I asked a question in my “Let’s do this Together” Facebook group the other day and it got me thinking and most of the time the best way I figure things out is to write it out.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to tell someone something that you thought would help but could also hurt his or her feelings?
Yeah, I know, pretty vague.
But my point isn’t a specific situation as much as a broad question about us as a society right now.
Yesterday I saw an Instagram post from a woman who walked around with two different earrings on all day, and no one said anything. I mean, I know that’s not in the league of toilet paper stuck to her shoe; but still, no one said anything?
I’ve pointed out typos to a few blogging friends in the past, and for the most part it was appreciated. But one blogger I shared my observation with got her feelings hurt, and I felt terrible.
So I don’t do that anymore.
There have been a few times lately that I’ve wanted to say something to someone but then stop myself. “It’s none of my business,” I tell myself. I keep it all surfacy and find “something nice to say.”
Have we become so afraid to communicate and share?
Did the social media pendulum swing from contention and anger to fear of saying anything that could in any way be misconstrued to be a slight?
The other day I stumbled upon the last part of an NPR interview with one of the authors of “The Coddling of the American Mind.” It was fascinating, and I had to wonder if this type of behavior is occurring outside campuses as well.
“In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.”
That line caught my attention and surprised me. Have we stopped teaching critical thinking? If so, how will these young people be able to cope in a world that is filled with unintended people who may direct a “micro-aggression” their way?
Is being hurt always a bad thing?
I’ve been unintentionally hurt by another’s words towards me, but I didn’t crumble or drink a fifth of vodka and throw myself on the train tracks. I actually learned from each one of these times and in some cases was even able to turn the tables and teach them too.
That’s a good thing, right?
I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from difficult conversations and interactions about myself and the world around me.
Who knows, maybe the pendulum will swing back to the middle; and we will once again interact with critiques but sprinkled with kindness?
For now I am just going to keep saying, “It’s none of my business”; and smile politely.
Oh, and I’m okay of you point out my typos.