A few thoughts on not letting people get to you and not letting them know where your goat is tied.
I’m a really rotten debater. My problem is I’m an emotional arguer. If you argue with me your odds are 9 out 10 I’m going to take everything you say personally and I can and will use it to punish you for the rest of your natural-born life. But I’m beginning to realize something, as I delve into my quest of arguments to own my right-out bitch skills. Maybe I am supposed to be emotional about some things.
I’ve determined that the reason why I’m “emotional” on some issues is that I’m a deeply passionate person. I will suspend all reason in a heated moment of verbal jousting at which point I turn the matter into a duel to the death! And that may just be over choosing what appetizer to order.
Ok, maybe not food, of which I’m still terribly passionate, but things like the plight of women around the world, children and any potential harm or difficulty they may incur, anything…absolutely anything to do with animals, our troops, and of course politics and this beautiful country that provides me the freedom to be an emotional arguer and not get hung for it.
So there! It’s out there. Those are my goats! And what the hell does that mean? You’ve heard me say it a few times here but my grandfather always warned me never to ever let anyone know where my goat is tied. Because then, someone can “get my goat.” It was brilliant advice. I don’t think I’ve mastered it once in all my years.
I’m the girl who is given a great poker hand at which point I lay it out on the table, stand on my chair, point to it for all to behold, and shout “SEE!”
But the one thing I’m learning about arguing is that it’s not always about the opposing force wanting to brilliantly discuss their narrative. Sometimes they are simply in the argument to find my goat and then choke the ever-loving daylights out of it for nothing more than the pleasure of causing some type of emotional harm.
The reasons could be multitudinous, and I’m learning the reason doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are provoking you to elicit a response and nothing more. They’d very much like to humiliate you or to assist you in you humiliating yourself. At which point I’m certain they would take your words, splash them across every billboard and/or Facebook page and validate their argument for you being nothing more than a crazy cat lady.
The cool thing is, I am more. I’m complex. And passionate. A little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy. And I have small moments of brilliance but only because I have a heart too damn large for my body or my life.
And tonight when someone happily decided to “belittle my very existence” and my opinion, condescendingly speaking to me in a manner that you couldn’t help but hear the little pity “tsk tsks” lingering in the air. Which is truly, my friends, my biggest goat. More than anything I hate being dismissed especially if their claim is that I’m just a silly little girl who should nicely go to my corner and shut the hell up.
I didn’t. I never will again. Especially after having to fight for a voice in a real duel to the death.
I don’t know that I handled it all particularly well but where are the rules when it comes to speaking your heart and mind? I’m convinced those that think there are rules are the exact jackwagons running around believing they know everything and certainly more than you or I. So how dare we have differing opinions?
My friend shared a brilliant quote at the exact moment of the heated social media conversation. “I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to,” she wrote, a quote by Dorothy Parker. Right around that moment, I dug my fingernails out of the inch-deep indentations in my desk and put my goat back out to pasture.
And then it happened.
A goat defender.
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. But I was surprised and appreciative of the defense, on my behalf and my goat. It happened once earlier this year with a friend on Twitter coming to my defense after a really difficult real-life issue broke out. And my friend who shared the quote has shown up time after time, sword drawn, ready to do battle on my behalf. I was equally surprised then as well.
I think a lot of times we believe our only option is to fight alone. Especially when there isn’t anything in it for anyone else. It’s our life and our reputation and no one else’s. Then out of nowhere, these beautifully selfless people show up and come to our aid without provocation or compensation.
So God bless the goat defenders. They are truly a rare breed.