July 31, 2015 by phicks2012
The term “walking on eggshells” would never have been coined if there were not people in the world who take offense at literally anything. We all, I suspect, know at least one of these people — or have known one in the past, and thankfully escaped. I mean, honestly, what is the point of interacting with someone who is going to take anything we say as 1)a criticism, 2) a slight, or 3) an outright insult? Really!!
I don’t know about you, but I have better, and certainly FAR more pleasant and entertaining, things to do with my time than to spend hours trying to defuse a rant provoked (according to the ranter) by a dismissive, rude, or disrespectful comment that the supposed provoker never intended to be any of those things. I’ve found that in such situations there is literally NOTHING you usually can say, even if you were an eye-and-ear witness to the original exchange, to convince the ranter that no one insulted them. They will simply try to shout or argue you into agreeing with them that indeed they are victims, and if you never knuckle under then you are likely to find yourself relegated to the ranks of “the enemy”. Screw that!
The verse below was inspired by interactions, over WAY too many years, with such people, and I hope some will enjoy it. If anyone reads it and takes immediate insult, well then we can probably guess where they are sitting in the target audience, right? 😉
“Walking on Eggshells”
Tread lightly as you pass her way that you give no offense.
Speak gently, guarding what you say. Take your opinions hence.
No questions ask that might imply she doeth perfection lack,
And wary be, that humor dry be taken as attack.
Step softly if you wander near, and keep your tongue in check.
No word that falls upon her ear is safe. Be circumspect.
Be careful of the airy jest that she might hear as slight,
For if to her it is addressed t’will not be heard aright.
What e’er you say can be misread, and cause her ire to rise.
The perfect word has not been said that she cannot revise.
So quickly, quickly tip-toe past, and if sweet fortune smiles,
Before she knows that you have passed you will have traveled miles.
[17 June, 2015]