I am cursed with having a really good sense of hearing. Not that I am a nosy person, I just happen to hear everything that goes on around me. It has proven to be a very valuable skill in times when I am meant to be caught off guard by my attacker, only to have their plan foiled when I already have a response prepared and subsequently delivered without any hesitation. I can see the look in their eyes after this exchange – a combination of defeat and competition and envy all rolled into one.
Seriously, if you are going to try to knock me down, you’d better bring it. Just saying.
But it also means that I hear all the little whispers that circulate around me – comments meant not to be heard but desperate to be voiced and validated. You know the passive-aggressive type – always sly in nature because actually voicing the true meaning out loud for all to hear would mean that they would have to stand firm when faced with opposition or retaliation. I have come to understand that there are few people who are willing to put themselves in this position and as a result, will try to circumvent the issue through quietly veiled comments. Sarcastic remarks replace the truth. Because unfortunately, the truth can sometimes sting.
I often sit back and secretly enjoy these whispers because they always reveal a vulnerability. The “look what she’s wearing” tone really tells me that they are not happy with their body and wish they had the courage to take a fashion risk. The “must be nice to have all that free time” tone tells me that they wish they were better organized in their daily tasks so that they no longer feel overwhelmed.
I doubt if they ever really listen to what they are saying. I also doubt that they know how much I am truly listening and analyzing their hidden meanings. And I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to really clear through the fog with them to get at the true message of their words. I simply file it away as another piece of information whose usage remains unknown. But I have the knowledge in knowing that it will be useful to me someday, ready to be pulled out in an unknown offensive strategy designed to thwart another attacker. They will be green with envy.
And I have to. They just keep coming at me.