Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Questions 1-4 wrap up (and my answers)

Before I get into this, I wanted to say how very sorry I am for anyone who had such horrible things said to them. So many were just heartbreaking and hard to even read as a third party, much less these things being told to my friends. I'm so sorry any of you had to go through hearing so many of those things. And I also want to say that for those who feel guilty about the worst thing they've ever said, the pure fact you remember it means you feel bad for saying it. You took ownership and that's what it takes. Many of you already had apologized. If you haven't and you still can, why not try now?

To recap, the four questions were ...

#1 - What was the worst thing said to you?
#2 - What was the best thing said to you?
#3 - What was the worst thing you've said to someone?
#4 - What was the best thing you've said to someone?

Someone in the comments mentioned "How come we always remember the bad?" which seems to be true. 69 people answered the first question and 49 answered the second. Then 37 for #3 and 33 for #4. In this little experiment, more people were apt to answer that "worst thing ever said to me" than the best thing said to them or what they have said to another.

In working with the answers, I categorized them types of answers. Let me break them down by what the what offensive comment had the most "votes" to the least.

#1 - What was the worst thing said to you?
~ Knocking down your self esteem from any person
~ Weight comments (could have included in above, but there were so many of these, I made them their own category
~ Pregnancy loss
~ IF
~ Comments towards living babies
~ Disease
~ Religion
~ Death
~ Lying
~ Other

#2 - What was the best thing said to you?
~ Love by friend/parent/child
~ That you were pregnant
~ Self esteem builders
~ good news
~ other

#3 - What was the worst thing you've said to someone?
~ Knocking down some one's self esteem
~ Telling someone "I hate you"
~ Name calling
~ Not being understanding with someone Else's loss
~ other

#4 - What was the best thing you've said to someone?
~ Vows
~ Saying "I love you"
~ Giving compliments (self esteem)
~ Telling someone else, like significant other, you were pregnant.

Did you notice how there were patterns there?

Q#3/Q#4: In the set of questions of what YOU have said, both good and bad, the categories were quite the same - being the good opposite of the bad.
~ This tells me the things you determine as good are the exact opposite as the things you remember telling someone as bad. Which really makes sense, since that's how people work. If I thought telling someone something that hurt their self esteem was my worst thing, I would think me complimenting some one's self esteem would be the best thing.

Q#2/Q#4: Very similar. The best thing said to you is quite often the same categories as what you determined was the best thing you've said to someone. Again it makes sense, because what people put value in is going to be thought of first.

Q#1 is the black sheep. And I think it's because you remember the most vile thing said to you and since that person whom said those things are not you or the good people you hang out with, this category should be all on it's own. And rightfully so. There were some terrible things said and I wish I could give each one of you a big ole virtual hug. Although some of the answers centered around loss/death, which wouldn't count as someone being horrible, it was just horrible news.

Does anyone have anything to add to my very non scientific assessment?

To be fair, here are my answers:

#1 - What was the worst thing said to you?
~ "Have you ever thought it may be God punishing you by not giving you a baby? You are already going to ruin the two children you have and He knows you don't deserve another" (I am a good mom. This comment not only ripped open my heart about not conceiving, but it attacked my job as a mother, from someone who doesn't even know me.)

#2 - What was the best thing said to you?
~ "Will you make me the happiest man in the world and become my wife?" (my husband on his knee at the top of the never never land run on the summit of Breckenridge, holding out a diamond ring)
~ "8lbs 8ozs!" said as my first was born.
~ "She does not have any other soft markers for Downs syndrome" (said by periontologist after Nuchal fold was measured larger than average)
~ "The embryo is right in the uterus. It's not ectopic!" (said by my RE after FET when they were SURE it was ectopic)
~ "Why, hello there." (said by my nurse after waking up from Emergency surgery just minutes after giving birth to Karl. I honestly didn't know I'd survive the surgery. I did.)

#3 - What was the worst thing you've said to someone?
~ I was in Jr High and it was Halloween night. We were all hanging around outside watching all the kids trick-o-treat and from the back, this little girl looked like she was a robot. So I yell "hey! check out the robot!" (which was supposed to be a compliment.) Instead, a little girl in leg braces and cross bars turned to me with the saddest look in her eyes and said "I'm a princess" with the saddest tone ever. That look she gave me can still reduce me to tears today.

#4 - What was the best thing you've said to someone?
~ I do.
~ I love you.
~ Hi, I'm your new mommy. x3.


Lisa said...

Very good analysis Nancy!

even though it was the worse thing you ever said, it shouldn't really count since you thought you were giving a compliment. You would probably have never said that if you had a better look at the little girl.

jenn said...

Great observations! I think that our self-image is such a fragile thing, and it's also so easy to use as a weapon against others as we know it hurts ~us~.

I love your answers to #4 & I agree that #3 wasn't intented to harm- but isn't it amazing how that has stuck with you & likely shaped how you relate with people today. I see it in your writing, always saying exactly what you think, but being very careful to make it clear it's your observation & you never mean to offend anyone.

Kaci said...

Very interesting.

I think you shouldn't feel bad about your #3, since you did mean it as a compliment, but I'll admit it almost made me cry. I'm sure it's because of Matthew's shoes & bar, which he's actually proud of so a comment like yours wouldn't phase him.

Morgan said...

I love your answers! :)

Kristin said...

Great observations. Your #3 must be hard to remember because of the inadvertent hurt caused. Thanks for sharing.

Jen said...

Good view point and observations.

I agree with the other posts, you shouldn't feel bad about the Halloween comment. You meant it as a complement. In no way did you mean to hurt her feelings. Although, if it makes you feel better, I would probably feel shitty for saying that too, even though I wouldn't have meant it to be hurtfull.

Loved reading your answers.

amazingk8 said...

I also noticed that a lot of answers to #1 came from biological family members and a lot of answers to #2 came from friends or chosen family members (significant others, etc). I walked away from #1 feeling like mom/dad/siblings/etc can be so incredibly cruel for people who are supposed to love you and take care of you. But if they do hopefully you get the chance in life to surround yourself with people who will appreciate you and say nice things!

JamieD said...

Very interesting! You always have very interesting and thought provoking posts. The four questions really made me think. And you are right - I had a much easier time remembering the worst thing said to me than I did the best thing I said to someone.