If there's one thing I'm glad that I'm not, it's someone who automatically assumes the worst about other people. I'm not talking about "worst as in whether someone may be an a horrible criminal". I'm talking about "worst" as in "I can either assume the best about someone else (and therefore not get to have my fraction-of-a-second's worth of feeling superior to them AND/OR asserting all my 'wonderfulness' and 'superior-ness' in order to make good and sure that the other person knows s/he is 'clearly inferior''; OR, I can automatically assume the worst about someone and - yet one more time - get to remind myself of how "wonderful" I am.

Here's an example of what I mean: A few years ago I attended a function that involved a lot of walking around an outdoor area where there was grass. I was wearing heels (which was, for me, a giant accomplishment after having seriously injured my leg and having spent a couple of years working on getting it at least mostly working). To this day, I'm putting finishing touches on getting "The Leg" back to "good-as-new". At the time of the function I'm referring to, though, it hadn't been long enough for the leg to be more than a matter of wearing heels "for looks only" (as long as I didn't expect the leg to do a lot more than just be there and don't scream at me too much).

In any case, I was really pleased to have gotten that leg back to where I could actually wear heels and see that with some more time I'd eventually be walking well again. Without getting into details about the complicated injury, itself; maybe just mentioning that, among other things, it involved the lower leg kind of swinging from left to right (as if it wasn't really attached) and causing a whole lot of extreme pain as a result.

So, the fact that I was wearing heels was kind of a secret source of pride for me. For the most part (and in spite of the fact that it was tricky to have an unstable leg have a heel that got stuck in the grass/soil and caused discomfort AND instability), I was doing OK making my way from one end of this expanse of lawn to the other (not without discomfort or pain, but that didn't bother me). Somewhere in the mix of the activity, however, and after making my unstable way around for what I thought was most of the activities; I made the mistake of finding a place to sit down, thinking that the challenge of all that heel-pulling and unstable making my (mostly) gracious way around with everyone else.

Not long after the woman who was "running the program" came over to tell me that particular part of "the program" wasn't yet over. She was a fast-moving, kind of bustling, little woman (not young, by any means) (so am I - that is when I'm not dealing with big, complicated, leg injury). When she took off in the direction that she wanted me to go, and I wasn't able to keep up with her; I thought I would simply explain to her (no details, just a simple statement) that I'd had a serious ligament injury and therefore couldn't keep up with her).

Well, this busy and zippy and snappy little individual quite abruptly responded to the simple statement that I'd made (again, to explain why I couldn't keep up with her and/or why I'd sat down in the first place) by telling me she had heart surgery a few months (and implying that - in all her 'wonderfulness', of course - she wasn't letting something like heart surgery stop her (months later) from making her way around the expand of lawn (in "work-lady" shoes, of courrse - not event-guest heels.

Now, I understood that this woman was working hard; and - honestly - bully for her that she got through heart surgery and was able to work. No doubt, on the "points-for-important" or "points-for-more-serious" scale, this woman certainly deserved "The Prize". Here's the thing, though, hearts are hearts. Legs are legs. Sometimes problems with one are related to problems with the other. Sometimes they're completely unrelated. In this particular instance, this woman could obviously run around an expanse of lawn without trouble. For all I know she could have come close to death when she had her heart problems. Again, she wins the drama points or the "credit points" or whatever points she was going to make good and sure I didn't get (and if not "points", then at least not being "nicely told off" or "enlightened").

While I certainly didn't expect this woman to understand how bad my "leg thing" was, and while I certainly didn't think it was the time or place or person to try to say more to about the leg matter than make the simple statement about my having the injury; it would have been nice if this little jerk (and, I'm sorry... she was being a little jerk) had controlled her own urge (or lack of reasoning ability when it came to sorting out the difference between one medical matter and another) to do "the little put-down thing" of how - even after whatever big, dramatic, and life-threatening medical matter she had; she was making her way so well around the expanse of lawn.

Here's the thing: If a person kind of hopes you won't expect her to keep up with him/her because she has "a leg thing", you either slow down and understand or you don't. Either way, save the little lecture. At the time, I wasn't looking for sympathy or "points" or "credit". I was simply telling this little jerk, who was bordering on impatient with me, why it was I would be slow getting to where she told me I needed to be. I made a statement about a simple fact. She turned it (essentially) into my seeming to want sympathy or thinking my leg problem was as important as her heart problem. Maybe even she imagined that my leg problem wasn't as serious as it was. I don't know, and I don't care.

The point to all this is that if someone makes a simple statement to you about a simple fact, just go with it and take it from there. Don't make up in your own little mind what you think the other person means or wants or "is also thinking" when he makes his simple statement. That's not how logical thinking works.
Here something else: While I know that attitude and thinking and a person's overall nature can't always fend off all medical conditions; I can't help but wonder if being someone who has a nasty and small-minded attitude toward other people; and who likes to, needs to, and or just plain does believe the worst about everyone else (or at least about anyone one, for one reason or another,gets selected as one of the "automatically-assume-the-worse-about" among us) just may send a few too many more people to the cardiac-care ward than might otherwise end up there.

Of course, we can never quite be certain about what is passive aggressive, what is just someone's exhaustion after a long day at work, what's overt nastiness, what may be an attempt to relate but not come across the way it was intended, or any number of other possible misinterpretations of things that can happen.

In this case, however, I'm fairly certain this wasn't a matter of this woman's commiserating with me about a very busy and non-stop kind of event. There was nothing she said, and nothing in her tone, to suggest she was thinking, "Oh, I know... Hasn't this been a kind of tiring day for those of us with some "issue". I'm fairly certain this was more a matter of, "I don't want hear about your stupid leg problem. I had heart surgery x months ago, and I'm managing to run around this lawn like the busy and superior little bee that I am."

Before ending this post I'd like to explain that I've written for one reason: To try to point out to people that they shouldn't be this kind of jerk toward other people. The reason I feel the need to explain that is that over a course of forty years of living as an adult woman, I (like so many other women) have figured out that women sometimes "aren't allowed" to make a simple statement of fact. When a simple statement of fact is made in some kinds of women's voices, and when some statements come from people who look some ways (namely, like a woman); somehow what gets heard is "complaining" (no, "belly-aching"), "whining"; and, of course, the ever-popular "b***ing". And, of course, when someone isn't imagining one or more of those things being associated with the simple statement of fact, sometimes some people will instead (or also) get into the whole "who gets more points for this" kind of competition

The thing is, we can't always understand what, on Earth, happened to some otherwise perfectly nice people that turned them into self-righteous, competitive, aggressive, jerks (at least when it comes to how they treat SOME other people). That's a whole subject for a-whole-nother time.