I deliberately try not to write anything remotely with a negative vibe out here because I firmly believe that whatever signals you send out in the universe, it pulls in similar vibes. Like attracts like.
However, the last FIVE messages in my inbox and a couple of personal experiences compelled me to write about this.
In a bit of a funk, I was looking at my inbox last night and the top five conversations were all gorgeous, strong, able and wonderful women, heartbroken at people either attempting to pull them down or blatantly doing so. Some confronting plain badtamizi (ill mannered behaviour) others, actual malice laden attacks, a victim of a Cold War by cliques. This is insane.
For once I will quiet down the feminist in me which if you know me well enough, is VERY difficult.
Let’s talk about general behaviour issues.
The bar for publicly acceptable behaviour has been lifted, using freedom of speech as an alibi.
Freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to step on other people. It gives you the right to air your opinion without facing jail, yes. But being an asshole? That’s all on you my friend.
With internet comes a level of impunity I always say, people will say things they won’t have the gall to say to anyone in person. Whenever someone misbehaves with me online, all I can think of is a harassing, incessant caller who doesn’t sound literate at the very least. Someone who in real life would not have the courage to look at me in the eye except say lewd stuff over the phone. But they do. That’s Internet for you. With all of its amazing, Earth shattering benefits, here is some stuff we simply put up with for the greater benefit. I digress.
The one thing I really have trouble getting my head around is the disrespect of the later millennials. Fair enough, being an earlier millennial myself, I am a great believer of earn your own respect but that doesn’t mean I kick it off with being rude. There has to be a beginning stance of cordial behaviour that everyone has a basic right to. Let them earn their respect or disrespect. They’re quick to make either path very clear. I promise. But again, internet removing the age differences and thus not being able to share the amount of experience one brings to life, things that can be judged only in person to an extent with body language and how you carry yourself, your demeanour and a myriad of other things. Everyone wants to prove themselves the other person’s daddy.
This is where we lose the opportunity to learn. When we step out with the entitlement of “I know best and you are rubbish”, we miss out on what that other person can teach you. Which everyone is capable of doing.
This was ONE of the dilemma these people were facing.
The other was lack of boundaries and across the board, that is SUCH A PAIN. There is absolutely no concept of personal space or correctness of what one can take the liberty to say to someone and what one shouldn’t even think about thinking, let alone openly airing opinions. This comes into play in the WORST possible manner if someone is pregnant or has a young child. Thankfully, I’m a widely known brute (with routine spring cleaning. We always need that) for anyone to dare say anything to me but for those who are not, life takes a miserable turn. I mean COME ON. The women are already being poked and prodded and checked at medical facilities. That’s where the external discomfort should end. All of a sudden the society (mind you. Our society. We are the only vile society that makes life as miserable for each other as we do) wants to have a go at every possibly personal detail of their life.
From belly patting to home remedies to weight gain to lack thereof to having a right over knowing every little detail about all palms including sex of child, planned names, future plans, any travel ahead or not. Basically the pregnant parents LIFE suddenly is not only expected on display but open to criticism too.
WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
Steer clear of the pregnant women. They are growing a miracle and it is no easy feat. Steer clear of the Father-to-be, he has plenty on his mind and a right to be happy connecting to his newly conceived family. Steer clear of new parents, only drop them a line to let you know whenever it’s okay to come over in a Few weeks.
The plus size girl, the hairline receding man, the new mother, ANY MOTHER, the boy wanting to choose a career path, the people trying to live their own life.
Get out of their hair!
As for those at the receiving end. We all need to define boundaries at some point or the other. Some of us are harsh and cold like me. Others are cordial yet deadly on their stance, no mercy style on the inside like my husband. The point is you need to find your comfort and then build your fort around it. With flimsy boundaries you will inevitably get trampled.
Someone recently asked me a very interesting question. They saw someone being reckless on my Facebook page and inquired in Private how I am allowing that to happen. So my boundaries differ on my history with people. Some have stood by me through times of trouble. Others I’ve barely known a month. Boundaries will differ drastically for both of these people. My life is not a democracy. Neither should yours be.
Some people you will be able to take a lot of difficult behaviour from but then you suck it up. You don’t Complain or even feel bad about it because their positive presence in your life is much larger than that. It will differ from person to person as it should.
Unless we stand up and make intrusive remarks feel unwelcome, they will keep coming. Especially those embedded in culture that kill our hearts. Nicely but very firmly push back so they at least would think before they say it to you again. Thinking they’ll evaluate saying it to others is a dream.
Like my girl crush forever Brené Brown and Oprah say
“You cannot live a brave life without disappointing someone”
I’d like to add, as long as you’re not disappointing yourself, you’re good to go.
Take care of yourself and raise a better society.