Moms are conditioned to put their guard up, beginning in the early days of pregnancy. From the first signs of a baby bump, all-knowing and well-seasoned mothers and grandmothers are more than happy to delve out advice for what worked for them, and are unaware of the critical glances they give as you state that you’re doing the opposite. We’re all self conscious of whether or not we’re doing the right thing by our children, so when someone challenges it by taking a different route, panic ensues, and defense mode leads to rude expressions and disapproving comments.
I get it, it’s a nerve-wracking job to take on. Just when you’ve convinced yourself that something isn’t a big deal, there’s a Dr. Freud or a Dr. Sears to let you know that you’re potentially ruining your kids’ psyches. Whoops!
Here’s the thing: parenting isn’t a competition. Here’s another: you’re not right, and neither is the other person–there’s no right way to do it. And something we all need to be reminded of: Your [honest and truthful] best is good enough.
Not everyone has been reminded of those things, so when you come across someone that’s being snarky, here are some of my favorite comebacks:
When someone makes first contact with passive-aggressive psuedo-compliments, assume that they aren’t meaning the worst. There’s a viral video about misunderstood text messages, and it’s hilarious because of it’s exaggerated response to an all-too-familiar situation–you just completely misunderstood someone’s tone.
When you’re faced with someone who you’re assuming is saying backhanded things, respond as if they’re speaking honestly and from the heart, rather than taking offense to behavior that comes off as passive aggressive. After all, they’ll act as if they’re well meaning and genuine regardless. Treat them as such, and with kindness. Perhaps they’ll change their stance.
2. Switch it up
The issue with snark, is that the person is pretending to be well meaning and nice when they say things that are condescending. So, when you respond with kindness, they’re likely to assume that you’re doing the same thing. It pains me to think of phony people that carry on conversations that overflow with falseness and insincerity. Mean Girls might be a cult classic, but to act like that as an adult is a shame to humanity.
Be kind anyway. Then change it up. Either the conversation, or who you’re conversing with. Preferably the latter. There’s not enough time in the world to waste on people who don’t have integrity.
3. Smile and Nod
The most telltale sign of someone being snarky is that they state the flippin’ obvious. I’m talking there’s-no-possible-way-I-could-not-know-that type stuff. You can’t always take off running, find the nearest fire exit, and you shouldn’t blatantly ignore someone. Agree, and perhaps they’ll get bored with their one-sided passive aggressiveness and find their next victim.