I can’t stand you at all (you drive me insane); why won’t you go away?

I try very, very hard not to hate people.

I’m not talking about disliking people. I think it’s human nature to dislike certain people. We can’t all click. There are just some people you don’t like, and you can’t force yourself to like them.

The guy who interrupts you every time you talk because he seems physically incapable of listening. The guy who almost seems Tourettesian in his random bursts of profanity and who just STARES all the time, and you’re not quite comfortable being around him in any capacity. The guy who walks past you pulling too hard on his adorable dog’s leash in frustration, and the poor dog is cowering away. The woman whose self-esteem is at such a low that she feels the need to talk in a baby voice and lean over every single man she comes across to get some, any, all the attention in the room.

You don’t have to like these people (and I’d be surprised if you did, honestly) but you don’t HATE them. I mean, probably you don’t. You most likely see them as minor annoyances, at best. Like gnats.

As I’ve aged, I’ve apparently acquired this annoying tendency to empathize with everyone – even the most annoying human beings. It doesn’t make them much easier to deal with, but it does tend to make my reactions to them a little less huffy and eye-rolly.

“She probably has had a really hard life,” I’ll think about the woman who’s yelling at her child in the grocery store. Or, “I bet she didn’t get paid enough attention when she was a child,” for the woman who constantly puts emo statuses up on Facebook to the point I need to hide her just to maintain my sanity.

It doesn’t always work. Just ask my mother, or friend K. They know me well, and they know my reactions to things.

“You can’t hide it when someone’s annoying you,” Mom said recently. “You might THINK you’re being good about it, but that person knows. Trust me.”

She told me once I had a glass face. Anything I’m feeling is clearly visible. I think it goes hand-in-hand with wearing your heart on your sleeve, which is another thing I’m sadly guilty of. If I love you, you’re aware of it. I can’t hide it any more than I can hide being female, brunette, or American. I could TRY – I could wear a costume, dye my hair, affect an accent – but you’d know it was fake.

Friend K. thinks it’s hilarious, honestly. (I adore friend K.) “People need to know to stay away from you when you’ve got that face on,” she said once at the theater. I looked askance at her. “The Back-the-Hell-Up face. It’s such an Amy face. I don’t understand how anyone can see that face and not immediately just walk right away apologizing. But they just keep talking! As if all is ok! When it clearly isn’t!”

As close of an approximation to my "eff off and die" face as I can muster at bedtime during a heatwave.

As close of an approximation to my “eff off and die” face as I can muster at bedtime during a heatwave.

So apparently I have a face, when I’m annoyed. I suppose I could try to control it, but I think I’d look like someone raised by gorillas trying to learn how humans smile. It wouldn’t fit on my face-area well.

(Strangely, if it matters, I CAN pretend I’m not annoyed. I call it acting the benign fool; a friend and I were discussing it recently and he told me knew it as being dumb and agreeable. What you want to do is act like one of Shakespeare’s fools – foolish in front of people, wise when you’re on your own. And you want no one to realize you’re acting. Here, I’ll give you a lesson. Let’s say you can’t stand your in-laws, but you know if you’re rude to them, it’s going to raise hell at home. So you need to pretend you’re ok with them. But you can’t STAND them. I mean, maybe you don’t HATE them, but they annoy you. So here’s what you do: act like you haven’t ever had a deep thought in your life. Not stupid; just a touch vapid. Be funny, but not desperate for laughs. Laugh at their jokes, even if they’re foolish. Have bright, happy, engaged eyes. Tell stories that are fun, and light, and topical. Avoid topics that matter. Keep this up for the duration. You will feel your soul dying; just keep counting down the minutes until it’s over. When you leave, congratulate yourself. Because it means you won. They have no idea who you are, they have no idea you can’t stand them, and you’ve retained the peace at home. Beware, though – the people who love your dumb-and-agreeableness want you to come back frequently and often. You’re just that much fun to be around. I tell you this from experience. The fact that a., they weren’t able to see through your charade and b., they like the fake you more than the real you…it’s a little disheartening, to be honest.)

Here is your basic benign fool face. If you look closely, you can see my soul struggling for life behind my eyes.

Here is your basic benign fool face. If you look closely, you can see my soul struggling for life behind my eyes.

Anyway, Tangent McGee, as I said. I really, really try not to hate people. First, it’s just bad karma. Second, what the hell good does it do? None. You don’t accomplish anything with it. Mostly it just gives you a stomachache. Plus it totally gives that person power over you. Because they live in your head. Like, all the time. Like, ALL the damn time. I don’t want to spend more time thinking about the people I hate than the people I love.

Sometimes, though, I fail miserably.

I’m not talking about Tom Cruise (he’s the worst, but I don’t hate him.) I’m not talking about that terrible Westboro Baptist Church wackadoodle (he’s the devil, but I don’t hate him. I don’t know him, and he hasn’t directly injured someone I love, so I can’t hate him. I wouldn’t mind if he fell in a really deep hole and then someone filled in the hole with cement, though. I mean, by accident. Like, they just happened to be filling in holes with cement, and that was one of the holes, and they were all “Just doing my job!” and WHOOPS! he got buried alive in all the cement.)

There are RULES to hating. I have to either know the person and they hurt me SO DEEPLY there’s no turning back, or they have to have injured someone I love so deeply that I don’t need to know them to hate them. And I have to have thought about it a lot. I can’t just offhand-hate someone. I mean, it’s a pretty serious thing, this hating.

Luckily, there are only a handful of people I really, truly hate.

And I can assure you, they’ve done sincerely terrible things. Which I will not go into. Because I am most sincerely attempting to pretend they don’t exist. With varying results.

(Side note: If you’re thinking, “ZOMG, is it ME? Is Amy talking about ME?” No. I’m not. Because a., if you care at all if I’m talking about you, you’re not one of the people I hate – the people I hate, I can assure you, hate me back, it is totally a mutual-hatred thing – b., I’m about 99% sure none of the people I hate read my blog. Or, well, no, thinking about it, two of them might, because they might like to keep an eye on their enemy. But they don’t comment or anything. They just lurk. I’d poison-dart-frog blow-dart them through the blog if I could, but sadly, science has not yet made that a thing. And c., if I’ve spoken to you in any capacity in the last year or so, you’re not one of those people. Because, like I said, I’m trying very hard to pretend these people don’t exist, and it takes a good long time to go from “pretty annoying” to “ZOMG EFF OFF AND DIE.”)

I know there are ways you are supposed to forgive people who have harmed you. By like meditating or doing calming things like, I don’t know, breathing in and out in a nice way, not like panting or something, because that’d be off-putting. Or maybe whenever you have hate-thoughts, replacing them with friendly thoughts like “I sure did like her hair, right before she tore my heart out with her sharp stabby talons.” Or “I guess I remember those really good times before he did that thing that, in retrospect, he should have been locked up for, had I had the presence of mind to call the cops.”

If I tried this shit I'd fall ass-over-teakettle off that rock.

If I tried this shit I’d fall ass-over-teakettle off that rock.

I don’t care for meditation because it seems difficult and my brain’s just so damn busy I can’t imagine the amount of work it would take to turn it off, and calming breaths seem like some sort of wacky hoodoo. And the hatey thoughts always replace the past-friendly thoughts, if there were past-friendly thoughts for that person there to begin with.

As I said, I try very hard not to hate people. It’s pointless and it’s self-destructive and it makes me yell at my laptop if I come across them online. Naughty cusses are said. Sometimes creative ones, sticking together many cusses to make one very long cuss that probably has the power of all those cusses COMBINED. It’s like the Justice League of cusses.

I think the only solution here is, people, stop being hurtful towards me. Like, little hurts I can get over. (Or, sometimes big ones. My heart is surprisingly more rubbery than one would think, and I get more forgiving as I age. It’s a little-known fact of adulthood. It also upsets Dad. “STOP FORGIVING PEOPLE!” Dad shouts. “It’s like if someone stole from you, and then you invited them BACK into the HOUSE to steal from you AGAIN!” And I say, “Oh, Dad. You know I have nothing worth stealing except Dumbcat, and they’d just bring him back once he started leaping on their spleen at 2am and vomiting cat food on their good rug.” Dad doesn’t believe in forgiveness. Once you are dead to Dad, you are dead to him FOR! EV! ER! And there are many ways to be dead to Dad, from injuring him, to injuring his loved ones, to cutting him off in traffic that one time in 1971. I find that a very Christian attitude, don’t you?)

Or, I suppose, I could get a lobotomy.

Give me some wisdom, here, people. Are people dead to you forever? Can you just move on from things? Have you gotten a lobotomy and, if so, do you have a doctor you recommend? Did someone really, really piss you off one time and you can’t get over it? Or just tell me a story. It’s hot, and I’m feeling hatey, and I don’t feel I can be overly demanding.

Here is a song about hating people courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Alice. She makes me happy. So does this song.

And for added goodness, there’s this one, which makes me giggle because it’s just so damn upbeat.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

56 responses to “I can’t stand you at all (you drive me insane); why won’t you go away?

  • grrgoyl

    “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” — Fake Buddha

    “Not the hated but the hater has the burden that’s greater.” — Xena: Warrior Princess, “Bitter Suite”

    I can hold a grudge like no one’s business. But the second I am apologized to, it evaporates. I’m like you–if I hate someone, I am absolutely incapable of looking them in the eyes if we’re speaking face to face (assuming we’re speaking at all, such as in the case of people who aren’t aware we’re fighting).

    Tery is like you — if she sees someone doing something stupid or annoying or any of the thousand things that irritate me, she makes up a story in her head that paints them as a saint somehow. I don’t know that I will ever be like that.

    (It IS me, isn’t it? WHY DO YOU HATE ME)

    • lucysfootball

      Ha! No. It is most definitely not you.

      I don’t know if I’ve ever been apologized to by someone I really, truly hate. Probably because I would do anything to stay away from them. To the point of running away. Once, I saw one of them in the store and ran out of the store. Just totally ran right out. Drove away. Went to another store instead.

  • A Morning Grouch

    i have the exact same “i’m annoyed by you” face. and i can’t wipe it off either. i’m really trying to work on it!! especially with my family….lol….seems the hardest to be the benign fool with them….

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, it’s almost impossible to be a fool with people that know you well. They can immediately spot it. “You hate this, don’t you?” they say. And you have to say yes. Because they caught you acting.

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Oooh, I love your “eff off and die”-face!

    It’s probably a good thing we don’t live close enough to regularly meet up, because I’d no doubt tease you relentlessly in order to get you to make that face all the time. ALL the time.

    And then you’d hate me.

    • lucysfootball

      I could never hate you. I can’t think of a single thing that you could do that would make me hate you. Not even one thing. (But don’t test that theory and, like, come kidnap Dumbcat or something.)

      I left you a present on Facebook since you love the face so much. YOU’RE WELCOME!!!

      (It’s NEVER a good thing we don’t live close enough. NEVER EVER.)

  • franhunne4u

    To bear somebody a grudge is leaving the bearer with an extra load.
    Still, sometimes I DO hate people. But I can carry THAT weight, too ;)

    • lucysfootball

      I know. It’s not a good idea. But I think it’s very human. I’d just like to mature enough that it’d stop happening, or at least that I’d stop thinking about it so much.

      • franhunne4u

        No use trying NOT to think about something, makes you think even more about it – avert your attention – think of other things. If somebody asks you NOT to think of a pink elephant, imagine a fluffy white mouse – for Dumbcat to play. Negative is something our brain cannot do.
        Say: I will balance the mountain of dishes to the sink .
        No use thinking: I will NOT drop something … a sure way to make you drop. Think what you want to achieve. Not, what you want to avoid.
        So whenever somebody has grated your nerves really badly, done harm to someone you love – think about a way how you can help your friend undo the damage, how you can make that hurt a laugh. No use crying over spilled milk. Crying produces the wrong kind of wrinkles. ;)
        I sound like a think positive-guru, I’m not. But you seem so troubled with the thought you might hate somebody, this is a way to learn the other approach.
        I personally LIKE hating some people :P I am just too lazy to be bothered with most. But some I really, really hate. I don’t want to be an angel – I am quite happy being human.

        • lucysfootball

          Eh, I’m not overly troubled. Mostly I just don’t want to give them the head-space that hating them affords them. I’d like them to not be in my head at all.

          Time will do that, I assume. I’ll just wait it out.

          Or maybe they’ll die in a zepplin accident.

  • elaine4queen

    HAHA! I call that TEACHER FACE. I do it when I want to control kids that are annoying me and I don’t want to ask their adults to deal with them themselves. Works a treat.

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    But yes, people are dead to me forever. I do move on, at least in the sense that I don’t sit around hating them day in and day out, so I guess that’s good. Rather, if I happen to remember them I think “Huh. Well, they don’t exist. Good.”

    • lucysfootball

      That’s probably best. Once enough time passes, I can stop dwelling, but it takes some time for that. And I still get caught in memory loops sometimes. And then I get upset and/or melancholy and/or hatey.

      You’re always so practical. Why do you live so far away? Move here. We would have the best time.

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Having someone being buried alive in a hole with cement reminds me of a weird French film I watched some years ago. What was it called? Hmm…

    Ah! ‘Jeux d’enfants’. ‘Love me if you dare’ or something in English, I think.

  • Samantha

    Maybe I have just been lucky enough to not have super terrible horrible people in my lifetime. I have been hurt a lot, but not enough to hate the person forever, you know? I have been way too open to people in the past and/or trustworthy, and that has made me a little more thick-skinned/iron-hearted or whatever, and I probably don’t talk to the people that hurt me badly enough anymore, but I don’t spend time hating them I guess, and if they come up in conversation I try not to be shouty. Or retreat to my corner with a book and some paper and a pen, maybe. I don’t know. People make me angry a lot, but it usually wears off pretty quickly. I thankfully got my dad’s side where he can get angry very fast, but it usually doesn’t last long, and he doesn’t hold grudges.

    • lucysfootball

      That IS lucky. Both that you’ve avoided most of the badnesses and that you can forgive quickly. I have the opposite. Many badnesses and an inherited/learned grudge-holding tendency.

      I work very hard to get over that, though. It’s not a quality I like about myself.

  • April

    I, too, have a hard time with the hating thing. Long ago, I discovered that complete indifference was the best thing to shoot for with these folks. I have also noticed that it’s all about forgiveness… or maybe about forgetting. With forgiveness, forgetting is necessary to move forward with any relationship. Without both, there can be no trust. Where there is no trust, there is no relationship.
    I’m making myself dizzy, here.
    Anyway, I think you’ve got it worked out the right way. Complete indifference is the best way to move past hate and get them out of your brain.


    PS: If they can’t leave you alone, then they’re probably a sociopath. Better off far away.

    • lucysfootball

      No, you’re right. If you can’t forget it (or at least move past it) there can’t be a relationship with that person, if you want a relationship with them.

      I do attempt the indifference. It isn’t always SUCCESSFUL, but I attempt it.

      They mostly leave me alone. I see them here and there around the internet. It’s a smaller place than you’d imagine. But they, for the most part, leave me alone. It’s why I’m so pleased the “block” function is available on so many sites.

  • cynthiaw

    OMG – how did you get in my head? For real – first of all, I apparently suffer from “resting bitch face”, so sometimes people think that I’m mad at the when I’m not. But, rest assured, you will actually have no doubt at all when I really am mad. Or annoyed. Or happy. Or in the possession of a really good hand in poker. Or a bad one. Or an okay one. I am incapable of hiding anything I feel – including boredom or just general “oh my god, why is everyone in this room so stupid”ness.

    I do try not to hate people and even to be more understanding towards dumb and annoying people. I’m actually pretty likely to forgive people who have done bad things to me. ONCE. If they apologize and never do it again. Even if I don’t forgive them, I don’t hate them. I just practice avoidance.

    It’s the people who hurt someone I love – those fuckers are dead.to.me forever and a day. In fact, they are lucky that they are still roaming this earth, unmaimed. And who you hurt matters to an extent – if said person is an adult person and capable of taking care of themselves, there can be some mitigation. I pity the idiot who ever hurts my niece though – when I’m done with them, there may not be enough pieces of them to identify.

    • lucysfootball

      I suffer from apparently “resting come-up-to-me-and-ask-me-anything,-total-stranger!” face. I don’t know what it is about me. I draw weirdos to me like I’m a bug zapper and they’re moths, seriously. It’s worrisome.

      I roll my eyes a lot. Mom says they’re going to stick that way one day. Well, I’ve been doing it for probably 30 years with no ill effects, so I think I’m safe.

      I forgive little things. All the time. I’ve actually gotten better at not even getting too pissed about the little things at all. With age comes a sense of “eh, don’t sweat it, there are bigger problems in the world, like that guy that thinks we have vagininjas,” you know? But big things – and yes, them hurting the ones I love – that’s harder. (And I’m in total agreement. If anyone ever hurts The Nephew, there will be hell to pay.)

  • The Waiting

    I only recently discovered that I forgive people really easily because I absolutely deplore confrontation and I also kind of believe that bad people (like REALLY REALLY bad people) aren’t likely to change, especially if I personally call them out on their badness. (I’m not very convincing.) So it’s not because I really believe in forgiveness that I actually do it; I’m just kind of lazy and want to get rid of my hate and anger for people as soon as possible. But I want to learn to forgive for forgiveness’ sake. I think it makes life so much more honest and clean.

    • lucysfootball

      I am ALSO terrible at confrontation – hence my two-pronged approach of a., running away and b., pretending the person no longer exists. (It’s a terrible plan, really. No closure at all. But at least you don’t have to confront them!)

      I would love to be more forgiving. I am MUCH more forgiving than I used to be, but I’d like to be REALLY forgiving. Well, not so forgiving as to get my heart stomped on, though. Because that’s just bad news. None of that.

  • becomingcliche

    I can hold a grudge, but I try not to because it makes my hands all slimy. And my heart. But like you, there are just some people I can’t stand. I can fake polite with the best of them. I can’t say who I fake nice with here because I am uber-paranoid, and I don’t want the wrong person to get wind of it. No innocent third-parties getting hurt here! I’ll tell you in person sometime.

    • lucysfootball

      It does make your heart slimy. That’s an EXCELLENT way to phrase it. And I wish I could be a bigger person and move past it (and have, with most people) but some people…the wounds are just really, really deep. And it bothers me that I can’t be a bigger person.

      Someday, maybe. In the meantime, I’ll just pretend they don’t exist. It’s working well for me so far. Most of the time.

      (IN PERSON!!! That made me bop around on my chair!!!)

  • Mer

    I watched this documentary recently, and it reminded me how I would ideally like to deal with conflict. http://youtu.be/3BeC-mmAlNY
    I know there are people in the world that I don’t think I could fake it with right now – each wound in its own time, I guess. Being human is weird sometimes.

    • lucysfootball

      Mostly what I do is run away. It’s my default. (My cat and I have that in common, I think.)

      I can only fake it with the people that don’t really matter. I never fake it with the people I love (and sometimes they get grumpy-Amy because of that, I suppose…but they also get Amazing Happy Amy) or the people I really, truly hate. There’s no way I could put on a happy face with the handful of people that have really wounded me.

      However, there are people currently in my life that decades ago, I wrote off, and have grown up enough to make the conscious choice to forgive…so I think that’s a win. It probably won’t happen with them all, but progress is progress!

  • Mer

    Hee! I also use the Dumbcat Default. I’d like to work on that, though by being appropriate and direct – two things I rarely accomplish!

    I love progress, especially when it comes as a result of time and growing up or evolving.

  • Krysty

    Your dad is awesome. And I agree. Stop forgiving people! (I mean, if someone accidentally stepped on my foot I’d forgive him/her, but if it’s something like really big then no no no forgiveness ever.)

    My ex-boss told me I had this “why are you being stupid at me” face. It was a shock because I always thought I wasn’t so transparent. Apparently my face is actually capable of showing emotions.

    And I agree with your benign face. I figured out my version of it back when I was in grade school and selling cookies to old ladies. Always worked.

    • cynthiaw

      lol – I got counselled by my boss once for “making other people feel stupid”. And I was shocked and demanded to know how I was doing that – she said that when people say stuff in meetings that I think is stupid, it’s really obvious that I think that they just said something really stupid.

      It didn’t help that my answer to that was that I didn’t see how I was “making” them feel stupid – that it was more of a function of them being stupid while I was in the room and then realizing that they said something stupid. And that I really didn’t see how that was my fault – maybe they should just stop saying dumb stuff.

      Now I just go to my happy place and keep a dumb, half manic look on my face during meetings. Or pretend to take notes, but really write short stories where everyone who is stupid in the room gets hit by a meteor or eaten by zombies or something.

      • lucysfootball

        I do the same thing. I bring paper and I doodle. How frustrated and annoyed I am is indicated by how intricate the doodle is.

        Friend A. said, a couple meetings ago, “Whoa! That’s really fancy!”

        It was a really trying meeting.

    • lucysfootball

      It depends on the person, the time that’s evolved, and what happened. There’s a complicated formula to the forgiveness. Dad thinks there should be NO forgiveness. I see a lot more gray area than that.

      I try to keep a poker face, but that works just about as well as when I used to play poker. i.e., not at all. I always lost poker, too.

  • Words for Worms

    I so relate to your “glass face.” I was in a meeting at work today and my boss was literally using my face as a barometer. She was like, “Katie, you’re making faces, is this not right?” and “Ah, that’s a REAL smile from Katie, that must be working.” My snarky eyebrow gives me away every time. I wish I were better about being zen and not hating, but some people I find it much easier to not hate from a safe distance, you know?

    • lucysfootball

      Zen and I are not friends. Zen and I are a million miles apart, sadly. I am much too reactive for zen.

      Everyone around me who knows me at all knows if I’m having a bad day, or if I’m having a good one. My last job would say that to me constantly. “We’re going to need you to show less emotion.” Hmm. I’m thinking…this isn’t a good job for me? (It wasn’t. Goodbye, last job.)

  • Corvidae in the Fields

    “Dead to me” makes me feel like I should be starring opposite Al Pacino and James Caan, although it’s constructively what some people are. I don’t want to be around them nor do I want to think about them. It’s more of an excommunication. I identify toxic people in my life, then leave them to their own devices. I will neither talk nor engage in interaction with these people, but it’s not like I want anything less than for them to live their life… somewhere else.

  • poetlandia

    Frankly, I’m just wishing everyone would stop being so cray. They are so cray they have me calling crazy cray. This is a sign that the end times are near.

    I will think that I’m minding my own business (because I totally am) and all of a sudden someone will come along and decide to share some of their crazy.

    As if we all don’t have enough without the sharing! Crazy isn’t like a KitKat bar, people. No need to break off a piece and try and give it to me. It’s not a Reece’s Cup of the dark chocolate variety. Do not share the crazy. I don’t want it. Go away.

    Seriously. It’s as though everyone has taken up 19th century hat-making. Step away from the mercury, people. Step away from the mercury.

    • lucysfootball

      But mercury’s so PRETTY! (It really is. But I know to stay away. I just like to write about mercury. And I like songs that mention it. Because, pretty.)

      You’re right. There’s a lot of crazy. And the people that have the most have no idea they’ve got it, which is a huge worry.

  • Heather

    I don’t hold grudges well. It takes too much energy and it’s giving those people more than they deserve to actively hold a grudge. Mostly I just forget those people exist altogether.

    I have a handful of people who I actively hate and will always actively hate. I can maybe count them on one hand.

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