* I assure you, this is not about you. The person with whom I experienced this situation doesn't read this (or any?) blog. (And I apologize in advance for my uncharacteristic Ranty McRantypantsedness.)
In general, and with the specific exception of my New York Syndrome, I have a pretty long fuse. (Heh.) As I get older, I find myself gaining patience in most areas of my life, but...losing it in others. It's not necessarily a bad thing, not entirely.
To wit: at the grand old age of 30, I've decided that -- to me -- the singlemost hurtful behavior, the one that rips my heart up, is social climbing. That's my dealbreaker, ladies, and I swear to you: I would genuinely rather someone be a straight-up jerk to me than use me; hanging out with me when it's a good time for them to do so, when there's no one better. I really do try to think the best of people, and this type of person knows it, preys on that, and exploits it. They know you'll make up an excuse in your mind for why they did [Thing X], in order to explain it away to yourself. And then finally, when you DO ultimately pick up on it (and you will, at some point), you have a "KEYSER SOZE!" moment, only instead of shattering a coffee cup in slow motion, you just get mad at yourself, in retrospect.
The thing with this behavior, the part that's so knife-twisty, is that it says, indirectly, "you're unimportant. I catalog people. You are less valuable than [person X]," but it hides behind a smile. And while this behavior enrages me, what gets me more? Is that whoever is doing it to you thinks so low of you that they're counting on you not to say anything. Maybe they even think you haven't picked up on it, which is even more insulting. "You sweetheart. You marshmallow," that smile says. That smile is a pat on the head, dripping with condescension. Good girl. And you get filed away, cataloged right back into the neat little bottom-drawer file folder in her mind where she keeps you.
And let me be clear: the "sooo high school" label for this (and other, equally awful) behavior is dismissive, inaccurate, and diminishes its (very real) existence. I assure you, certain people are horrible throughout their lives; it's not endemic to one brief four-year period.
While I do wish I understood what makes people think it's okay to act like this, I'm ultimately okay with not getting it. I'm okay with not confronting it (because it's a particular type of deep-seated meanness, to the point of habit, that isn't going to change), and I'm okay with walking away. Like I said: it's my friendship dealbreaker.
What's yours? I'm curious.