Last night I yelled at my friend. I'm not really proud of it but in all fairness I would probably do it again. There is one sure fire way to provoke me into raving madness: "You wouldn't understand."
This phrase has been said to me countless times and has yet to lose it's ability to make me crazy. Not only does it attack my cognitive reasoning but my ability to empathize (the last feeling I truly think I possess). It's discriminatory and insulting to the person you say it to, and makes you look smug. Worse, it is almost always wrong.
I've heard this all my life. It's usually in context to my age but has also been used in conjunction with my skin colour, educational background, religion, sexual orientation, and economic status. Interesting, all things recognized as protected classes by the government.
I was raised to think before I speak and I'll be the first to admit, I'm not very good at it. My verbal filter is eternally clogged and I say whatever comes to mind much of the time. However, I don't pretend to be the expert when I'm not and I don't give an opinion where I don't have one. When I say something, I mean it and I probably have good reason for it as well.
The worst offenders of said unfortunate phrase? Women. We believe our problems are our own and that no one has ever been in the same position as us. We believe our feelings are unique. We believe no one understands us. We are wrong.
Much has been said about being a guys girl. Chelsea Handler, at her show Saturday, said there's a reason for girls without girlfriends; they're cunts (her words, not mine. You know how I feel about the "C" word). Even as a "guys-girl", I've always tried to maintain a few female relationships. There are certain things you don't want to talk to your male friends about, and besides; they usually don't want to go find the perfect sandals or visit Sephora with you. All this being said, I have never heard the above from one of my guy friends- ever. If we get into an argument it usually resolves itself when one of us gets hungry or tired or admits defeat. It is understood that anyone can understand your position if you explain it properly. It is also understood that doing so does not mean they will agree with you.
My anger last night did not originally stem from my friend but the situation she was explaining to me. It upset me greatly and deeply (I was practically shaking). On reflection, I can see how this might have been misinterpreted. However, when the phrase "You just wouldn't understand" was mentioned... What would be the point in talking to someone who would be unable to understand? You might as well talk to a brick wall or a child.
What I regret is not walking away fully when I tried to (another thing- let people walk away. this goes for everyone. We teach our children to walk away from confrontation, yet we keep trying to pull them back in; even as adults). I regret the number of times I said "bullshit". I regret joining the conversation when it was clear it was serious and I just wanted to have a good time. I regret any discomfort caused. But, I don't regret anything I said, maybe just how I said it.
So please, for the love of Pete (whoever he may be), stop saying this phrase.