Growing up my grandmother had a favorite saying she would apply to me every time I wanted to argue with either her, or someone else. When she said it out loud, she would apply this syrupy sweet voice to accompany the words. I remember thinking that it had to be some of the worst advice I had ever heard and I didn’t appreciate her efforts to make it sound sweeter either.
“You draw more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar.”
I’m sure she never appreciated the blank stares I gave her each time. I was not one easily swayed against arguing my point if I thought I was right. It wasn’t long before I developed a comeback of my own to her teachings.
“But I don’t like flies.”
And so, there ya have it. One of life’s lessons dissected and met with the purest of truths. The opinion of a child that had never been exposed to the travesty of having to deal with most of the flies that pollute our daily lives as adults. But I think I already had a handle on it.
I do not like flies.
I wish I had abided by my own youthful stubborn streak when it comes to flies. It probably would have saved me a lot of wasted time and effort throughout my life. I might have avoided some of the pitfalls that comes with being exposed and abused by Cluster B personality disordered individuals and I might have been better at recognising and spending more of my time with the good friends and let the bad ones fall out of favor a lot quicker.
Good friends like honey too, but they’re not going to try to suck you dry. And they aren’t flies.
Instead I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to be nice and trying to understand what it was these assholes expected from me. I kept my pot of honey on my front doorstep for every fly within three thousand miles to come and rest on. It wasn’t enough for me to be nice to them, or to keep quiet while they verbally abused me and used me. They wanted to drain every bit of the life out of me and when I finally put the lid on the honey pot, they railed against me and blamed me for not giving them some more. I was the reason they were so unhappy now! “She’s not giving me any more honey! And I’m mad about it! She’s the reason my life sucks!”
My point here is, who wants to be surrounded by flies?
Once you start realizing this is who you have allowed to take up space in your daily life, once you realize that all they’re doing is using and abusing you, why allow them to continue? Flies will always be flies. They will never change. Sure you can swat a few of them when the mood strikes you, or you get angry, but as long as you keep the honey pot available they’ll just make more maggots that become more flies. Besides, once you start swatting flies, you’re the one left to clean up the mess they leave behind. Wouldn’t it be better if they just flew away?
It will never matter just how sweet you are with some people once you start taking your leave of them. Once you cut them off, they will do whatever they think it will take to make you suffer for walking away from them. That’s when you can see the swarm of angry flies forming into a black cloud, all buzzing about your exit. They do this for a reason and that reason is to scare you, to shame you and to make you feel regret for ever taking your honey pot away from them. They want you to pay.
One of my friends Tess described this gathering of the flies in one of the most astute ways I had ever heard. It struck a chord within me the minute she told me. It also spoke volumes about the kind of person she is. Stalwart and immersed in integrity.
“This connection is about understanding things further, not building an army.”
That is the one thing I have had the most issue with understanding. Why do they feel this overwhelming and obsessive need to form an army when a friend walks away from them? Why can’t they just be hurt or mad on their own? Why do they need to surround themselves with other people that might not like you? Why do they need to recruit people to hate you too and demand their loyalty about that mutual hatred? What purpose does this army fill for them?
They aren’t even good friends getting together to commiserate because most of the time they barely know each other. One good thing about the army of flies is it makes it a little easier for you to discern who might have been a fly all along, but in disguise.
And it’s just not the forming of the army either. They want these other flies to lash out at you too. They want them to say mean things to you, to malign you, shame you and try to publicly embarrass you, just like they are trying to do. It’s a modern day Ku Klux Klan lynch mob.
One of my friends told me that I would probably never understand it because it would be like trying to understand why a serial killer kills people. 🙂 great comparison!
I can tell you this, an army of people that hate the same person you hate, doesn’t make you right about the person. It just makes you look pathetic, needy, insecure, and most of all it proves to the healthy folks out there that you were indeed a FLY. And now you have surrounded yourself with more flies and they are just like you. They are angry, pathetic, insecure, needy and just as unhealthy as you are. They are all flies.
It really is just that simple.
It’s true, you do draw more flies to you with honey.
But ask yourself if flies are what you want in your life.