The Jellyfish


I was watching the Today show recently. They featured a young writer who had just published an advice book for her generation called “Adulting”. One of her thoughts is that rude people are like jellyfish. They swim around, stinging folks and move on leaving pain in their wake. The writer advised that you should avoid the jellyfish and let them swim on by.

There is a bit of truth in that. I think that some folks feed on drama the way that I feed on Cheetos. There are some people who are simply unhappy and seek to make others unhappy. Did you watch “The Natural” with Robert Redford? There was a character in the film that went around finding the best athletes and shooting them. She built herself up by tearing others down. These negative nellies will always have some type of stinging or hurtful remark. They like to say things that start disagreements. They never talk; they rant.

The ONLY way to take away their power is to ignore them. Delete their comments. Let their words roll off your back. The most hurtful thing you can do to them is to ignore them. They want to be in the middle of things. Acting like you don’t hear them is the best way to diffuse them.

Surprisingly, the jellyfish have people who defend them. “He’s just direct.” “She is doing it for their own good.” I have no idea why people want to justify the behavior of jellyfish, but they do. I think they cannot conceive of a person truly being so hateful. You can use whatever fancy words for it you want, but if a person is constantly hurting others with WHAT they say and HOW they say it, the speaker is rude. Plain and simple.

I watched a moderator of a FaceBook group defend a rude person the other day, all the while telling stories of rudeness done upon them by that person. Folks, you do not deserve to be treated like that. There is no reason to allow someone to speak in a deliberately hurtful manner to you. If someone has a reputation as a mean person or as a rude person, usually there is some truth in that.

By the way, I personally refuse to accept excuses like “That’s how people are from there,” or “it’s how he/she was raised.” If you are an adult, you make your own choices on how to treat people. Jellyfish derive pleasure from feeling superior. Remember that you cannot change someone’s toxic personality. All you can do is change how you react to it. So don’t. Don’t react. Take away their sting.

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6 thoughts on “The Jellyfish

    • Donna, Ditto. It took me 40 years to say I have the right to decide how I want to be treated. I love my mother, don’t get me wrong, but she is no longer welcome to participate in my life. Making that decision was hard, and it was a last choice, not that she will ever see it that way. But when I did make the decision, my blood pressure dropped and I had more time to concentrate on my own household and things going on in that. A short time later, my whole world got turned upside down, but I didn’t have mama drama to deal with. I believe God knows how difficult things are about to get up ahead for us, so He helps us find the courage to make hard decisions so we can survive something more difficult that is coming. At least that is how it was in my case. While still recovering from my rollercoaster ride, I pray for my mom and other family members and ask God to help them find happiness. I found happiness in letting go of a toxic relationship. There are times when I miss her, and I will always love her and many of the selfless things that she did for me growing up, and I have forgiven how she chooses to live her life. But I don’t have to be a witness to it and I don’t feel like I’m being disrespectful to her by not allowing her to participate in my life. So, don’t fret the mama drama. You’re not the only daughter in the world to have to go through it, and neither am I. I have friends who have had to cut the apron strings – so to speak – with their moms in much the same drastic way as I have. They have survived, as much as I have. Its been probably 7 years I guess, I’m not really keeping count. I don’t regret my decision but I hate that I had to make it.

  1. So very true! I know many jellyfish and I’ve learned to just let it roll of my back and ignore them. They still can get to me sometimes but I breathe and let it pass. Love your blog like usual!

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