In the South we have our ways. Our ways of marginalizing folks who don’t quite fit in with who we think they should be or how we expect them to act.
Mostly we use code words. Words that seem innocent enough to the uninitiated but pack a punch if you have inside information and know what they really mean.
Any sentence that begins, “Bless her heart….” will almost surely end with a tidbit of gossip that undermines a reputation.
Sometimes we switch it up (especially in church) with “I think we need to pray for…”. Because we all know asking for prayer is holy, even if the situation isn’t and the person mentioned would just as soon her business stay private.
Social media has its own code words too.
Vague references to someone or something we don’t like or agree with usually begin with, “Ugh! I just don’t understand why….” followed by a litany of thinly veiled complaints.
But sometimes the code isn’t very complicated and it’s really easy for others to figure out precisely who or what you are talking about.
And it damages reputations and hurts feelings and you may sit back in your chair, tablet or laptop in hand, thinking, “Not my problem. I didn’t say WHO it was”.
But it IS your problem.
Even when you cloak your complaint or comment in biblical references or godly quotes, bottom line is you are accusing or mocking or undermining someone else.
My daughter calls it “Jesus juking”-tacking on a Bible verse before or after a remark in an attempt to shut down discussion or rebuttal.
Because if someone tries to disagree with YOU, it’s set up to make them look like they are disagreeing with Scripture or God Himself.
I don’t like these games people play. I don’t like code words. I don’t like tactics intended to make others feel small so I can feel larger.
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sometimes social media forces my hand and I have to speak publicly on what I would rather discuss privately.
But that’s rare.
If I have a problem with someone, I try to take it directly to THEM.
And I hope they will do the same with me. ❤