What’s the absolute easiest emotion to feel?
No, really. Think about emotions and the amount of effort you put behind them.
For me, it’s anger. Or, if you dig deep on the anger iceberg it’s meanness.
The easiest emotion to display when my toddler goes against what I said?
BE MEAN. Say something I’ll regret in a raised voice.
The easiest emotion to display when I find out the ice cream machine is broken at my favorite pit-stop?
BE MEAN. Drive away and don’t even say “Never mind, have a good day.”
The easiest emotion to use towards my husband when an expectation isn’t fulfilled?
BE MEAN. Ignore him, act like the victim, and hold a grudge.
I’ve talked with so many girlfriends over the years and I find that we have this common thread of instant, ready-to-mix-and-serve meanness.
And the thing is? We really don’t want to be mean. It’s just….easy.
So what is it about being mean that comes out first?
Human nature? Lingering formative year conditioning?
To the ones we love so deeply we invite the ugliest of emotions to splatter all over them like a water balloon from a sling-shot.
And nothing brings out the easy to serve meanness like my husband.
When he does the dishes yet leaves a dirty counter, I attack. Instead of taking a few seconds of perspective (he did the dishes!), I focus on what’s undone. I clean up the floor with a grudge in my heart. Seriously? He missed THIS?
When he proposes we sit together after the kids are asleep, but all I want to do is (finally) be alone, I begrudgingly agree yet attack him an hour later with how stressed out I am. Did he deserve that?
Or when the verbal meanness kicks in.
I can say, “I have no idea what’s for dinner” in a thousand different ways.
Instead of the sweet, encouraging “let’s figure it out together” tone…I take the defensive “I’ve been with these monkeys all day and oh yeah, working from home, so I haven’t had a MOMENT to think about dinner”… tone.
Why am I mean to my husband?
Because it’s easy.
What a horribly short yet validating answer. It brings me pain to admit that I take the easy way out, especially when it comes to the man I love so deeply.
You see, you and I aren’t exactly in the habit of making life easy for ourselves.
Kids aren’t easy. Being a stay at home mom isn’t easy. Working from home isn’t easy. Working outside the home isn’t easy. Committing to friendships isn’t easy. Being married isn’t easy. Getting a daily shower isn’t easy.
This easy way out doesn’t even fit my complicated, overwhelming, joy-giving, busy, fulfilling life. So something has to change. I’m on a mission now to seek out this easy and unintentional meanness and transform it to a fair and loving intentional perspective.