Lately it seems like every time I open my mouth, somebody has an opinion for me, especially on social media. In fact it seems like everyone has an opinion about everything, and most of them are not very nice.
Share an unusual craft project? Too much time on your hands. Post too many pictures of your pet? Must be a loser. Think anything in life is hard, ever? You need to toughen up, or be more positive. Basically if you’re different from someone else, you need to change. If you’re not perfect, people will be lined up to tell you about it.
When did we become the police of each other’s time, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions? Why do we feel the need to “fix” everything that makes us the slightest bit uncomfortable?
I’m sure some people mean well, and there is definitely a time and place for friendly advice. But if it’s not needed, or you don’t know the person/situation, or you can’t be tactful, it’s probably not that time and place.
Some people also like to trivialize because it’s “just social media,” but the way I see it, it doesn’t really matter what means of communication you’re using. If you order something online instead of buying it in the store, you’re still going to get the real thing. If you say something thoughtless, chances are your words are still going to stick.
On the other hand, sometimes we take things personally that weren’t meant in a negative way. It’s really hard to tell where someone’s coming from when you’re not face to face, and it’s better to clarify than be mad about nothing.
Maybe I’m just as guilty as anyone else. I’ve definitely stuck my foot in my mouth a few times and realized too late how someone might react. All I’m saying is that our words are powerful and we should be careful with them.
While I’m on the topic, I am going to go ahead and share some things about myself that are often misunderstood. Not sure if anyone really wants to know, but here goes.
I have depression. I can be negative sometimes, but I am trying to make the best of my situation. Sometimes that means laughing or patting myself on the back or doing things I enjoy. Sometimes it means lying on the couch all day or exercising to angry music or, God forbid, venting a little. And when you’ve heard “look on the bright side” enough times, it starts to sound a lot more like “suck it up,” so it’s probably not going to help.
I’m an introvert. I need more time to myself than some people. I don’t attend a lot of group functions because they wear me out, but my friends are still important to me.
I’m creative. I make art because I’m good at it and I enjoy and it keeps me sane, not because I have nothing better to do. I’m working hard and my sales are picking up, but I don’t need a successful career to feel like I have a meaningful life (luckily for now my husband supports me with his “real” job and I support him with my fabulous domestic skills).
I’m an Army wife. Deployment sucks. I’ve pretty much heard it all. “He’ll be home soon enough.” “At least we have technology now.” “I know how you feel, my boyfriend’s away at college.” “At least you have a husband.” Yes, it could be worse. Yes, it’s made us stronger. But at the end of the day, I’m still lying in an empty bed with a half-empty heart hoping he’s coming back at all. So while I appreciate people trying to make me feel better, it doesn’t always work. And I really don’t need an opinion about the war, either.
I’m sensitive, which means I tend to get my feelings hurt, but it also means I care about people like crazy, and I take the time to understand complex situations and personalities.
I love Jesus, and I have my beliefs, and I try to live my life accordingly. But if I had the chance to show love to a gay person or a prostitute or a criminal, or a woman who had an abortion, or someone who practices a different religion, I would. Because you don’t have to agree with someone to care about them.
So add cats and baking and nerd movies, and that’s me in a nutshell. I definitely have my flaws, and my opinions, and my judgments. All I am asking is that we think before we speak.
What are your thoughts on opinions? What do you wish people understood about you?
(Photo credit: http://sundayinbed.tumblr.com/page/17)