Have you ever just assumed that somebody is being rude? Perhaps they didn’t acknowledge your presence or respond to your greeting in the way you thought they might. We are all guilty of assuming that others are rude based on how they react to us, but we never stop to think about why that person is dismissive or abrupt.
I am that person. I’m often unknowingly dismissive of those around me because my mind is elsewhere. I’m renowned for being ‘away with the fairies’. In reality I’m trying my best to keep my anxiety at bay. I’m often so caught up in whatever it is causing my anxiety levels to rise that the last thing I want to do is talk.
I have been guilty of not reading between the lines in the past.
I’ve assumed the worst, without thinking about a possible cause. These days I try to remember that everybody has bad days and everybody struggles in their own way. I like to believe that nobody is intentionally rude without reason. I try to use my own experiences to sympathise with those who simply smile in response to my greeting.
I am not a mind reader, I can’t see what is going on inside, and neither can you. When you look at me do you see the panic that resides within me? Of course you don’t. You don’t see me unknowingly grind my teeth. The sweaty palms and the racing heart cannot be seen by you or anyone else. You just see me. The me that is often smiling and happy to stand and chat. The me that is laughing and joking with her friends.
That panic, the sweaty palms and racing heart, they are always there, always waiting to pounce when I least expect it. I am a self proclaimed expert at hiding my fears and worries, that’s why you see me smiling and laughing. That’s why you assume I’m being rude when the mask slips and I can’t hide the battle going on in my mind.
Please understand that sometimes I just don’t want to talk. Sometimes I just want to get through the day without having to pretend or defend what I can’t control. I’m not rude. I’m just struggling, just like the lady who forgot to say thank you for holding the door or the friend who didn’t wave back at you. We’re not rude, we just don’t want to talk today.