When is enough, enough?

Family gatherings are interesting. They tend to bring out the worst in people, or perhaps they just provide an opportunity for people to be themselves.

At a recent family gathering to celebrate two birthdays, I noticed that a similar excuse was used to explain the behaviour of an almost three year old and a forty year old. The former took to hitting my daughter and the latter took to insulting me. Comments such as “—- didn’t mean it” and “that’s the way they are behaving at the moment” and my personal favourite, “that’s just the way they are”.

I can understand that a young child does not have the capacity to understand appropriate social behaviour but you would expect a forty year old to know how to behave, wouldn’t you?

How many people do you know who behave inappropriately in a consistent manner? Is this behaviour accepted as normal for them with no thought as to how it might affect others? Are we enabling this behaviour by accepting it and brushing it off as part of that person’s way of being in the world?

So, when is enough, enough? When and how do we call the behaviour?

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