I realized this weekend I am a picker. An emotional picker. A verbal picker. It’s the social equivalent of picking at a scab. Leave it alone and everything is fine. Pick at it and you could have a bloody knee. Or for a less graphic comparison, it’s like picking at a loose thread on a sweater. Leave the thread alone and it’s fine; pick at it and you have a hole in your shirt.
I am a picker.
And it’s awful. I fully realized it this weekend when I stopped for some gelato with my boyfriend. Greg mentioned to our friend how he prefers sorbet to ice cream as he does not like creamy foods. Greg’s reasoning is he does not like milk. I pointed out he eats yogurt. Greg said the consistency and taste are different. I pointed out ice cream’s consistency and taste are also different than milk. Greg then matter-of-factly stated that I’ve known him for more than 3 years and I have always known he does not care for ice cream, why was I making a big deal of this now?
That’s when it hit me.
I was picking at a subject that didn’t need to be picked at. If I had left things alone we would have enjoyed our gelato in peace. Instead I made my boyfriend annoyed, for what purpose? To point out inconsistency in his logic behind not liking ice cream? Why do I care? He doesn’t like it, that’s his prerogative. That just means more ice cream for me!
It truly was an eye opening experience. Certainly there are bigger issues or ideas that can or should be picked at. But basic things like dessert preference or footwear or wall color or book choice should not be picked at. Because picking creates unnecessary strife, annoyance, hurt, confusion and so many other uncomfortable emotions. Not just for the person I am picking, but for me as well. I truly would have been happier and enjoyed the afternoon more if I had not picked at Greg and his sorbet preference. Instead I soured a perfectly lovely afternoon for the both of us.
Now that I am so aware of my picking habit I am trying to be extra careful to stop myself from doing it. Let it go and enjoy the moment. Because little moments truly are what add up to a wonderful life. If I don’t appreciate and enjoy those small moments as they happen, I will soon see my life pass me by.
Are you a verbal picker? Do you have any other bad social habits your are trying to break? I would love to hear about it so I don’t feel like such a bad guy!