You probably know me as a witty, no filter, doesn’t care if it offends, sarcastic, if it bothers you then it might be true, get over it kind of guy. I grew up with tough love myself and for me it worked. What started as a defense mechanism (my sassy, snippy, jokes) became a I’m going to secretly attack you before you can get at me. Especially if I have an audience and your face was all screwed up from emotion. Not a good look! I went from being the victim to being the bully and didn’t even know it! I was the “SOFT” bully. Not the “give me your lunch money” I’m going to meet you after school and kick your ass kind. I was the maybe your mom won’t let you go to the prom because it appears that 8 laser lights are being pointed directly at your face and she fears snipers are after you, I’m just joking, we are friends, type of bully. Funny? Until you realize I’m talking about his or hers face being infested with pimples. SMH. I didn’t know what kind of affect I had on people with my “silliness”. What did I did know was I had friends who were strong minded and tough and people thought I was funny and I was no longer the victim. No the victim of bullying, but now, I was the victim of “I’m so misunderstood”, I don’t have good friends with substance, no one ever stays close. These were the results of my “awesome” personality. It was my reason to change, just a little change, I mean the people who can take it and know me for my hard joking and throw it back shouldn’t be an issue. WRONG! I actually one day met my match. A girl who could stab with her tongue all while offering you her hand in comfort. We started bantering so hard. I hit her low, she would already be down low to meet me with her comeback. It turned from jokes and laughs to anxiety building up inside of me. Her tone was getting stronger and more devilish (a word my Granddaddy Dent Uses). I mean she took truth from my life and made it the Queens of comedy part 2 “meet the queen of all queens and I mean faggot, Keone Dent. I mean that deep folks! I felt so low for a few days. Hurt. Bothered. Started questioning if some of the things she said were truly how I was viewed. What was worst was of course our banter was out loud for the others to hear so I was the center of attention, in a bad way, for a while. I was never physically suicidal but mentally this made me clock out a bit. I started thinking. What if I was someone not so in control and weak to the point I would want to cause harm to myself. Or worse! WHAT IF I WANTED TO END HER? GASP!!!!!
We have to be careful with our words, even in joking. You do not know what it can cause. Someone may laugh with you and joke back and appear to be the strongest person alive but in reality can be hanging on to their last breath and ready to clock out from one word that comes out of your mouth. I still have my wits, sarcasm is about 80%, and I will always be about tough love, but I have learned in many situations I must BE Sensitive to others feelings. Many terrible outcomes can result in this joking harshly. I was recently told by a coworker who also happens to be a writer herself that I look up to, that I offended her with my “joking” and she pointed out how people may like me and who I am but basically I could end up lonely because no one would want to be around me (not her exact words but I’m dramatic so….). I’ve learned now to cut back a bit. With some I have safety words that mean you’re going too far. Others I give a disclaimer up front that I’m this guy but if it ever becomes too much just shut me down. Most importantly I just approach everyone with a bit of caution until I know they can play with me. Sometimes I lose focus and slip back but then I remember this could be their last breath or worst, they could be planning out my last breath!
Believe, BE Free, BE YOUtiful…BE!