Social Politics

So I don’t go out of my way to hurt people’s feelings, but I don’t have any patience for people who get upset over nothing. It bugs me when you have to censor everything you say, or who you say things to, just to avoid someone feeling bad about something you’ve said.

This is something I see all the time when people find they’ve succeeded at something. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to other people I know. If you’re really proud of yourself for doing something, you shouldn’t have to feel bad about someone else being jealous. I think most people will see this in schools. People will have friends who have different abilities, and if you happen to get grades that are even just a bit higher than your friends’, it’s really hard to feel happy about it. Because if you do, they think you’re boasting. If you don’t, you’re being stuck up, because they’d be so happy to get that grade.

Personally, I think if you’ve succeeded, no matter what it is, you should be able to feel that pride. And you shouldn’t have to worry about people being offended because you’ve worked hard for something and are seeing the results. And if you do something before I may manage to, good for you. If you manage to get that A on that essay, and I only got a B, good for you. It’s nothing to do with me.

Social politics seems to extend further than this, though. It leaks into who you may hang out with, what you’re interested in, and general conversation. Applying to university always brings out awkward conversations, particularly if you and your friends are applying to universities at the complete opposite ends of the rankings.

Thing is, it’s fine if you have a bit of back and forth. Give what you take. If you’ve been talking for ages about stuff you like, let the other person blabber about something that interests them. Don’t shut them down. I spent years with a friend who never really let me say what was on my mind if it would affect her. I could say a throwaway comment, without any direction towards her, and we’d be in an argument. I know that sometimes you do have to watch what you say to people, because there are boundaries, but it shouldn’t reach the point where all conversation is completely one-sided because you don’t know what you’re ‘allowed’ to say. It shouldn’t reach the point when all of your successes are tainted by a feeling of guilt, or disappointment, or whatever it is.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to be happy for each other?

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