Why It's Almost Always Better to Turn the Other Cheek and Rise Above the Irritants
All adverse and depressing influences can be overcome, not by fighting, by rising above them. - Charles Caleb Colton
My mom worked in the school system practically the entire time I was in school. She sought and accepted the job because she wanted to have the same hours as me – weekends, holidays, and the summer off to spend with her angel (shhhh, I was).
One year, she had an assistant that was annoying to her and the other ladies in her office. The lady just didn’t fit in and was incredibly, incredibly rude. She was the very picture of obnoxious and mean. My mom would come home each day grumbling about what this woman had done that day – how many toes she’d stepped on, the women she’d made grind their teeth, the Christian lady she’d made cuss, the men she’d caused to swear off women, etc.
Mom, like me, was a gal of many words (except, of course when I come face to face with Jack Black, then I have no words – big duh on me), but my dad was a man of few words. He sort of kept his words under his hat until they were absolutely needed. When he did speak, he had a sense of humor that’d always light up the room and, very often, just the words that needed to be said.
Once, after my mom recapped this she devil’s antics, my dad put down his coke and said, “For Pete’s Sake. You shouldn’t let her get under your skin.” ( I never met the guy, personally, but my dad was always worried about Pete‘s sake.) My mom shot him a look and, for a Kentucky minute, I worried about his safety. She kind of narrowed her eyes and, to my surprise said, “No. I shouldn’t.” It surprised my dad, too, I think, and he took a celebratory drink of Coke.
You know how it is – when you’re railing against someone, you don’t want anyone suggesting you shouldn’t be doing just that.
The next morning, as she was driving me to school, mom said (as though it were completely her idea), “I’m just not going to let ****** get under my skin anymore. I don’t want her there!” I mumbled something like “Good idea” in between bites of fresh, warm doughnut holes.
That was, honestly, the last time I saw my mother that upset about this woman. She (the woman, not my mom) didn’t last much longer, maybe a month or two. I always envisioned the other ladies running her out of Dodge.
I thought about this recently when one of my daughter’s friends had a really bad run in with someone at his workplace. It was, obviously, the other person’s fault – he was out of line, ill-tempered, and all around nasty. My daughter’s friend had the choice to let it get under his skin, seek out revenge, and blow the thing sky high OR to rise above it, put it behind him and refuse to let the loser get under his skin.
He made the smart, albeit more difficult, decision, and kept his skin parasite free.
Refusing to allow someone to crawl under our skin isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary – for our own happiness and peace of mind. Peace of mind is a beautiful thing and if we have someone we don’t respect (let alone like) riding shotgun through life with us, stowing away under our own skin for crying out loud, we aren’t going to find any true peace and happiness. When someone at work bugs the heck out of you and you let them under your skin, don’t you pretty much assure their safe passage home with you?!
Bad, bad idea.
I’ve found, personally, that it helps to shake these people off if you say out loud, “This person isn’t going to ruin my day. I’m not giving them the power.” Try it, you’ll soon find that fewer and fewer people and situations will take up residence under your skin.
That’s the best skin care advice you’ll get all year. Just remember to apply daily.
About the photo above: The cat on the right is Hannah – she’s… how can I put this delicately?… an older cat and, when it comes to our other cats, she can be a bit stand-offish. If I were to be not-so-delicate, I’d call my little girl an old grouch! However, with humans, she’s as sweet as honey. The problem is, our younger cats (especially Queen Fatima, pictured with Hannah in this picture) think Hannah hung the moon. They’re always wanting to snuggle, rub up against her, and… something that’s completely out of the question… play with her.
Most of the time, Hannah sort of swats at them and let’s them know she’s having none of what they’re peddling. I HATE when she does this – although I never scold her. I just try to soothe the offended cat’s feelings.
Every now and then Hannah will shock all of us and “endure” the snuggling and affection. As I was taking pictures of them on this particular day, Fatima did the whole, “Oh, Hannah, I love you so much… I adore you… I just want to touch your face with my face…” routine, Hannah stood her ground and, for the most part, endured it.
I rewarded her with a can of tuna. The brand with the mermaid on the label even.
As I snapped the picture above, as you can see, Miss Hannah was nearly at the end of her patience. She was beginning to pull away. But, let’s be fair, a body can only take so many cheek rubs.
When writing the post above, I thought about this picture and decided it’d be a perfect tribute to Hannah’s patience. Such as it was!