Have you ever had someone low key diss you, throw around their judgment or just completely insult your intelligence to your face? Or so you thought?
Listen. I know all about people making assumptions based on my circumstance. I have had people ask me how I afford to live, do I know my kids father, and am I on public assistance, all in the same breath.
One day my daughter’s teacher finally asked me if she had crayons and play-doh at home, after several conversations about it. I said no. That weekend, she went out and bought me crayons and play-doh for my daughter to play with because according to her “she knows times are hard”. I was like, really? Three dollars? You don’t think I can come up with three dollars?
Now, it wasn’t the fact that she bought the crayons, it was the continued talk about my finances, me being a single mom and the blatant disregard of my choices for my child.
Since then I have truly learned to have tough skin and take people’s comments, opinions and judgement with a grain of salt. I just don’t take it personal. Honestly, I just believe people don’t know any better. They make a judgement based on the television depiction of what they think a single mom is suppose to be.
People will put you in a box you don’t fit in, place you in circumstances you know nothing about, and assume things that absolutely are not true. The judgment is real.
Now, I’m not saying that everything is perfect, I just wish people would learn to use a little tact and respect when addressing a single mom regarding her personal situation. But until then…
Do not respond immediately. Give yourself a moment to think about what the person is saying. What is their intention? Are they really trying to be hurtful or helpful? Responding too quickly does not give you the chance to think about these things. If you have not yet come to the place where you don’t take these things personally, you may react out of anger unnecessarily. Listen first.
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn-and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” –Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Smile. This will help you calm your emotions so that you can respond mindfully. It doesn’t show what you are thinking or feeling in that moment. This may cause the other person to change their approach and proceed with caution.
After listening for a moment you decide you don’t like what they are saying, shut them down immediately! Let them know politely that you are uncomfortable with their comments. You can change the subject, walk away or be direct and simply say it!
After receiving the crayons from my daughter’s teacher and her going on about me being a single mom and times being hard, I stood there smiling. I looked at her and asked what her intention was and why she felt the need to do what she did.
Then politely school them. Needless to say, I informed my daughter’s teacher of why I didn’t have crayons in my household. I told her money had nothing to do with why she didn’t have them. In my opinion, she wasn’t ready because she still tried to eat them, and I didn’t want the play-doh in my carpet or writing on my walls (yes I’m particular like that). Then asked that she please respect that. All with a smile!
Just be mindful that sometimes people may not know what they are doing makes you feel some type of way.
Be understanding and take the time to listen to their perspective and then clearly explain your position.
Good old fashioned communication can clear up a lot of misunderstandings.