I saw a quote awhile back that was something along the lines of:
"2017, the year everyone was offended by everything."
It's stuck with me, and while I internally laughed at it at the time, it has continued to resurface throughout the past few months as I realized how frequently offended I let myself become.
Because that's the thing - I let myself be offended. It's a mindset. I think summer has highlighted it a bit more because honestly my patience wears thin when I'm constantly sweating out of my mind, and if someone on a corner so much as looks at me wrong I feel myself getting pissed.
However. That's not really the best way to go through life - letting my blood pressure skyrocket on a daily basis because of some random interaction with a stranger. Which happens WAY more here than it ever has in the States. It's more common for someone to randomly offer advice to you, make a comment, bluntly ask you out on a date, stare at you for long periods of time - than I've ever experience anywhere else I've lived.
This past month in general, here are some examples of when I was given unsolicited feedback:
- I was accused of not picking up the dog's poop, when I religiously do so.
- I was told that we should not have Huskies in Israel, they belong in Alaska.
- I was told I don't plank correctly.
- I was told I don't backstroke correctly.
|To be fair: it's not. It's just not something I really cared about.|
However my 'lightbulb' moment with my chronic offended-ness was while - of course - grocery shopping.
I walked into the store down the street from me last week, and an employee was washing out the deep freezers in the frozen section. I looked into the freezer and what I saw grossed me out a little bit, and the thought crossed my mind that this should be a task done when the store is closed, not open.
Then, I got partially sprayed in the face with the dirty freezer water.
Walking home, I was fuming to myself at how absurd that situation was, and how zero shits were given by any of the store employees. How offensive, that is no way to treat a customer.
As I stalked home, I realized two things.
1. I sounded like a bratty diva and simply have to get over the brashness of Israeli grocery stores.
2. I could either let this annoying experience ruin my day, or I could get over it.
Yet the more I think about it, the relationships I value the most in my life are the ones I truly know I can bluntly speak to - and they will do the same back, without getting offended. So why should I not try to mimic that across the rest of my life?
In summary, I'm trying to care a little bit less, and put the word 'offend' on the back burner. And that means across all outlets of my life - social media, real life interactions, emails, you name it. This summer heat causes me enough to sweat about, so if some random old man wants to tell me again that my dogs belong in Alaska, well maybe I'll just smile and thank them for that beautiful piece of advice. And then carry on with my day.