Through life I have found certain words and phrases offend me. This one is right up there. Not number 1 maybe. Top 5? Ummm? No… Probably top ten. Yes. Definitely in the top ten. Now there are variations on this phrase. Or perhaps I mean theme. I say that because no matter how you say it, it is in code. A passive aggressive Canadian speech pattern. So another phrase is “They mean well.” or, maybe “Their intentions were good.” Different words but the same meaning. According to the Idioms by Free Dictionary, generally the phrase points out that notwithstanding the intentions, a person is inept, unhelpful or a nuisance. I admit, I might have used stronger wording yet the sentiment is spot on.
We all encounter people who do things that make us crazy at one time or another and for a variety of reasons. We are like snowflakes. Not one of us is like another. We are all unique. What are the chances we can go through life and not be irritated by someone we meet along the way. Absolutely impossible. There are those people who seem to get along with everyone. You know the type. They are sweet and kind and smile a lot and never really say anything bad about others. They pop up everywhere. These are the folks who use these stupid terms when you are full bore into a rant about someone who is just making you nuts. These are the absolute worst people to vent to. At the end they just smile in a vague way and say “Well, her heart is in the right place.” Then they give you a pat on the back. I don’t know about you but I could care less where their heart is at or whether or not someone has good intentions. If I am ranting to you, I just need to get it out. Don’t justify other peoples actions. Its not helping.
So lets look at these really nice people. The ones who are impossible to complain to. I just don’t trust them. No one is that nice. Everybody dislikes somebody. If I meet someone who seems to love the world, well I just assume I am the person they don’t like. I have had a lot of people dislike me through my lifetime. I am actually getting really good at accepting that I’m not a lot of peoples cup of tea. I know what you are thinking though. You know some of these nice people. They truly are just wonderful. Okay. You go with that. All I am saying is keep one eye open. That’s all I am saying.
Now you might wonder why I have this paranoia. Well, like I said, its the “nice people” who use the aforementioned phrases. See what I mean? You go to work one day and something goes wrong with a project you are working on. The gal in the next office offers repeatedly to help you out. You are short on time and she has no real knowledge of the subject matter. You smile and thank her hoping she will leave soon. She pops by your office a few times, sticking her head in to ask how its going. You grit your teeth and smile. Fine! Its going fine! She sends an email just letting you know that she is there. No matter what you need. Then a voice message on your phone. How’s it going? Now its like a rock in your shoe. Every step is more painful than the last and you fantasize about pulling out a gun and lining her up in the crosshairs the next time she walks by your office. You spend half your day working frantically on your project and half the day wondering what this gals job entails that she has so much free time. How come you never noticed this before? Your mind begins to wander. How much money does she make? Why does she spend so much time roaming the office hallways? Is she related to a higher up? Nepotism. I bet she is the Presidents niece or sister or cousin or his wife’s best friend. By the time you are done your work you are exhausted. Mainly because you now absolutely hate this gal in the next office who does nothing all day, makes three times the money you do and is sleeping with someone important. You go and get a well deserved coffee. Finally you can take a deep breath. You are so riled up you vent to that nice person at the coffee machine. You relive each and every painful moment of your day in your narrative and finally after your closing arguments that would rival the greatest trial Lawyer in history… You wait expectantly for nice Nancy to commiserate. Bash that gal in the next office. I mean really. How dare she! So, what happens next? Nice Nancy pats you on the arm and says “She means well.” She smiles and turns and walks away. What a bitch! Because you know for a fact if she had the same day that you did she would be hatin’ on the gal next door too. Frankly it’s easy to be nice when nobody messes with you. I understand the code of the nice people. Basically nice Nancy agreed with me. That girl in the next office is inept, unhelpful and a nuisance.
Another statement I can live without is “Oh, that’s just (insert name here)”. Again we all know the guy whose name gets inserted here. We don’t like him much. But you know who we really don’t like? The person who makes that statement. That’s just you know who. So lets talk about this guy. Lets call him Gregory. Mainly because I don’t know a Gregory. I know lots of Greg’s and I have no doubt one of them is really a Gregory but… well you know where I am going with this. So Gregory is the guy who in a lot of ways has no social skills. He has no filter and tends to say and do whatever he wants regardless of who he offends. At this point I imagine some of you thinking to yourselves, hmm… This sounds a lot like you my dear. Yes there are some vague commonalities. The number one difference though is people don’t like it about me. You see when Gregory is a total jerk people smile and say what? Yeah! “Oh, That’s just Gregory.”
There are a couple of variations on the Gregory theme. Gregory 1 is the guy who everyone likes. He is pretty rough around the edges. I think his main attraction is most people wish they could be so open and honest and unfettered by societies niceties. He has some good qualities. Frankly we all like Gregory 1 until we become his target. Then we are little taken aback. But what are you going to do? You look around and realize everyone else is ok with Gregory 1. Its Just Gregory. Your feelings are a little hurt and you’d like to share although pretty much everyone will think you are too sensitive. Oh yeah. That’s another despised one. But that’s another story. So you suck it up. The shine of Gregory 1 is a little duller in your eyes now. You keep it to yourself.
My daughter had an experience like that with my husbands friend. Gregory. She was selling drink tickets at an event and in the rush she gave the wrong change back to Gregory. She apologized and he laughed to the guys around him and made a comment insinuating it was lucky she was good looking since she wasn’t that bright. This post secondary 4.0 graduate didn’t miss the dig. Later on when she told her Dad about it of course he smiled and said “Oh, that’s just Gregory”. To which she replied “Well your friend Gregory is a jerk.” Anyone who knows my daughter knows she didn’t say jerk. I believe there were a few words used in the description none of which are fit for print. At least not here. I had to agree with her. I was a little younger than Gregory in school, long before my hubby knew him. Gregory was a nerdy quiet type who morphed through a few different personae’s until he moved away and came back with the one he totes today. A guys guy. Rough around the edges. Biker type. No filter. In fact quite crude. Takes blue collar to a whole new level. I have to agree with my daughters description. It was bang on. This Gregory had somehow garnered a following in the small town and surrounding area and all were quite taken with his aloof don’t give a crap attitude. I think sometimes people admire this behaviour because they wish they had the nerve to act this way. Alas, most people are bound by their upbringings. Thankfully. As for Gregory, he was never a Rockstar for me. I guess because I knew him way back when…
There is the other Gregory. Gregory 2. He is outspoken and a know it all and often messes up. Usually he knows how to act in social situations. His jerkiness is usually in the smaller family and close friends circle. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way and they let it slide. The difference is lots of these people are annoyed by Gregory 2. He doesn’t have the Rockstar status that Gregory 1 enjoys. Gregory 2 has an in. He is friends with or related to a really nice guy. Someone everybody likes. If only there were more of them. He rides on the coat tails of the nice guy. He is like the entourage type fellow. A hanger on. Even though the nice guy sees the faults and flaws of Gregory 2, nice guy really likes him. Or at least somehow is able to see past the outer shell and uncovers the goodness Gregory 2 has hidden way down deep. So the larger group accepts and condones Gregory 2’s behaviour in order to still maintain favour with the nice guy.
The biggest differences between the two Gregory’s is consistency. One is always offensive and one isn’t. I know a few of both of them and their ardent fans always have the same thing to say about them both. “That’s just Gregory”. I have learned to keep my distance from the Gregory’s of the world as I am not very understanding about their behaviour. My biggest takeaway in this regard is to just find the nice guy and marry him. So I did just that. He has a couple of Gregory’s in his life and I have learned how to deal with it. So we all win. Even if sometimes I have to grit my teeth around some people. I won the lottery through the grace of God. My Rene’. The ultimate nice guy.
So these are two of my most disliked phrases. I realize there are more and someday I will share them with you. What are yours? Often when we take a deep look at why we feel emotions, there is an event or time in our life that has helped to create a blueprint which is played over and over. We relive the emotion as if it just happened. That is why these two phrases annoy me so much. There was a time way back when I really didn’t need to hear them. I needed a hug. Understanding. Compassion. I wanted to hear someone say “Gregory is such a jerk.” Or “geez that gal in the next office is annoying. How do you put up with her?’ I have learned that I sometimes react to current events based on the past. I’ve also learned that knowing this doesn’t change my actions. My emotions are still there. Mainly because the old hurts weren’t resolved. I am still carrying the old baggage. I guess that’s the first step. Understanding the past. Can’t change it so might as well learn from it.