The Gull Reef Club

8/25/2015

Don’t Anecdotally Diminish Me!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:05 pm

This lunch hour was supposed to be spent either shopping for a bridal shower gift or for working on a writing contest entry, but no. Instead, it’s rant time. You have been warned.

The topic of this rant is about those who anecdotally diminish my/others’ experiences. This is something that occurs all the time, but it’s been rather prevalent as of late (in my personal, anecdotal, experience, of course).

Let me give you some real examples (going further into the irony/more anecdotes territory):
1) Me and a friend are in an elevator. I was grumpy and my friend asked why. I told her I was very cold because the a/c had been on too low all day and it made me miserable. Out of the blue, two old ladies in the elevator decide they need to get involved in our conversation and lecture us on how we should be grateful for the cold air because once we get to be their age and experience menopause we are going to need the a/c at a near freezing level. You know what? STFU old ladies. I was cold. I am not menopausal and your useless anecdote is just that – useless. Not only that, it pissed me off. Why are you trying to diminish my feelings? What good does that do? I WAS cold. You old ladies being menopausal and having a different preference for climate control does not mean that my experience being cold was any less.

2) A college-bound person I know (trying to preserve his/her anonymity here,so “CBP”) was at an event and needed to leave. CBP’s leaving was contingent on another person at the event giving him/her a ride. The ride-provider was slacking and not really wanting to leave the event, so CBP was getting more and more stressed to the point where he/she had to step away from the event because the stress was about to turn into a panic attack.

A few of the older people at the event became aware of CBP’s actions and instead of trying to help the situation or merely stay out of it, they had to voice their anecdotal opinions of, “CBP is stressed? Please. CBP doesn’t KNOW stress. Try living MY life. THAT’S stressful.” So again, STFU older people. CBP’s stress was real. Just because you, as an older, and in theory wiser, person, have the tools to deal with the kind of stress CBP was learning to deal with, doesn’t mean CBP’s experience was NOT stressful. How about a little empathy instead? How about sharing some of those great tools you have learned to teach CBP on how to handle his/her stress? How about just not being a jerk?

3) This one is far more general. This example is one I’m sure we’ve all heard with much frequency, especially if you happen to watch/listen to any right-leaning talk shows. “You can’t have an opinion on the military (and now more recently, the police) unless you have served yourself.” This one is pretty easily defeated with ye olde, “Well, I’ve never murdered either, but I have an opinion on murderers.”

I don’t really have any goal to this post. It’s a rant for rant’s sake. I guess I am mostly trying to bring to light something that is very annoying, and quite, frankly, rude.

TL; DR: Don’t diminish other people’s experiences because their anecdotes don’t match up to yours.

Next rant: rude joggers. See you soon.

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