What is your role in your family? Are you the over-achiever? The wild child or black sheep? Maybe you’re the fun one, the nerd, or ultra righteous child. Me, I’m the peacemaker.
When you hear someone say they are a peacemaker it’s usually said with pride and honor. It implies that the peacemaker is above wallowing in the mud with the rest of us. I’m here to tell you that it’s not an easy role to play.
When a sibling says something to me like, “You look so stupid in that jacket” I say, “Really? Wow I didn’t think this jacket was so bad. I guess that I should get rid of it.” Instead of doing a roundhouse kick to their head which is what I really feel like doing. Each time I give up the fight for the sake of peace I feel like I’m selling out.
There is also an issue of deception that I find a little distasteful in the process of making peace. Let me use a conversation as an example of what I mean:
Bertha: I can’t believe that someone would vote for John D. HoofenHafen for mayor. He is such a cheeseball.
Me: Really? Hhmm…(In my head I’m thinking, I kind of like JDH).
Bertha: Yeah, he wants us to be sister-cities with Monkey’s Eyebrow, Georgia!
Me: Oh, I understand. (I’m thinking, Monkey’s Eyebrow doesn’t sound that bad to me).
Bertha: It’s good to talk with you, bye!
Bertha now leaves believing that I think Hoofenhafen and Monkey’s Eyebrow is a farce when in reality I don’t have any such feelings toward either one. I was just unwilling to have an argument on those subjects at that time.
As a peacemaker it can be very exhausting going back and forth between two people who aren’t getting along. You go back and forth listening to both sides trying to make them feel like you understand their feelings. It always makes me feel two-faced when I have to do that.
Another huge issue with being a peacemaker is what I’ve heard referred to as the “teapot syndrome”. For instance, someone could say insulting things to me for years and I’ll quietly simmer about it. Eventually it will come to a point where I can’t take it any longer and I explode. It usually goes like this:
Continual insulter: Hey Kristen, you’re out of Kleenex.
Me: How could you say such a horrible thing to me? There’s nothing wrong with being out of Kleenex! I just don’t understand where you come off being so insulting to me all the time. What did I ever do to you?
Continual Insulter then leaves circling their finger around their ear and saying, “Cuckoo! Cuckoo!”
I don’t know, maybe I’m not a Peacemaker. Maybe I’m just a wimp. I’m through with that, now I’m going to be the fun one! Any peacemakers out there who feel like I do? If you’re the fun one, what’s your secret?