Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What gives you the right?

Listening to: 'Warwick Avenue' by Duffy [Rockferry]

Someone paid me a compliment today. They probably thought nothing of it, but it meant a lot to me, so thank you :-). To be honest, I found the suggestion that I'd be good at counselling somewhat amusing...and all this time I thought I was the one that needed it most! I mean I think it's pretty obvious that I have 'issues'. So am I in a position to give advice to others? Is anyone?

How many times have you complained about something to a friend, only to be told "I know how you feel" or "I can imagine what you're going through". Can they really? Example: I've never been in a relationship...can I genuinely comfort a friend going through a break up by saying "I know how you feel"? I think not. I mean I can imagine what emotions are prevalent, but there's no way I can predict their intensity. And frankly, to claim that I can, with the prescribed response, would probably come across as being quite hollow and patronising to the recipient...at least that's how I would feel in such a situation.

Or what about when you complain about something, and whoever you're complaining to thinks that the best way to respond is to dismiss your complaint completely? Take my face for example...I'm one of the unlucky sods whose acne didn't disappear with the advent of adulthood. And trust me...dark brown scars, bright red blotches and shiny whiteheads on café-au-lait skin do not comprise a 'good look'. I've recently invested in make-up for concealing purposes (which is surprising for a tight-arse like myself), and I spend a fair amount of time making sure no one outside my house is exposed to my 'naked' face. But then someone (usually a female friend whose skin just happens to be flawless) has to come along and say "oh your skin's not bad, you're just being silly". OK firstly, I would've accepted their criticism if their skin was in a somewhat similar state to mine, but it's not. Secondly, isn't it how my skin looks to me, that matters? Who are they to tell me that I'm being silly?

I understand that their intentions are good, and I'm not deluded enough to think that my issues are in anyway comparable to some of the hardships that some people face...but they are issues for me. So what gives you the right to pass judgement?

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