Ursula, my husband’s ex-wife and mother of “The Girl” prides herself on her “zingers”- those backhanded compliments that are offered up so sweetly one may actually thank her for the compliment, when in fact she is insulting something about you or your character. My husband, bless his heart, he claims that people do not know she does this, that she so skilled in this southern art form that no one is the wiser. I call bullshit. I picked up on it immediately and not in the “it takes one to know one” way. She flung a zinger my way this morning, “complimenting” me on how good I am at my job, a “job” she feels is beneath her position, when the reality is, I have been with my company over eight years, in that same time she has had approximately six different jobs and I make roughly double what she does, but yet she looks down on me (for many reasons, I’m sure). As always, I caught it immediately and flung it back with the same sugar sweetness, two can play this game.
The thing about zingers is they are a tool of the insecure, for the most part. If you aren’t confident in your point of view or fearful that the other person has something worse they can hurl back at you, you use fake niceness to be a bitch. I am more of a straight forward bitch. It’s not to say I’m hateful and hurtful for the sake of hurting other’s feelings for pleasure (ok, sometimes I do), I tend to be of the school of “say something nice or say nothing at all”, but when I do feel the need to say something, I’m honest and upfront. People like Ursula, those who are fake and have a life built on half-truths and out right lies, they know better than to chance being found out. I can only imagine the stress is puts on you to keep track of all the lies someone like Ursula tells, which brings me to the next trick of the insecure: believing your own lies.
I think the only way to live life the way Ursula and others like her do, you have to believe the web of lies you have spun for yourself. There have been times, with a straight face, Ursula has insisted that a lie is the truth. More than once, my husband was either there or has proof otherwise, yet with indignant confidence, she will stand her ground. She holds firm because most of her lies have a grain, no matter how small, of truth. This is so, if she is called out on these lies and fabrications, she can play dumb and claim a misunderstanding of some kind. I have told my husband, who gets so frustrated with the fact that Ursula seems to have so many people fooled by her bullshit, is that no one really cares enough to call her on it. These aren’t huge lies, they are small things to make her life seem better than it is, to make her appear to be more successful or accomplished. People know, they see her fakeness a mile away and she simply is not important enough to them to call her out. So, they slap on a fake smile and pass out their own zingers. A vicious circle of bullshittary. It is actually sad when you think about it. I would hope that my friends would tell me when I’m making an ass of myself. When I have said or done something to embarrass myself or others. To have people not care enough, to stand by and watch you stack those cards in hopes of being there to witness your house falling, those are not real friends.
Along with the self inflated sense of self, the use of social media is a handy tool for the insecure. They can post only the good about their lives and exaggerate those as well. They can “friend” dozens upon dozens of people they barely or do not know at all, just to say they have more friends and likes to their self-serving posts. Big fake smiles in photos only taken at the best angles in ideal lighting. When you pick up on someone who is like this, you can see a distinct pattern to their posts, that is usually when I hit the unfriend button and move on. We all need that mirror, those people in our lives who will clue us in to that which we can’t see.