In many ways, I feel as though what we perceive speaks more of what is happening with our inner climate than what might be actually going on in the outside world or others' intentions, so I try very hard to examine internally first and speak second vs pure reaction. [That said, I'm not perfect.]
I don't know if it's the season change or coincidence, but I have had two people get exceedingly snarky with me because I'm "so positive" and "always find a way to find good in bad situations" - as if an absence of bitterness is offensive to them. I mean I have WTF moments every single day, but becoming a bitter cow is not going to make anything better or me more enjoyable to be around.
I will call a spade a spade and I can be extremely plainspoken when the need arises. OTOH, when someone whose intentions and insight I trust calls me out, I listen and openly acknowledge the validity of their observations. I am not infallible nor am I tone deaf or needy of retribution / playing the blame game.
I've also had two people be *incredibly* generous with their time and attention with the initially unstated expectation that I would return the favor with a different kind of "time and attention" on my part.
I do not do kindness with hooks in it. At all. Ever.
I spent a few days feeling gross and used. [My inner dialogue.] I stated boundaries and set expectations that were entirely ignored or outright disqualified, as if it was a negotiation. I felt a bit conflicted until I asked each individual how they would view the situation if they were watching this same scenario unfold with their daughters. Radio silence. Therein is the truth, sirs: it was not, in fact, much ado about nothing, was it?
It will probably remain a mystery to me why people think that being mean, malicious, or manipulative will even the playing field, but apparently that operator's manual is a best seller in some groups.
So yeah, don't be a dick and stop being an asshole. We all require course correction, but these are better habits built than hail Mary passes thrown.