Name Calling Is for Doofuses

Look at that. I called people doofuses. Shame on me. That’s about the worst thing I like to fling around, though.

This is me, talking to my friend.

In our current troubled times, I see (and read) a lot of nasty name-calling going on. I know it’s not new, because I’ve read some doozies in old letters to the editor, which were at least more creative than some of the 2020 ones. I read something on Facebook today, written by J., a minister friend of mine, too, that got me going:

People don’t have to agree with me politically to remain my Facebook friends. People may also criticize people whom I like and won’t get deleted. However, calling me or anyone else a snowflake or a libtard seems to make me press delete every time. Lack of kindness, not content, is what I gauge.

I just don’t like name calling. One thing I’m proud of in my child-rearing is that my kids didn’t call each other names or engage in derogatory name calling toward other kids. I admire them both for their adult selves staying that way, too (as far as I know).

What’s the Deal?

I’ve got two problems with name calling. One personal and one societal.

I have dealt with the consequences of being called names my whole life. Endless repetitions of fatso, crybaby, teacher’s pet, etc., led me to weight issues, hiding my feelings, and hiding my intellectual curiosity. Later on I embraced nicknames like Wart Hog and Rover, to show people who picked on me that I (externally) didn’t give a shit.

See, I was so annoyed I cut off poor Sara’s head while trying to to horseback photography, which apparently is not one of my better skills.

My helpful parents said to ignore my brother, not be so sensitive to school kids, and to remember “Sticks and stones…” Well, they were wrong. The names did hurt me and many other people. That saying just dismisses our genuine feelings and reactions. So, that stunk, too.

And you’re probably tired of hearing my societal issue with name calling, but I just have to say this again. When you call people names, you are competently shutting down any possible real communication. Who wants to listen to someone who calls you stupid, ignorant, immoral, a Nazi, etc. All you want to do is defend yourself and fire back your own set of epitaphs. Not helpful at all.

Okay, that’s twice I cut off her head, and I wasn’t even mad at her.

This is one reason I’ve stopped listening to, watching, or reading much news and commentary. Sure, a lot of journalists try really hard to be impartial and talk about facts. But then they interview people, or play quotes from our elected officials, voters, or so-called pundits. I’m just sick of people repeating talking points, hurling insults, and mis-representing facts.

My fluffy horse friend sure helps me remember what counts. Not being mean, but loving those around us.

Please, we are in very scary times right now. Can’t we talk to each other? Can’t we focus on our SHARED humanity? Can’t we just stop poking and poking at others just to see how they will react? I just want to shout STOP IT to people I disagree with, people I agree with, government representatives, war-mongers, people more concerned with political correctness than actually making a difference. UGH.

We’re all people. We all love our families. We all want to do meaningful work. We all want enough to eat and a safe place for our children to live.

It’s probably not a good idea to drown my irritation in alcohol, but this tequila sunrise was good.

By a safe place to live, I mean a world where we don’t have to worry about our children being forced to go to war, others bringing their wars to us, and big businesses hoarding money that could be used to feed people and repair our planet.

Yeah, go right ahead and call me a name. It reflects back on you, folks. Doofus.

PS: Glad I had a nice ride on my horse and a nice dinner with friends and family to remind me that it’s not all horrible.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

2 thoughts on “Name Calling Is for Doofuses”

  1. Yes! We can disagree and still be kind. I was thinking about the ‘sticks and stones’ saying we were taught as kids, I think it did a real number on how we perceived what aggression and violence was (and is). Thanks for this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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