark entirely. Other times they glance your cheek but leave you unscathed. You assess the battle ahead. When you've gathered the information you need and have the data to "prove" a point you believe is worth making, you have a choice to make. Stand strong, move forward, or retreat.
The choice is yours. You make a decision. Then you do what you always do:
You go to the museum and spend time with your Father and find out why folks cry, "Geronimo!" before they take a leap of faith. You wonder if you truly have what it takes to be strong and courageous as people try to take away your freedom and force you to live on the controlled reservations of life. Then you go make mud-pies in the Sunshine. selahV