But I come by it VERY sincerely. I promise.
Sometimes I worry I’m a special type of…well…what we called in school: A Goodie-two-shoes. (Sidenote: WHAT IN THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Typing that out made me really curious about the origins of that title.)
ANYWAY. I tend to do that thing online and in person where I subtly provide some sort of empathetic perspective to someone’s rant. It happens very instinctively, but later I often find myself thinking, Wait. Was that annoying?
For example. A Facebook friend did a mild rant (but with a little aggressive name-calling which tends to ignite my empathy flame) to all of the people she saw on the road when she was looking out her window. Wondering where those people were going during this time of Social Distancing, but doing it with some angry language and so I popped in and pointed out that I’ve been one of those people trying to get my Mom settled into her new apartment. I’ve gone by at least 3 times every day and I’ve made a few grocery runs for her.
Yes. I know. Even telling this story now I realize how annoying I am.
The friend was just kinda ranting and she’s right, the majority of people are probably not caring for their older mother in her new apartment. But I just get this weird impulse that I can’t control in moments like that.
Now, that impulse also confronts subtle racist comments which I am proud of, and misogyny and transphobia and a lot of things people say/do that subtly insult a group of people that I instinctively jump in and defend. But even that I worry is annoying and gets people to tune me out when I really want them to be listening.
The funny thing is, I do control the impulse sometimes. So if people find me annoying they’d hate me if I didn’t have any filter.
I don’t know, there’s just always a part of my brain that triggers when people get mad at groups that wants to point out that not everyone in that group is the same person. My husband gets mad at slow drivers and I feel the need to point out that my instincts are slow and if there’s no other cars around me I tend to go too slow and then if I see someone (like him) trying to pass me I’ll suddenly speed up, realizing I’m going slow. HE JUST WANTS TO YELL AT THE SLOW DRIVERS, KIM, NOT GET A “WELL ACTUALLY…” LECTURE ABOUT EMPATHY.
I just feel like sometimes I’m the empathy police and I don’t really mean to be and I worry people find me annoying but I really want it to be known that I’m not faking it, I’m not just trying to be teacher’s pet or earn some sort of Empathy Crown…it’s just this weird instinct I have to point out a perspective that I worry is not being considered in angry rants.
Really, I just want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I’m that person. If you’re mad that everyone in line in front of you is buying toilet paper and you hate them all for being hoarders, I’m going to point out that one of those people might have 6 kids and actually be out. Or one person might be buying for elderly family members. They’re not all hoarding unnecessarily.
DO YOU SEE HOW ANNOYING I AM?
So if you’ve ever thought that, please know it’s sincere. I am truly that annoying naturally, I’m not even trying to fake it.