This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers.
They say how someone speaks to waitstaff will tell you what you need to know about their character.
The theory is that if someone can order a meal politely, thank their server, and even leave a decent tip – they’re a good person. But someone who looks down on waitstaff, is rude and dismissive – well, they’re a terrible person.
I was once gas lighted into believing this theory. My abuser would use it to prove his point – that when he was rude and unkind to me, I deserved it. He couldn’t possibly be an a***hole, because look at how he treated people in public, look at how he treated strangers.
Watch: Women and Violence - the hidden numbers. Post continues below.
But I soon learned that he was nice in those situations because he had no issue with that person. There was no source of conflict. So being Mr Nice Guy was easy.
I eventually realised that someone could be nice to strangers, but how they treated those closest to them, people they knew, when there was conflict, was the true measure.
For example, how they spoke about, and treated, a former partner. I grew to believe that would tell you everything about the future of your relationship.
One morning, I was in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, examining my face. The partner who I’m talking about above made an off-hand remark.
"Sam* used to use one of those microscope mirrors. I’m glad I don’t have to wake up to her old face anymore."
I was shocked. It was such a disrespectful and unkind thing to say about a woman he’d spent a year with. Who would even think like that – what an ex would look like in the morning?
Someone who thought nothing of treating a woman he once loved like dirt.
But you know what? I let it go. I didn’t see it for the red flag it was.
It's human nature to blame your ex for the problems in that relationship – and badmouth her to your new partner. Right?