Unguarded Thoughts: Don’t be gross

HR training journal: Today was a long run – 90 minutes. I covered 8 miles. I maintained an average bpm of 141. And I loved every step! Total mileage for the week: 29.5 miles. That’s my mileage for week 2 of a 20 week half marathon plan, folks!

This past week I’ve bumped into more than a few examples of gross human behavior. I’m not talking poop or blood. I’m talking…utterly disappointing. Mean-spiritedness for no real reason other than to assert superiority. I’ve seen it more at work than in my personal realm, but it feels like it’s everywhere lately.

I went on Facebook “hiatus” back in 2012. I remember it well; it was when President Obama was running for re-election, and after four years of his presidency, during which (thanks to Facebook) I was exposed to the “secret inner thoughts” of friends, family, in-laws, co-workers, bosses, etc., I found that I no longer wanted to know about 90% of them. For me, it was better to just go “offline” for a while. So I de-activated my account.

When I returned last year, it was solely to have a convenient communication forum for a Ragnar event I was part of. When I signed in, I cleaned up my “friends” list, whittling it down to just those handful of people I actually knew and loved, along with some long-distance friends and family for whom this would be a convenient way to keep in touch, and my Ragnar teammates. Gone was anyone even remotely related to the place I worked. And gone were those whose cruel vitriol left a permanent, painful impression on my heart and mind. The result: a nice, small friend list. One that looked more like my reality. I thought I’d created a well-curated feed.

When I signed up for Heart Rate (HR) training, I was invited to join a closed FB group created for all of us who had signed up for this training plan. For the most part, it’s been really positive. I mean, overwhelmingly positive. Seriously, a mostly amazing group of women who inspire me daily.

Which is why recently, as I was quickly glancing through some posts, I was so strongly struck by the negative tone of person who posted a “pet peeve.” And several others who joined the herd, pitchforks in hand.

The pet peeve? So stupid it isn’t worth explaining. Except to say that “I” have totally done this. And it has ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON A SINGLE OTHER LIVING BEING WHATSOVER.

It was a “behavior” that they witnessed, that they didn’t understand, and rather than ask the person “why are you doing that” they instead jumped to (possibly erroneous) conclusions, and deemed the behavior to be riduculous. Dumb. Stupid. Suspicious. Deceptive even.

As for those doing the complaining? Well, THEY were such BETTER human beings for NEVER engaging in such strange behavior. They were superior. Their way was better. SUPERIOR.

Holy fuck did this strike a nerve. To think that as I’ve gone about my business, doing my workouts, keeping to myself, that there might have been some asshole sitting nearby observing me (rather than minding their own damned workout) and thinking about how “irritated” they felt. All because I was engaging in an activity that had absolutely no impact on them? The fucking nerve of me, right?

I posted a reply; it went something like: Hey peanut gallery, it turns out that “I” do that same thing too. And the reason is too long to post here (not to mention I don’t actually owe you a damned explanation). But there are legit reasons. And just fyi, I do try to reserve judgment when I see something I don’t understand because there might be a completely rational explanation that I am unaware of. 

Oddly, just this week I’ve run into similar encounters at work (possibly made worse because I was face-to-face with said peanut gallery). And it can only be described as: Gross. Fucking gross. The need for people to find ways to assert their superiority is out of control. I know it’s real; there are studies that show this phenomenon to be absolutely real. Coupled with the need to control the behavior of those who have absolutely no impact on their lives in any way, shape or form, simply because they do not understand the behavior (therefore it must be not only inferior to their own, but it must be eradicated)? Gross. Fucking gross.

It reminds me of people who are opposed to gay marriage; who themselves are not gay, nor do they have any gay people (that they know of) in their circles of friends and family. Yet they will assert with passionate fervor their opposition to gay marriage, and throw down their religious texts as proof of their righteousness. It’s so fucking gross. Why do you even care?

I should not have posted any response at all. My rational brain knows that. I’ve come to understand an important truth about Facebook. For the most part, by the time someone has posted something – a personal opinion, support of a “thing,” opposition to a “thing,” whatever – their position on that “thing” is final. Nothing anyone posts in response will sway their opinion . And the more extreme that “thing” is, the stronger their resolve to stand by that opinion. It’s pointless to offer an opposing view; no matter how much kindness, how much logic, or how much evidence you offer; once a person has declared their position (on Facebook), they won’t be moved (by replies on Facebook).

Still, I wish people would just mind their own business. As I type that, I realize that Facebook is, quite literally, the opposite of minding your own business. So live and let live? Or better yet – don’t be a dick? Really, just don’t be gross.

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