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Kill 'Em With Kindness

Everybody who has played golf with other people knows how excruciatingly painful it can be if you’re stuck in a round with people that are way too nice. If you’re having trouble relating to this phenomenon just think about a time when you’re with another group or maybe just one other person and they won’t stop complimenting your game. It is the worst. More often than not you are playing horribly or maybe even just how you’d expect from yourself, and you have a playing partner that won’t stop raving about your swing or your shot every goddamn time you step up to hit the ball. If you’re a golfer you’ve probably heard the expression -- get your mouth off my ball. -- This simply means, keep your damn mouth shut. Nobody wants to hear a person overly complimentary to the point where they are actually making things worse.


This notion of being too nice is something I deal with a lot within my family. I have a couple family members in particular that simply won’t keep their mouth off anything they do or anything that they do ‘for the group’. They drive me nuts with how obnoxiously nice they truly are. It never ends. There is an old adage or proverb that illustrates the idea of killing someone with kindness. There is an extreme amount of truth to this idea. Kindness will ultimately win out in the end and is, therefore, the best method to piss a person off… especially me.


Truth of the matter is, I can’t really take it anymore, and I have, in fact, stopped. I no longer play dumb or act like the extreme amount of niceties that come my way go unnoticed and without scorn. I show my anger right away and have tried my best not to let this fake way of acting grow roots. If you are truly acting kind, but you’re really pissing me off, than ‘just being nice’ is no longer an excuse for how one is acting because a nice person wouldn’t or shouldn’t go about being nice by angering a third party.., in this case I am the third party.


The Right Response: Give me a person that likes to talk smack. I am sick of the rainbows and unicorns approach. I’d rather you go about dealing with me by making fun of me or calling me out. If you’ve resorted to being ultra nice then this really means that you are truly trying to get under my skin rather than, dare I say, bond with me. I guess this feeling stems from my days in the dominoes club these last five years where talking shit was a learned skill and an art form at that.


My dad and my sister seem to want to always make a grandstanding point. They seem eager to show me where I have gone wrong in life and just how exactly I have failed; ie.. the error of my ways. They torture me with kindness -- they rub it in through applied demonstration this ‘right way’ to live. They ask me questions with implied answers and a certain matter of fact way of thinking or logic. The kindness never ends and, like I have already said, it pisses me off. After almost everything they say to me, or ask me, I have to wonder what their angle is. It’s clear that there is a motive. Apparently, their ‘way of life’ is this ‘right way’ to live as I have clearly been living the ‘wrong way’. Not only is it annoying and cumbersome, but, moreover, it is pugnacious, rude, and obnoxious; it really pisses me off to no end. To bring it back to golf, it is like a person saying nice swing over and over when you aren’t playing well. I know I have had a checkered life.. I don’t need a person or two telling me, ‘great shot’, when I’ve hit the ball on the heel and overshot the green. Not only is it not nice; it’s really insulting.


To end things off I will tell you what I told my best friend very recently. I simply explained to her that it is extremely frustrating and challenging to be the ‘poor’ one in the family. The one who is clearly struggling. It gives all the other people credence and justification to put in their two cents -- almost constantly. The truth is, it's just not right and I don’t want any commentary. I know that I haven’t necessarily lived up to my full potential, and, at the moment, I am clearly not on the same level, monetarily, as the rest of my immediate family. But that shouldn’t be a reason to belittle me and my voice. It shouldn’t be a reason to add constant disapproval, scorn, and dissatisfaction to your opinion of my being. I don’t deserve the obnoxiously nice treatment acting as if I’m an idiot because you want to make this aforementioned grandstanding gesture of just how much better you are than me. I know how to read between the lines, and I don’t all of the sudden not know what I’m talking about just because I’m not monetarily successful.


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