Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Silencing my inner bitch

I feel like a bit of a hypocrite right now.

I feel like I don’t deserve all the nice things you said about me in your comments on this post.

The stuff about me having such a big heart and being so caring: it sounds lovely and oh-so-seductive to my ears, but I’m not sure it’s true.

A few weeks back I wrote about resolutions and how I think they are just part of our genetic makeup: what I didn’t reveal was the resolution I made for myself.

Yes, I am serious about doing this. But quietly, and with no small sense of shame, I also made another resolution.

I resolved to silence my inner bitch.

I hate her. I don’t know where she comes from or why she has taken up residence in my brain. I don’t know why I, someone who cries at the drop of a hat, loses sleep over mistreated animals and always roots for the underdog, continue to tolerate the mean-spirited little voice that makes snarky, snap judgments of far too many innocent strangers who cross my path.

I’m not talking about snarking on celebrities or public figures. Though I have stuck to my resolution to cut out the worst of it, I have no real problem dishing up stupid celebrity antics: in fact I did that here and even pissed off a few readers.

I’m talking about my internal dialogue that too often slices and dices people I encounter when I’m out and about and generally feeling harried and busy and impatient.

Nice makeup job honey, I think, when the overly made-up eccentric at the produce market grabs the avocado I was eyeing. You’re a complete and total idiot, I mentally brand the guy ahead of me in the checkout line who can’t find his wallet.

I can’t believe out of ten million sperm you were the fastest, I seethe when the cashier takes more than a few seconds to make my change.

What is wrong with me? Why do I do this?! Isn’t this kind of bitchiness more suited to high school mean girls than a 30-something adult? I don’t want to be young again. I’m less cocky and more grateful now. I have shed much of youth’s conceit and come to realize that my good fortune in life is mostly attributable to blind, good luck

My circle of friends has expanded over the years to include people of all shapes and circumstances. Especially since becoming a mother I’ve learned a lot about tolerance and hard work. I’ve reflected long and hard on the difficulty of some people’s choices or lack thereof.

So why is my very first instinct so often cruelty rather than compassion?

One of the things I love not just about writing, but writing about everyday stuff, is that I truly believe beauty and poignancy is most often found in the mundane. As cliché as it sounds, I really believe that each and every one of us has a story that would break your heart.

And I need to remember that.

I need to remember it no matter how much of a hurry I am in when I go about my daily business.

I need to be kinder on the inside, not just on the outside, where good behavior earns me accolades and lovely comments.

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43 comments:

Tot's Mom said...

At least you are being honest about yourself and the way I see it, it's a huge step forward to learn how to be kinder on the inside as well. Anyway, I certainly hope you can achieve your new resolution of silencing this inner bitch of yours. Good luck!

Zoe said...

seriously you are way too hard on yourself. we all have an inner bitch. knowing it's there is the first and hardest step.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I have an inner cattiness that rears its ugly head quite often. Sometimes I think it's from insecurity...I don't know. Or maybe I'm just being a bitch.

Don't be too hard on yourself. I agree with tot's mom. The most important thing is that you recognize this quality in yourself and you want to change it. Everyone deserves kindness.

Today the guy that checked me out at the dollar store REEKED of body odor and I found myself thinking bitchy thoughts. Like, dude, please buy some cheap deodorant! ;)

Ugh...so much of it is human nature, me thinks.

Jenifer said...

I have to agree..I think we all do this to a degree and anyone who says otherwise is lying. I think mine is worst when driving...I have little patience with drivers who have no visible knowledge of the rules of the road.

The running commentary in my head is just that - mine. Sometimes it is catty and sometimes not. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but then again some people just ARE tools if ya know what I mean.

Rest easy sister...this is human nature.

Valarie said...

Amen, Sistah!! You're preaching to the choir! :)

Dawn said...

I've got an inner bitch I need to silence also. This was a great post. I understand what you mean about how writing about everyday things helps one to see that everyone deserves kindness. I have learned so much from blogging-"strangers" seem a little less like random people to me these days and more like someone I may have met through blogging. I've met some really interesting, kind people this way.

MamaGeek said...

Oh man, my inner bitch could beat up your inner bitch. :) And if you totally figure out how to silence her, patent THAT process and make a mint!

Brittany said...

Agreed- we all have these issues. I do things like that, too. As nice as I try to be... sometimes I think other things. We're human. Don't beat yourself up!

OHmommy said...

OMG... stop it.

Who doesn't have an inner bitch?

This post is brilliant. Again. How come I didn't think of writing about MY inner bitch?

You rock!

Nap Warden said...

Is there any controlling the inner bitch...cause mine's a doosey!

Corey~living and loving said...

WOW! what a great post. So open and honest. I love it. I think negativity certainly lies within most of us, and it is knowing it...and trying to make it happen less that makes a difference.

a kelly said...

I think this is the thing that surprised me about blogging...that sharing my thoughts and life moments would make me feel like I need to try a little harder to live with integrity and kindness every day. Some days I actually do it.

Thanks for being so honest.

Kat said...

While I agree with your resolution I think we all have the inner bitch and I think it is very important to have that and to remember it too.

It is so important so you don't say these things to people out loud but you gotta say them or you will go insane. Trust me. So it is better to let the inner bitch say them to yourself.

That you have reckognized that it is how it is is already a step towards improvement but I am all for feeding the inner bitch for the sake of yourself :)

Beth said...

I have the same inner bitch but I try to keep her to myself. I think we all have her...it's when you let her loose that the real problems begin!

Family Adventure said...

Gee...thanks for pointing out my flaws. I guess I have to work on *my* inner bitch now, too.

Heidi

Laura said...

an inner bitch is much better than an outer bitch!!!! At least in my humble (and experieinced) opinion!!!

mamatulip said...

Honestly? I think if we all didn't have inner bitches we'd haul off and go postal on the guy who takes too long to find his damn wallet in the checkout line. Everyone has an inner bitch, or an inner jackass, and like many have already said, you're aware of it -- and it's an *inner* bitch. If it were an *outer* bitch, if you were saying these things out loud, to people's faces, then yeah...maybe that might be a problem.

GoMommy said...

We all do it- I can really relate to this post! It's great that you made this one of your resolutions. You'll notice this was not one of mine- but it should have been!

Kimmylyn said...

As others have stated, you are being WAY to hard on yourself. Everyone.. E V E R Y O N E has an inner bitch/bastard. You are human. It is wonderful that you have learned to silent her.. I should try that.. but not until I have my morning coffee..:)

Jennifer said...

I would so love to silence my inner bitch. I have a "If I think it but don't say it, it's not hurting anyone" policy and I think that's true. I'm an nice person on the outside. But, then I wonder what it would be like to be nice in my head, too...

Though I have to say that "I can’t believe out of ten million sperm you were the fastest..." is freaking hilarious!! Hee. (Oops, there goes that I.B. breaking out again. *grin*)

Ms. Porter said...

Just found your blog yesterday and I've been spending waaaay too much time reading your archives...love your blog!
Nice post. I don't like resolutions but my 'goal' for this year is to try to be content. Just content. I think life would be much better if I was content as much as possible rather than hoping or longing for things to be different...just accept the great life I have and be content living it...be content with those around me. I think that being more aware of my own negative inner dialogue (in general...towards others AND myself) would help alot with maintaining this goal.

C said...

OMG...For a sec, I thought you were writing about me!! I am much like you in the sense that I am a sensitive person who cries at the drop of a hat, but can also say some pretty thoughtless (okay, maybe unkind or inconsiderate) things sometimes. I know that this is a flaw that I have. I've known it for years. I've tried to tame that inner bitch in me since I was a teenager. She just keeps on rearing her ugly head at the most inappropriate moments. I have many of those, "Damn it! I shouldn't have said that!" moments!

Well, I suppose just being aware of this is a good thing. Remember those G.I. Joe "After School Specials"? You know, when they used to say "And knowing is half the battle"?

Anyway, I'd better sign off before this comment reaches epic proportions! :)

Holly said...

This is one of my main goals for this year. Unfortunately for me, my inner voice doesn't always remain as silent as I would like her to, and she becomes verbal. It's not good, because it always happens when my children are nearby. Great post.

LoriD said...

That's a very ambitious resolution... at least it would be ambitious for me. I think you're one step ahead of the game that you just keep your bitchiness on the inside.

linds said...

I don't like my inner bitch either. She makes me impatient, hateful, spiteful, and just plain mean. I've learned to control her a little, she doesn't have the same power she used to.

Good luck!

Karen MEG said...

Sounds like I live in there with you! I often find myself so critical, seething inside, and then it really bothers me because I know they're such negative thoughts and I really, really ought to be a better person.
I think you're being a bit hard on yourself though. You sound just very much human to me. And thanks for writing about this. I don't feel so alone in my bitchiness now.

Kellan said...

We could all use a dose of a little more kindness - I have my moments too!! Take care and don't be too hard on yourself - at least you aren't saying all that stuff out loud - right? See ya. Kellan

kittenpie said...

I find myself indulging in that sort of bitchy interior monologue at times when I am stressed, grumpy, hurried, and generally feeling like lashing out. I hate that. It never makes me feel better, just adds something else to feel crummy about.

Rachel said...

Inner Bitch or inner blog fodder producing monologue?

That's what I thought ;-)
So you're human, and a female, and a mom and oh wait... you're not perfect?
Well hell's bells. Guess I have to take you off my blog roll now.

Sheesh :-) LOL.

You recognize that this happens and you try to work on it, what more could you ask for? Try this. Every time you think something negative... turn around and a) say one positive thing to them if possible.
If not say 3 positive things in your mind. It'll help, promise!

Queen of My Domain said...

I think we are all guilty of this at some time or another. Your working on it, so don't be so hard on yourself.

ewe are here said...

We all have an inner bitch. Anyone who says they don't is lying.

And, well, I have to admit, I snickered --a lot-- when I read "I can’t believe out of ten million sperm you were the fastest." Classic.

See? Inner bitch. We all have it!

;-)

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

You are a pretty lovable gal, DMD. Just the fact that you worry about this and want to change it is pretty terrific. We all have that bitch inside, in my case the only person other than me that ever hears her is my dh. I have tamed her a lot in recent years and she mostly rears her head (silently in my heart) at people who have wronged me or people who do things like leave their toddler in the car to run into the store.
Honestly we can't all be nice all the time! And as we get older, if we try to be self-aware, I think we can become gentler and more tolerant.
Be sweet and gentle to yourself, you will hear the bitchiness far less often.

Jen said...

I have one too, chocolate seems to keep her subdued though. :)

Mrs. Chicky said...

I don't think I could ever silence my inner bitch because then my outer bitch would come out and NOBODY wants that to happen.

Urban Daddy said...

Interesting resolution, but why? If a driver makes a crappy turn you can think they are pond scum. I would think that the problem would be if you pulled up beside the car, rolled down your window and told them that. That might be worth silencing. Other than that, being a mom and experiencing a faster paced life, all of us as parents are more tolerant of those that need time but have zero patience for stupid people. It's ok. :)

Kyla said...

You know, since KayTar, I've gotten better at this, I try and think of legitimate reasons for things before jumping to the snarky stuff. I've been judged because KayTar has a bottle at nearly three, or because she's worn a harness in public. People make unfair snap judgments and I try to steer clear of them. But even so? Not always. The inner bitch is like a steam release valve, without it, the pressure would build and our heads would go BOOM.

But it is an admirable goal, being kind and mindful always is...but just don't be too hard on yourself, okay?

Mac and Cheese said...

That sounds like a healthy resolution. I truly believe that moving away from negative thoughts can only enhance a person. I still have an inner bitch too, but she is a lot tamer than she used to be.

girlymom said...

you are way too hard on yourself, everyone has that inner voice- at least yours stays inner and you realize it. Some people have a hard time with that, let alone silencing it all together.

jennwa said...

I have to agree with everyone else,we all have the "inner bitch." Do not feel bad. All we can do is try our best to be the best person we can be.
Just knowing that thinking this way is not nice, proves you are a good person. Knowing you do not want to hurt peoples feeling also proves you are a caring person.

jer said...

Yes, i agree, we all walk around donning that "inner bitch" and it's a struggle to silence her. Your post tells me that you have conquered her because you are able to name her; that's the first step towards "transformation," if there can ever be one (a book i read recently said that you can only change 5% of your personality no matter how hard you try). Your post also tells me that you're a darling.

newduck said...

I love the ten million sperm comment. That totally made my day.

I'm learning to love my inner bitch. I think she's a necessary part of me that keeps me kind in the real world. We all have a dark side and a light side, and if we try to repress the dark and be all light, I do think we would go postal, as one of your readers suggested. Also, I wrote a post called "Angry little woman" a while ago and talked about how my anger keeps me moving ahead. In general, I think anger/bitchiness/mean-spiritedness is a necessary part of our personalities that would be dangerous to repress. Also, having ugly thoughts toward people in my head prevents me from patting myself on the back and telling myself what a wonderful person I am. In fact, it makes me try harder to be nicer to people. So I vote, embrace the bitch! (And that has nothing to do with Hilary Clinton.)

Are You Serious! said...

I haven't mastered this either. Sometimes I have to silence my inner bitch... But at least we're acknowledging that it's there and doing something about it! :)

Kathryn said...

I think most women have the inner bitch. It is the ones that let it turn into the outer bitch that you have to stear clear of. ;)