“Unique”

Did you know that the word “unique” has negative connotations, and should be avoided in a resume? 

“Unique” is a dismissive word one uses to describe people & things you don’t really feel it is polite to honestly describe, at least according to a friend of my sister.

I wondered what positive word she would use instead, but my sister told me that she just had to consider her choices and make a decision.  

Apparently, she found my tone defensive.

I wonder why. . .

3 thoughts on ““Unique””

  1. At dinner she told a story that reminded me how bad things can get when you are off the grid with the state, as the TV blared a show about a guy bullying a woman into filing bankrupcy.

    I am sure that it is well intentioned, but it just makes me tense, ready to take the pounding, rather than to get on the grid.  It doesn’t open up possibilities in my mind, just pushes me into more pain.  It doesn’t make me feel like she is on my side, understanding and safe to ask for help.

    She might know that if she listened to me, but that’s not easy. She thinks her job is to talk to me, show me the errors of my ways.  She’s still fighting her own fights, discussion about what happens when she challenges her manager coming before dinner, and if that fight comes though, well, blam. 

    Then she wonders why I don’t respond to the fear and the strictures, come back to normalcy. I suspect that she has her own theories on that, and they aren’t flattering to me.  

    If I could be frightened into being normative, it would have happened sometime over the past five decades.

    So here my heart pounds, my breath gets shallow, and I just squeeze everything tighter.

    In the end, she’s right, of course.  I should either get back on the grid or get gone.

  2. I think one of the most disabling things is how she does this covertly, at the dinner table, knowing I cannot respond without getting my parents upset.  It’s the same way she engaged me about Halloween this year, but that table had both my parents and my brother’s family, leaving me unable to open up.

    A few years ago one of her friends decided I was sick, first diagnosing me as passive-agressive, and then with borderline personality disorder. She decided it was her mission to get me fixed and sent big tracts to my parents, and when I wouldn’t bite, then tried to engage me in inappropriate ways and innappropriate times, including triangulating though my sister.

    I have cut off connection with this abuser, though she still keeps me on a mail list, last week sending a “joke” sheet about the differences between men and women.

    My sister continues a relationship with this woman, and I know that is her choice. I have no right to control here, so I stay silent, though I have made it clear that I will not be in her friends presence.

    When I get sacked in a way that I am powerless to respond, well, it doesn’t empower me to open up, engage, trust and ask for help.

    In fact, it feels like a passive-agressive power play.

  3. The Dr. Phil response I hear in my head:

    Well, if you’d just clean up your own obligations, she wouldn’t feel an obligation to fix it and to stay silent, and she wouldn’t have any power to “sack” you covertly.

    Isn’t this just all about your failure to be a responsible adult, and your sister having to deal with that burden you dumped onto her? 

    As you might guess, I find this harsh self-talk even more crippling, even if that isn’t a rational response.

    But if this was about rationality, I’d be done by now, right?  It’s not the rationality with which I need help & support. . .

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