Hannah ActonPublished in October 2019 / Updated in January 2021
We all have our moments when we feel like a veritable saint among the fools around us. All of those occasions at work or at family dinners when we’ve held our tongue. Prevented ourselves from saying some harsh but true things that we wouldn’t have regretted, but that would have got us into trouble.
The truth is, we only rarely say what we actually mean, and that’s tragic. Truly. Largely because our inner monologue is so salty and witty but the world can rarely know about it.
To be frank, the world is probably not ready for that.
Therefore, without further ado, when you are so inclined – or about to storm out of the dinner table/leave your place of business – here are a few solid burns to get in on your way out…
I’ve mixed up some meme-culture, some Shakespeare and some pop-culture just to ensure that everyone understands just how much they are being insulted. And how offended they should know to be.
That’s me, a thoughtful queen.
You make me feel like when I accidentally drop a book in an ambiguously brown puddle – frustrated and damp
You would make the perfect anti-feminist villain of a 2001 romcom with Sandra Bullock that aged poorly
Thou art a boil
You’re a wet sock
I’m sorry, have we met
I am no longer obligated to tolerate your presence, please vacate my airspace
You’re like the annoying Nice Guy at a house party that keeps interrupting you and hasn’t showered in a few weeks. Unwelcome
You’re like Piers Morgan in 2019. Irrelevant
The fact that your dress has a pocket is not a substitute for a personality, Sharon
Game of Thrones has a better ending than that story, Jill
What are you, like 12?
Having said all this, and having had great fun compiling this list – with a few select individuals in mind as I curated them – I do have a moral to this intellectual exercise.
We deserve to give the people around us, and to ourselves receive, the truth.
We will benefit from more honest, wholesome relationships, and in turn can prevent these bottling-ups of emotions. It is important that we occasionally at least say what we mean, and mean what we say. It sounds like a riddle, but that’s because the idea of being direct is so alien to us. We’re so concerned with being polite and euphemistic that we rarely communicate, or even recognize, when our needs aren’t being met. That leads to this wedge of resentment that builds up and has nowhere to go.
Therefore, just as you’re getting your last burn in and the door hits you on your way out, and your boss’ eyes are bugging out of his face, just stop a moment to reflect. Why are you so angry? What did they do wrong? Should you have communicated what was wrong before now? Wouldn’t that have improved your own quality of life in that situation? People aren’t mind readers. We can’t always expect them to be super self-aware in every aspect of their life.
Sometimes, we have to communicate.
Be direct. Have the difficult or awkward conversations. If you only ever present a light, unproblematic personality, never ruffled or offended – then that is what people are going to think about you! That’s not necessarily their fault. It’s something that you have to keep on top of.
It’s your duty to acknowledge that – but of course, you are not responsible for that. Or for their poor decisions or inadequacies. Your feelings are still valid and it’s no question of one party being too ‘sensitive’ or ‘easily offended’.
By all means, give some airtime to those insults. But if you’re doing that under the guise of ‘speaking your truth’, make sure that you give them a chance to make it right before it gets to this stage.
That way we can all improve and become more well-rounded individuals.