I have a lot of pet peeves, but who doesn’t? I like to try and come up with creative solutions to not only help me cope in these situations, but also to explain to the peeve perpetrator why their behavior is annoying me.
- “Let me show you the right way to do that.”
I hate this mentality. There are many wrong ways to do something and there are many right ways to do something. I like to combat this one with math. Yup, math. I ask the peeve perp, “What’s two plus five?” I get a weird look and a slow, drawn out answer. “What’s three plus four?” A quicker answer. “What’s nine minus two?” A smartass answer. “You just did that problem three different ways and got the same answer. There is no one right way, there are just different ways.”
- “If they want to come to our country, they should at least speak the language.”
I really hate bigotry, and this is just another form of it. I like to use this chance to showcase my very limited knowledge of another language. “Como?” or “Pourquoi?” I get a confused look and they ask me what I just said. “Learn to speak another language before you put someone else down for not being able to do so. It’s not simple and they may not be here for their own convenience.” Et cetera. I might lecture at length based on how much of a bigot they are. I tend to get on my soap box when this one happens. I try to remind this person that America is a country based on both stealing and murdering the people who were originally here as well as taking in immigrants from other countries.
- “Poor people should just work hard to get more money.”
Ugh. Having been on both sides of poor before, I know both mentalities. This is just another example of holding onto a misconceived opinion in order to feel in control about one’s surroundings and circumstances. I tend to ask questions like, “What would happen if your house burned down?” “I have insurance for that.” “Does it prevent the house from burning down?” “No, but it will pay me.” “Does that replace all the memories and things lost?” “No.” “You may be able to plan for the future, but you can’t prevent things from happening. There are people who do not choose to be poor, they were born into or are facing circumstances they cannot control.” This really only works on people who aren’t bull headed. If someone has the mentality of “sucks to be them”, then there’s really no getting through to them.
I hate gossip. I’ve been guilty of it myself, but I always regret it immediately. Whenever I feel those strings pulling at me to open my mouth and try to bond with someone by degrading another individual, I think about how that person would feel if they were standing there listening. Not everyone does this, however. I usually just walk up to two people who are gossiping and ask, “Is it gossip time?” Mouths drop, looks get exchanged. “I can’t believe you just said that.” “Well, I’m sure you’ll talk about it as soon as I’m out of ear shot.”
“You’d make a lousy housekeeper, Mr.Gossip.” “Oh, why’s that?” “Because a Housekeeper is expected to keep their ears open, and their mouths shut.” I usually follow this up with my own personal experience as a Housekeeper (How people forget you are there or say things to you that you wouldn’t normally hear. With keys to locked up places so you can clean at night, you walk in on things and have to apologize and never tell anyone.)
- “I can’t tell if that person is a man or a woman.”
“If you’re interested, ask them out. Otherwise, it’s none of your business.” *Please don’t get all worked up about it not being their business anyways. I agree, it’s nobody’s business what’s between your legs, who you’d rather sleep with, and why you are or aren’t attracted to whomever you are. BUT, the point gets across to them better when phrased this way. I’m basically saying that if they aren’t positively interested in this person, shut up – I don’t want to hear their negativity.*
Another way would be to say, “I don’t know, why don’t you go ask them?” They will usually snort and say they couldn’t do that, it would be rude. To which I ask, “What do you call what you’re doing now?”
- Making jokes in non-jokey situations has always been a peeve of mine. It’s strange, then, that I married someone who does just this. I don’t try to combat this one. This is the other person’s way of coping with a difficult situation and it’s not my place to take that away from them. When someone does this, I acknowledge that they are feeling out of control of something and tend to politely ask if we can talk about it in seriousness.
That’s all for Pet Peeve 101, today. I’m sure there will be more. If your peeve is having someone talk about their peeves, I guess you need chocolate right now.