I’m a nice person. Honest. But I easily slip into snark-mode without thinking about it. Like when I’m watching a TV interview with an actor whose been out of the spotlight for a while and instantly I think (and say) “Geez, (s)he looks OLD!” Totally unnecessary and unkind and yet, by no conscious effort, out of my mouth slither spiders and snakes.
I’d never intentionally say or do anything for the purpose of hurting someone. And I tell students all the time not to add to the social “garbage” that passes for conversation at school. So why would I think it’s OK to disparage a movie actor?
I have no clue.
But I do know this, people who are truly self-confident don’t put down others for sport. Not publicly or privately. So I’m outting myself here. Clearly I have some self-esteem issues. But I want to change. Otherwise what good am I as a teacher who helps kids understand that Cruel’s not cool??
Starting today I’m committing myself to become more aware of my thoughts. I’m going to scrutinize the put-downs and insults that instantly come to mind when I see someone whose appearance or attitude or behavior isn’t to my liking. When the judgment call pops up, I’m going to seriously examine why in that moment, I feel the need to inflate my ego by mentally dragging down someone else.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to unplug from my Inner Critic (AKA The Opinion-ator) but I figure the first step is to become more conscious of my unconscious habits.
Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted.