Yesterday I had a long conversation with my kids. The topic was drama and why people seem so judgmental. My daughter had said even her friends who say they don’t want to be a part of drama, will in the next breath start criticizing people. She’s knows that usually they don’t know the person, it only takes a second and people are bonding over criticizing. Talk about intimidating!
I told her I wished that I could say that changes but to a certain extent it’s human nature. Not the uplifting sentiment either of them were hoping to hear. I reminded them, all you can do is be kind, even when others aren’t at their best. No one knows why someone is short tempered, or harsh. They could be in the midst of a problem they have no idea how to face. It’s possible they could be a ginormous jerk, but for my own sanity, I prefer to think most of the time people are having a bad day and need someone to be kind.
My kids both get this, they’ve had days where they were short tempered, or they’ve watched me come home and be feisty as all get out. It usually starts with me nagging them about whatever they’ve left on the kitchen counter. They know this means, watch out, Mom is in a mood. In general, they don’t see me as a big crab ass, thank goodness. So, we chalk those moments up to being human.
The thing they were both stuck on is what people think of them, either based on how they look, or what they are involved in, or where they live etc. They worry about what people think of how they dress. they worry about people judging their friends. My son worried about what people will think because he made JV soccer instead of Varsity. The list of things popping into their mind is long. No wonder teenagers are so stressed out!
My advice was simple. What people think of me is none of my business. I wish you could have seen their faces. The look basically said, ok Mom has lost her marbles. So I explained, I truly believe I don’t need to know. You can’t control what people say, especially people who don’t know you well. Knowing deep down that we all have bad days, but we approach our days with kindness and work hard each day needs to be enough to hush the chatter of others. If you spend all your time worrying about it, you’ll only feel bad about yourself and “ain’t nobody got time for that!”