I have a reputation. Pretty much as the least threatening squishy human being that ever existed. While I am sure there are plenty of people out there I annoy, for the most part, people like me because I am simple and kind.
In fact, the joke is already going around work with people I barely know that I am too nice to be mean to or play jokes on. The other day two ladies from a neighboring program playfully blocked the way but then thought twice because I am too sweet to pick on.
There seems to be this assumption that because I am nice to a fault that somehow I am weak when that is far from the case. In fact, as this very topic has been covered for longer than I have been alive, you think people would get that the unfailing nice guys are the strongest people you’ll meet.
If I were as emotionally weak as people seem to assume, could I tolerate the asshole on the phone blaming me for the late fee he incurred for not renewing on time? Could I give a pass to the jerk who cuts me off in traffic because he pulled out blind, and just be thankful no damage was done?
I am a fucking empathic warrior. The more anger and rage you fling at me, the stronger my kindness. All because I have been there. I have been angry to the point that I wanted to throw myself in the fire, and I wanted to take the whole world with me. I have been in so much pain that I swear I was dying.
So when I see you red-faced spitting at me, or I hear you screaming on the phone, I don’t see some asshole. I see someone scared and in pain that they can’t understand or find a way out of. And yes, sometimes they don’t want to find a way out because their anger becomes a source of strength they rely on like a drug.
None of that has anything to do with me though. These people are on their own path, and how they treat me is more a reflection of their own sad worlds then of who or what I am. As is my treating them with absolute kindness and understanding a testament to the person I am.
So I am proud to be the squishy sweet girl at the end of the office. I have earned it in spades. And I can only hope I stay that way for the rest of my life.