Heard with a sneer

 Whenever I read the phrases “you do you” and “it’s not all about you” I hear them said sneeringly.

There is something so dismissive about those phrases. So belittling. The speaker (or writer) matters, you don’t. 

Their choices/preferences matter, yours don’t.

When either of those phrases are directed at me personally (instead of in a general way as I read in someone’s blog this morning) I get – well, to be honest, nasty. 

After overhearing a conversation I was involved in, a person said  “You verbally chopped them up and flushed them down the toilet!” 

When anyone says (or writes) those phrases to me, they get chopped up and flushed down the toilet. 

But calmly. I don’t shout. Not when I’m truly angry. 

That’s the funny thing. I don’t handle raised voices very well; having grown up with raised voices. Raised voices = people shouting in anger, me feeling threatened.

I do raise my voice but, how should I put this, in a benign way? In annoyance rather than anger; to warn someone of danger most certainly, when taken by surprise. Or when listening to the news…I shout at the television a lot. The television doesn’t care. 

When I am truly angry I get quiet. Very quiet. I speak quietly and deliberately. 

When I get truly angry, to the point of losing control, I don’t see red,  I see white.

On those occasions when I have been pushed to the point of white anger someone usually got hurt, it’s never been me. 

I’ll put up with a lot of shit from people; keep my mouth shut, not overtly react, tell myself they are not worth the breath it would take to put them in their place, chopped up and flushed.

But then – those times, those times when I go all quiet, those times when someone crosses the line from mere stupidity to unconscionable,  when they push my alarm button – Be afraid, be very afraid.

“You do you” and “It’s not all about you” aren’t quiet anger producers but they are “verbally chopped up and flushed down the toilet” provokers. 

There are things up with which I will not put.

13 thoughts on “Heard with a sneer

  1. I never looked at the phrase “you do you” that way. It's not all about you is one I've heard many times and it always annoys me. Unfortunately I tend to react too quickly with a raised voice when I'm mad. Sometimes I think it's because I spent way too many years keeping silent.


  2. I'm guilty of “you do you”, but I would only use it in the context of saying fuck what you're “supposed to” do. But I can't think of any way that “it's not all about you” would be anything but dismissive.


  3. You do you has been in many conversations with my daughter as I try to teach her ways to navigate the shark infested waters of middle school. I use the phrase to say she can be herself even if it doesn’t fit the norm or what is trendy. I also liken it to a favorite of mine…. “To thine own self be true” Not all about you is one I’ve used to simmer down a toxic relative who has irrational thoughts and is incapable of seeing things clearly as they suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. I try to redirect their thinking away from taking everything so personally when I’m fact the situation had nothing at all to do with them. I hope I’ve never used it in a way that was insensitive or dismissive. I hope I’m smarter than that. Thank you for showing another perspective on how those phrases may be received.


  4. I suppose it's a matter of context and tone of voice. I can only read it and hear a sneer. I've never experienced verbally, only in writing. Admittedly 'it's not all about you” can sometimes be correct but I've never experienced THAT instance. When you have the life experience of not being heard I'm guessing that once you find your voice it can get loud.


  5. Then say that! But, yes, the situation and the tone of voice is everything but I will never like that phrase. When dealing with a self-centered narcissistic person (See Lisa's comment), 'It's not all about you” is probably appropriate but I suppose there is a nice way to say that as well. My experience with that phrase has always been negative –


  6. I'm trying very hard to find a way that “you do you” doesn't strike me as a negative, and failing. I see where everyone is coming from, and yes, situation and tone of voice changes it, but for me there are just better ways to say that when it is being used as a supportive comment. Dealing with someone with mental health issues – a whole 'nother situation. And there are situations, perhaps yours, where 'it's not all about you' is the appropriate response, but it will always raise my hackles, better ways to say it – then again, your way with your relative may well be the most effective. Only you can determine that.


  7. I was curious to see how often I say that, and it turns out I've said it in 3 different posts. One example:”You may sometimes feel like you should be on social media to put your blog out there in the world, but you are totally free to ignore any and all shoulds that anyone is spouting regarding blogging. There is no universal law of blogging that says you must promote your blog on any specific social platform, or promote it at all. Just because a lot of other bloggers seem to be using one strategy doesn't mean that you need to do the same thing. You do you.”


  8. I don't have a good reaction to that. BTW – your post today about irritability? I wish I could comment but since your readership are mostly folks with mental illness diagnoses I don't think they would take kindly to my 'humorous' reaction. Hell, I was born irritated plus I'm a New Yawker – we are always irritated and make no bones about it.


  9. Hahahaha l loved this in your comment to Ashley! “”Hell, I was born irritated plus I'm a New Yawker – we are always irritated and make no bones about it.”” I am so going to steal that from you Grace 🙂 That is like a get out of hell card for me 🙂 Many thanks.Well obviously l can't say l am a New Yawker, but l can say l was born irritated!


  10. I know what you mean about 'you do you', l see that a lot here in WordPress and at times l can see it like you do, l think it does indeed come down to the context of the conversation it is in. It's not something l use much, but on the positive side as opposed to the negative side l would see it as a style of 'good for you, do you' as in do it your way. BUT on the negative side l have seen certain bloggers write it equally as much as 'whatever rocks your boat', which bugs the fluckitty out of me, because that is like a red rag to me at times – like 'yeah whatever rocks your boat!' Makes me want to grab a huge chunk of rounded wood and come up with a response of 'cool let me introduce you to my little friend!'


  11. When someone is voicing a different POV or choice or preference, especially in response to someone else emphatically stating their POV/choice/preference, then saying 'You do you” is just plain insulting and dismissive. “Whatever rocks your boat' falls into that same category – it's just verbally flipping someone off.


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