The unacceptable cromulent tactics of manipulative meaningless conversation pieces are the building blocks to unprovoked tension and drama; which could very easily be useful and beneficial to everyone if proper communication was attempted.
Tiktok a popular pastime to mindlessly disconnect from society and real life; often poses questions for their users to create content with. A recent question that was posed to my account was “What is something you do not understand about people?” There are a lot of things I genuinely do not understand but I did have a winded answer for that question addressing that I do not understand why individuals will manipulate or attempt to manipulate another person by involving the name of someone else; especially when they are not involved. Comparison commentary to manipulate another person does not accomplish the intended goal and in fact can drive the listener in the complete opposite direction and create unprovoked drama.
I’ll provide a few examples.
As a child, I remember teachers telling other students to be like me due to my studious nature; the kids comprehension led to me being heavily disliked. I did not like and do not like others being compared to me especially when being utilized with a negative connotation and manipulative intentions. Often I would look at the source of the problem whenever I realized someone disliked me because they were being compared to me. I would advocate for the other person but often due to my age; I was dismissed as not truly understanding what was happening regardless of how clear it was to me. The conversation to the student should have addressed the concerns of the student and how to accomplish the goal of them improving, or maybe the kid is in an abusive home and that is why they are acting up; but do not compare them to another student who is simply existing.
This has occurred at a few jobs where throwing someone’s name for meaningless comparison too. There was a young girl who was very insecure about working around other women; a lot of internalized misogyny. When I arrived for the interview she was angry I was hired and slammed the door in my face when I greeted her after giving me a nasty look up & down; and demanded to know why the boss had hired me. I had bills to pay and was not phased nor interested in her or the obvious drama she presented herself with. However, I noticed they became more and more focused on me. I learned I was mentioned as a reference point to compare her to me, and this irked me; because my goals were to work to make money but now I am used as a reference point to make someone else feel bad. Granted, they never gave me reason to think of them genuinely as a good person but to aggravate the situation by comparing them to me only created more and more drama. Over time I would hear them say “Oh I know! I can’t be like HER!”; repeatedly.
We did not hang out. We did not really talk. I spoke to those in upper management making the comments to her to get to the root of the problem privately. Their goal was to motivate her to work diligently instead of treating the office as a hang out. I explained that comparing them to me is doing the very opposite and in fact has given her immaturity a focal point of creating more young minded drama opposed to doing what you want them to do. I told them they should focus more on what they would like her to do and where she could improve as a person WITHOUT using my name; but no matter how loud I sang they choose not to hear me sing and the damage was irrevocable and would only lead to more drama. I would also hear her put herself down as not being as smart as me and she would eventually not even try because she already felt “i will never be as good as so and so”. The goal they intended was never accomplished. The conversation could have been achieved with “I see some places that need improvement, I like this format they are submitting because it is easier on the eyes when I am reading the reports; can you work together on putting this together?”. Comparing them to me killed their motivation. Find out what motivates a person. Maybe she needed to see the end goal of what she was doing, Maybe she needed purpose; but that was never accomplished.
Here’s another example, I had a friend that I knew for a few years that does not like cats; like they emphasized it enough that they made saying how much they dislike cats their personality. This is someone I would never leave alone with my cat because why would I 100% trust someone who complains about a pet that is not theirs and do not know. They met my cat like 2 or 3 times during large hang outs but my cat didn’t really care for them or their best friend; and I noted that. They began dating someone who has 2 cats and they would call me to complain about the cats and how cats put holes in things. The most commentary I could give them was “it’s an animal” and “if you really care about this person then you have to deal with the cats”; and then they would complain how they shed. Eventually he wanted to move them into their apartment and live together, but alas there’s the rub; the complaint about the cats. They asked underhanded questions about how I get my cat to do certain things and I gave vague suggestions but did not want to go into conversation; because I truly thought the conversation was meaningless but I was going to let them vent if it meant them not saying something stupid to their girlfriend. After a little back and forth I gave them an exceptionally long list of things to do to make the apartment comfortable for the cats…not them; because I like animals more than I do people.
They had also called me for other things about their relationship like if I had noticed anything that’s a red flag to them; and I told them I see she has baggage like we all do from another relationship but otherwise she seemed cool and proceeded to talk about other things. Apparently, they took that as an invite to have some conversation with their girlfriend and it led to fight, which they called me about; I began to withdraw from them because I didn’t understand why he needed to bring up her trauma to rush the relationship. At this point he began to look like the red flag to me for her. The girlfriend and I actually got along when we first met but she became standoffish and I didn’t understand why; like him pushing her in my direction to hug me like I didn’t see him send her over.
One night we are all hanging out at their place and after a few drinks I hear his girlfriend say “Oh I should treat my cats like HER” across an incredibly small room; he immediately went to “quiet” her down. I was about to say something to him specifically because she had not met my cat, she has never seen me with my cat; maybe I’ve told a few ‘funny” stories about my cat…but either way she has no reason to bring up my cat unless a reason was provided to her outside of myself; and that would be him. I held my tongue because I am aware of how irked I was and after a few drinks it was best not to go into the conversation. Why would anyone compare my relationship to my cat to their girlfriend’s just because they want their girlfriend to do specific things; because they do not like cats? The mature conversation could have and should have addressed “yes I dislike cats but I care about you to give this try”, “what can I do to help train the cats”, “my concern are my clothes being damaged”, “I have never had a cat and I hear so many stories”; there are a million ways to find solutions to their concerns WITHOUT bringing my name into something and creating unprovoked tension. In the end, they did not accomplish what they wanted and the cats in the small apartment & I can see the small tension about it. Eventually this would come up in conversation after I began ghosting and focusing on my priorities, his response was to say “we apologize for that”; when she has nothing to apologize for if he’s the one that created the situation to begin with.
I have also been on the other end of the stick many times from childhood to now, but I have always looked at the person making the unprovoked comparison as the problem. My father would incessantly compare me to an older cousin of mine which created this rumor that I hated her or was jealous of her; I told her directly I do not have an issue with her I had an issue with him. I did not see why I needed to have an issue with her; she was simply existing. I have had boyfriends tell me “you should be more like so and so” and my response has always been the same “I can’t be that person and perhaps you should go over there with them to be happy”; I’m often met with “I’m being mean” because they know I genuinely mean it when I say “then go over there and let me do me.” I approach it the same way I address anyone I have been with about cheating and I tell them “I will never look at her I am looking at you”.
I see this same tactic with siblings where one child is the golden child and the other is “different” or the “bad” child. “You should be more like your brother!” “You should be more like your sister!” “You should be more like your cousin” and blah blah blah! It does not accomplish the desired goal at all. Why not address it with “I understand you do not want to do your homework, I understand you are having trouble with it; but let’s work together on trying to figure out a common ground. I care about your future a lot and want to make sure that when I am gone you are going to be well taken care of. I think your sister is really good at math, perhaps you two can work on it together.” It does not involve someone else for existing. I have watched siblings be torn apart because of a parental choice to compare them to each other to get them to do something and create an unhealthy competition of self hate and sibling hate. Often in the sibling relationships where I have witnessed this; the damage is so severely knotted and matted that it simply can not be undone.
I had another co-worker who had not met me, had apparently heard of my name and upon meeting for the first time; they were incredibly friendly. They thought my name was something else until they realized my correct name and then proceeded to have an issue with me each time we worked togethe; because my name was brought up to them. Again the intended goal is not accomplished.
What amazes me about this useless tactic is that even though people can see it is not helping them accomplish their goals they will continue to utilize it blindly. If you want something from someone it is about clear honest communication and the ACCEPTANCE the other person may genuinely say “no”. Maybe your method to do homework does not help the child and they do not like it. Maybe they genuinely hate school, and if so then why; what is happening? Maybe your significant other has ideas to make living with their pets attainable to you. Maybe the employees will work together when not being compared to be like so and so. Maybe the student is misbehaving because there are problems at home; so how can you cultivate the seed. Am I saying it is a black and white scenario? No, but it could very easily be approached with improved tactics to accomplish said goal. Yes people will do what they want at the end of the day but why be the factor of the root of the negativity? Comparing one person to another does not promote a healthy collaboration to learn from each other and move forward; it only creates animosity.
About the Creator
A sweetie pie with fire in her eyes
Huh, I’ve never thought of that. I always hate when my mother used other girls in comparison to me. I will try to avoid it from now on. Thank you for teaching me something!