‘Tis the season! But not only am I (trying to be healthy and) dodging the rows and rows of delicious Easter bunny chocolate eggs, I am finding myself avoiding the metaphorical eggshell topics in every conversation.
It seems that there is always going to be someone offended by the differences in beliefs and opinions. I am inevitably going to put my foot in my mouth if I’m not careful and cautious with my expressive personality at work, with my friends, or even sometimes with family members. People are different. Their experiences are different, their backgrounds are diverse, and their core principles aren’t going to match up with mine all the time.
Life would be boring if we only used a few colors from the Crayola box. But when do I know if I am coloring outside the lines of civil conversation and healthy debate?
I’m expressive, mid-twenties, single, no children, and a (legal) gun-carrying, independent, self-sufficient woman. I am not the typical millennial, and I am perfectly alright with that. I am not afraid of my own opinions. I am, however, conscious that they may not always be accepted and shared by others. So, I don’t discuss my recent weight loss accomplishments with those who are struggling with their health journey. I’m not going to engage in a debate in regards to the second amendment around those who I know lobby for gun control. And I’m definitely not going to talk about baby showers in the company of a woman who has recently suffered from the heartbreaking loss of a miscarriage.
So what can I talk about? What topics are safe?
Here are my personal dos and don’ts when I start to feel cornered.
- Good vibes only. No matter how tempting it may be to join in on the occasional pessimistic views of others, try to be objective and kind regardless of circumstances.
- Hope. If I lose that, then it is always an uphill battle to get it back. Find a way to be encouraging without sounding superior.
- Ask for opinions. Do so genuinely. Sensitive people are hyper-aware of insincerity.
Remember, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt
- Argue just to argue. I have to ask myself if engaging in the debate is worth any unforeseen outcomes. Am I fighting just to be right?
- Sweat the small stuff. Certain discussions are not worth the effort. Whatever you do or whatever you say, make sure it matters.
- Take it with you. I am so guilty of worrying about peoples’ behaviors around me. Sometimes I feel like their behavior has something to do with me. It doesn’t. And even if it does, it’s not always going to be my problem to solve.
Sometimes I have to accept that I’m never going to do “adulting” right 100% of the time. But that’s part of the learning process and the joy of the journey. No one has it down to a science. Let’s try, as women, to think about, talk about, and openly discuss faith and fear, contentment and complacency, strength and struggles, grit and grace without judgment or ridicule. The more Easter goodies we can enjoy and fewer eggshells we have to walk around the better!
You’ll enjoy this episode of our podcast, This Grit and Grace Life: 6 Qualities that Make a Female Strong with Leadership Expert Jenni Catron – 030
You’ll also like How to Become a Better Listener in 5 Simple Steps, When Others Minimize the Pain of Your Miscarriage, Take a Moment to Stop and Listen, 5 Things You Need to Quit Right Now, Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Get to Work (On Yourself) and 3 Reasons You’re Unhappy and How to Make a Change.