A surprising number of people have told me that they have “no filter”, or they tend to just blurt out whatever they’re thinking at the moment. Not long after they say that, I see them choosing how to phrase something they’re about to say. Upon noticing this, I might be inclined to think they’re full of shit since I can see them filtering. But I’ve come to learn that they don’t mean they’re unfiltered all the time. They just mean that they don’t engage their filter when it’s most needed, like when they’ve had a few drinks or when they’re angry. Especially when they’re angry. Putting that stake in the ground about having no filter is supposed to excuse it somehow; it’s just the way they are, and others should expect and accept that behavior just because. I’ve never understood why people put up with that. Getting used to someone being an asshole doesn’t somehow excuse the fact that they’re an asshole. The way I see it, they only have one mouth but I have two middle fingers. I can express myself twice as effectively as they can.
These are often the same people who will say, “Oh, you don’t want me to get mad.” They say this during casual conversation about tempers or things that are frustrating. This is another one of those stakes in the ground that makes me roll my eyes. And even though I don’t reply, something like this cranks through my mind:
Why don’t I want to make you mad? Do you Hulk out and destroy several city blocks? Are you a scanner who can make people explode with your mind? Or do you just scream and yell a lot, saying mean-spirited things and bringing up irrelevant events just to be hurtful? Do you think I’ve never been around someone who acted like a screaming, raving fucking idiot before? Is that supposed to intimidate me or incline me to bow to your every whim out of fear? Because now I think you’re full of shit and I want to make you mad on purpose just to see what sort of badassery you’re made of. Let me get some popcorn and a drink first, because something tells me this is going to be hilarious.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I stay pretty chill the vast majority of the time and I don’t really get rattled by much. I find that surly humor is a good outlet for me to vent those little frustrations we all experience. I try to crank my filter to eleven when I feel that incredulous pissed-offery coming on. Nine times out of ten, I don’t say anything. But I do keep both middle fingers shined up nice and pretty-like in case they need to make an appearance.
I’m interested to hear how you respond when you encounter people and situations like that. What are your thoughts?