What do you do when your 15 year old daughter comes home from school, announcing that she is crushing on a boy who you don’t approve of? You’ve heard talk of him getting kicked out of school numerous times over the years due to fighting, marijuana possession, and disrespecting a teacher, among other thrilling adventures. The idea of your sweet girl being tainted by this hoodlum is causing your eye to twitch uncontrollably and the idea of locking her in her room for the next ten years is beginning to seem like a viable option.
Let it be.
Long winded attempts at convincing her that he is not someone she should be interested in will only prove to be a mind-numbing waste of time and will most likely convince her even more that he is Prince Charming. Who knows what causes teen-aged girls to fall for one guy or another? I certainly had my own experiences falling for “bad boys”, and the only real education in this department is experience getting burned…or finding yourself let down when they’re not all that. Obviously you don’t want to encourage it or let her go out with him, but for the most part simple statements reminding her of what you know like, “isn’t he the kid that you told me about last year who was suspended for two weeks for falling through the ceiling after climbing up there to smoke weed?” At best you should subtly remind her of his lack of character and express that she is worthy of much better and then drop it.
How do you respond to a Facebook rant from a friend or relative that makes you cringe through every painful, humiliating, or even offensive word?
Let it be.
Nothing good can come from responding to a post that is already embarrassing. It is akin to driving your car into a train wreck in the hopes of clearing the way. I have always been dumbfounded at what possesses people to air their dirty laundry on public forums but it is equally puzzling when others follow suit. I can only suspect that friend, “Bob”, announcing to his 209 Facebook friends that he caught his wife with another guy at the local Rally’s was caused by an unfortunate lapse in judgement due to emotional devastation. Equally so for cousin “Mindy” who feels compelled to publicly berate her sister for allegedly stealing $50 from her purse on Friday night. The best thing to do is look away! Quickly and quietly become oblivious! Hopefully they will realize their mistake and un-post it.
What should the response be to the stranger in the grocery store who notices you’re buying rice milk, rolls her eyes at you and says, “I don’t know how anybody drinks that! It’s not MILK! I’ve been drinking REAL milk for years and I’m still alive!”
Let it be.
Despite the urge to comment on the fact that she may be alive, but drinking MILK certainly has done nothing for her personality, it would be best to just smile (even if you secretly hope that her gallon of 2% will explode all over her sweatpants and Crocks) and walk away. Chances are this person is lashing out due to something that has nothing to do with you or the non-milk you’re buying. Any defense you might have about being lactose intolerant or the values of veganism will likely only provoke further confrontation. She clearly is making innumerable assumptions and will hopefully reflect back on the “conversation” later and realize that meditation or a prescription for Prozac might be helpful.
Point being….pick your battles carefully. I’m certainly not saying we should all walk around being mute emotionless zombies or that we should never defend what we believe in, but overly defending your thoughts, ideas, or beliefs often does not result in the other person (s) acceptance of them. Walking through life wearing your defense mechanisms on your sleeve only results in emotional unhappiness and stress. Accept that you cannot change people and 9 times out of 10 your attempts at convincing them they’re wrong will not prove fruitful, and if the offending person is someone you don’t even know (or someone you have little to no respect for), what’s the point anyway? In order to have more inner Peace and day to day happiness in your life, it’s important to not get riled up about every little thing. Accept that bad behavior is the other person’s problem and don’t make it yours. Let go of negativity every chance you can and you will begin to feel more and more free from anxiety and stress.