Friday, July 17, 2015

Was it Something I Said?

George Bernard Shaw once said, "The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people." If that's the measure I'm fabulously successful.  I don't get offended easily. As a matter of fact I can't think of the last time I was really and truly offended. People disagree. People have different interests, different viewpoints. If I was offended every time someone vociferously disagreed with me I would be offended a lot...but people can have their opinions and express them emphatically.  Disagree with me. I dig it.

Social media is a funny thing. As a loudly opinionated person it gives me the opportunity to express my opinions for all the world to read. I'm continually amazed at how people get offended and take my viewpoint personally. Here is the thing about my opinions: they do not have any bearing on how I feel about people who disagree with them. Here's an example: I was once visiting Michigan (before I lived here), and we were out at a bar. A Kid Rock song came on. I wrinkled my nose and said, "God I hate Kid Rock." I swear the music stopped and the entire group glared at me. I remember thinking, "Huh...people actually like Kid Rock?" I didn't think badly or judge the group I was with for liking his music. It's their preference. I like country music and lots of people hate that. If someone says to me, "I hate country music. It's gross." I think...okay. That opinion would not be a personal reflection on my choice.

Last weekend I wrote a Facebook post about how I don't like camping. Camping isn't my thing. I also HAVE to have a bathroom close. When you have Crohn's and are up 3-4 times a night, having a bathroom adjacent is a big deal. I don't like being so close to strangers without doors. Camping isn't for me, but I have good friends who love it. My friends who know/love me and love camping probably rolled their eyes at me and went on with what they love doing. They knew that post wasn't about my judging them. But the people who took it just shocks me. I don't like camping. I feel gross when I'm that dirty. I need a bathroom. I don't like strangers being near me. It's not about you.

I have a laundry list of things I hate. Let's do some of it shall we? In addition to the aforementioned camping and Kid Rock I include Wal-Mart, casinos (with a much so I wouldn't even stay in one last weekend), Crocs, the song "Mambo No. 5", unnecessarily wide highways, tank tops on grown men unless they're at the beach or gym, sprawling subdivisions with cookie cutter houses, and the phrase "it is what it is". That only scratches the surface. Yesterday one of my colleagues said to me (mockingly...and rightfully so), "To use your favorite phrase: it is what it is." Make fun of me for it. Really...I can take it. Call me a prima donna because I don't like camping. You would be correct. 

I love pets. LOVE them. I have some really close friends who don't like dogs. I don't take that personally. It has nothing to do with me. I don't know how they can't love my sweet, snuggly pups, but it's not for them. When they come over I make the dogs scarce. I never take it personally because it's not about me. Getting offended about the differing opinions of others, no matter how vehemently they're expressing their opinion, isn't worth it. Their opinions do not effect me or what's important to me.  

Like or don't like whatever you want. My opinion really shouldn't matter. My good friends know to ignore me or tease me about it because they know I'm just opinionated. When I disagree with someone's comments on social media I ignore it or hide them from my news feed. Done and done. I don't strike back with personal remarks because I know whatever they're saying isn't about me. I firmly believe that getting really offended by the comments of others is really one's insecurity with their own choices. If you love something own it. If someone else says they don't like it and that bothers that really about that person's comments?

I don't get offended easily. You may hate running, high heels, dogs, short hair, or people from West Virginia, and it's your right to have and express such contradictory opinions. That's what makes us interesting. I have a really good friend who wants to convert me into enjoying camping. I'm open minded and will try anything...but I'll have a hotel room reserved just in case.   

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