Why are we nastiest to the people we know best?

Brother’s girlfriend: Do you think your wife would like some of these cute frog clips? (holds them up)
Me: No, we try to keep our house free of junk. (shaking head) Wait, that’s not…
Her: (laughing) I’m sorry I offered you my junk!

Some times it’s just carelessness. Most times, though, it’s just the odd nature of familiarity where you’re the cruelest to the people that you’re the closest to.

Had a conversation almost exactly five years ago, with someone whose name and face I don’t recall. But I remember the conversation cause it was the same one I’d had before in the past and again in the future.

Essentially, asked her why she kept going on all these dates if they ended up so bad. She said it was cause she hoped this time, this time’ll be different.

But, for better or worse, when we meet new people, we usually wear masks; we look just a little bit better, stand a little bit taller, and act a little bit nicer.

For my part, I actually shave.

Sometimes the person with whom it’s finally different ends up in the same place once the masks come off.

Think that’s also why we treat the people closest to us the worst. Cause we wear those masks at first and it’s easier with strangers to keep those masks on. It’s harder to keep them on with the people you’re closest to.

Went out to see the rents the other day to help them hook up some random technology.  Got frustrated cause my dad kept confusing two different types of cables.

Barked at him and then immediately felt ashamed when I realized I was yelling at a 70+ year old man.

Like to be a father someday. And if I’m lucky enough to be one, hope he or she doesn’t yell at me cause I can’t tell the difference between the flux-capacitor and the wireless power charger when I’m an old man.

Then again, suppose fathers and sons’re meant to argue about nonsense.

Me: No dad, that’s the power. A power cable’s black! It’s always black! The other cable’s the ethernet cable. They’re completely different!
Him: Sorry, it’s hard for me to tell the difference.
Me: (embarrassed) That’s ok, dad. Sorry I yelled.

Location: getting ready for a meeting
Mood: tired
Music: get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
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4 thoughts on “Why are we nastiest to the people we know best?”

  1. So true!
    Yesterday I was trying to explain to my mother, over the phone, how to change the "State" on her Garmin NUVI. I kept trying to talk her through it, and she kept talking over me telling me about all of the buttons she was hitting. I finally "snapped" and said: "Just be quiet and try to listen to what I'm saying!" – in a voice reminiscent of my 13 year-old-self. After I said it, I immediately apologized as well.
    Sometimes we're harshest with the people we love because we know that no matter what, we're loved by them (just as we love them) so unconditionally…no matter how big of a jerk we can sometimes be. That's the beauty of family…

  2. appreciates the comments EM! I actually found – via my public FB profile – that there was a lot of consensus around this topic and that you and I aren't the only ones that blow up over things between our parents (I'm going to have to find a way to integrate these comments somehow).

    In any case, yes, that *is* the beauty of family – people putting up with our jerky ways. Thank goodness for it.

  3. I get frustrated with my parents all the time, especially more so now that I'm an adult and I feel awful every time I yell at them even if they make me want to rip my eyes out. I can't imagine what it's like to be older with all this technology and really really not know the difference (just last month my dad asked me what Google was… you know what Facebook is but not Google?!).

    As far as the mask theory goes, I always wondered when I was younger and got broken up with — was this guy always that much of an asshole or did he just not seem like it cause at the time he was dating me? I remember asking a mutual friend why he was always so mean but she said that's how he always was. Where was I?!

    At the same time I think I expect too much from hubby or my best friend and I can be a little careless with the things I say because I think they just accept me as I am. Where as with strangers, I don't really KNOW them or how they'll react to me.

    1. It's just awful when you realize that they grew up so differently than us; that plus I think that the pace of technology is one that is just out of most of their grasps.

      Funny about Google and Facebook – my parents are googlers but my worry is that they might fall prey to some scam. i tell them never to download something unless I'm home but they never listen.

      Finally, as I think about the mask theory, I do think that we also change a lot as we mature. So we're actually a different person entirely than the one we were before. That's usually – but not always – a good thing.

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