You can’t get far on social media these days without hearing about cancel culture. It’s everywhere. For those who have been lucky enough to avoid the debate on whether or not it’s gone too far, it’s the idea of “cancelling” someone because they’ve done something wrong. In theory, it’s not a bad idea! There should be consequences to saying something racist or taking actions that knowingly harm others. I know that I’m probably going to think twice about buying a product if I know the business is anti-LGBTQ, for example. One of the many reasons I don’t patronize Chick-Fil-A.
Some people deserved to be cancelled – but way fewer than you probably think.
Accountability is important, and no one should be able to practice injust behaviors behind closed doors (or in front of open ones, for that matter, but that’s another conversation). But OF COURSE, because we’re people, it often goes too far. Seriously though, how many times do we think I can link to that blog post? The limit does not exist?)
We can’t cancel people for everything.
Honest mistakes are going to happen. We all make them. Part of being “woke” is understanding that if you hold a place of privilege, you’re going to screw up sometimes. The goal isn’t to avoid mistakes (not possible), but rather to be open to understanding that you’ve made them and how you can learn from them. If a person is giving off that vibe in a genuine and meaningful way, cancelling them isn’t really warranted.
Additionally, we don’t need to berate everyone for everything either.
That’s a big one no one’s talking about enough. It seems like we’ve entered into a world in which people are generally having a hard time sitting with uncomfortable feelings like annoyance and frustration. As a result, you get a lot of ALL CAPS comments on social media, hostile chats with customer service, and incessant arguments with loved ones. None of those things are fun for anyone involved. At least I hope not.
People are going to upset you.
Facts on facts. It’s going to happen. We’re all different, we all have our own triggers, and we often interpret situations completely differently than the person next to us. Just like we can’t cancel someone for a mistake, we can’t flip our lid every time we feel upset by something another person does. Sometimes we just have to sit with that feeling of annoyance, understanding that it’s a part of life. It’s not always cause for aggressive e-mails or commentary.
People are gonna make you feel like this. It’s just a part of life!
Express your deal breakers, let the rest go.
There are certain things that REALLY push our buttons, and that’s normal. Those are the things that you say out loud and share with another person. Ask yourself: am I actually hurt by this, or do I just not like it? If it’s in the former category, that’s probably something that has importance to you outside of the moment in which you’re experiencing it. If it’s the latter, maybe just let it pass.
Get comfortable with the idea that you’re going to be annoyed or inconvenienced – or just not like something.
It’s okay. You can’t like everything everyone does. It’s also okay (if not very preferred!) for you to note your displeasure to yourself and keep it moving.
If more people held that perspective, the world would be a MUCH kinder place – with a LOT less yelling. And who says no to that?