Everyone enjoys different things. There are activities, places, and people that one person likes but another may not.
This is important to be mindful of, because it is far too easy to make fun of, berate, and belittle this thing or that when it is not a shared thing.
Welcome to autumn, the season of everything pumpkin spice, for example. Just walking into my local grocery store, the entire entry area is many variations of pumpkin spice flavored items, from chips to granola bars to beverages to reinventions of various classics.
It’s pretty impressive and rather crazy. Personally, I’d really prefer if this focus turned to apple cinnamon over pumpkin spice. But, to each their own.
That’s my take on it. But there are a lot of people who will go out of their way to make fun of the obsession some have with all things pumpkin spice. It may seem trite to say “let people enjoy things” but then it is still necessary.
Why? Because good-natured ribbing and laughs can far-too-easily turn into personal attacks. What’s more, recipients of this sort of teasing (and frankly, in some instances, abuse) may already suffer from self-esteem and confidence issues. Creating a non-issue matter such as this can, unintentionally, turn into a whole ridiculous thing.
Everyone has their obsessions
I know people who live for various sports. Golf, football, baseball, hockey, basketball, the Olympics, and on and on. Professional, college, and even semi-pro athletics are a driving passion. Some take this to varying degrees of focus and in some cases obsession.
Given a choice, there are probably several dozen things I would rather do than watch sports. That’s me. But if you want to get in-depth about the world of Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Babylon 5, or Good Omens, I could go on and on for hours.
I’m into the sci-fi and fantasy stuff. For a while, I was getting heavily into Steampunk. I am an enormous history buff, in particular all things Shakespearean and Elizabethan. Reading is a source of enjoyment for me.
You might not feel the same way. It’s possible you might tease me and call me a geek, dork, nerd, dweeb…take your pick. I have heard ’em all. Once upon a time, long ago now, that might have impacted me differently than it does today. That’s in part because, now, I embrace these obsessions of mine.
Yes, it can get really tiresome to be teased for liking something to a greater degree than others might. But I would wager that almost everyone has a thing that they are passionate about, and thus would prefer to not be teased and abused over.
Let people have things
Just because you are sick of a thing doesn’t mean you need to loudly proclaim it every time you encounter it.
For example, Christmas music at the beginning of November. I know some people love love love it. Me? As far as I am concerned there should be nothing Christmas related happening before Thanksgiving is over.
I have, in the past, complained a lot about how much I dislike the music as it begins to infiltrate TV commercials, restaurants, retail stores, and so on. Yet, since I know somebody out there is happy with it, I will (apart from this current statement on the topic) refrain from saying anything.
That’s the most insidious part of these matters. Especially when you get bombarded by the thing and you worry you will roll your eyes so hard that you’ll lose the eyeballs. Still, why not let people have their thing?
You have your things. The obsessions, the passions, the things that make you squee and that you could talk about ad nauseam. So do other people. Keep that in mind before you go off on whatever the thing is that you are sick and tired of.
It’s important to acknowledge that there are exceptions to this. While I could write out a long list of things where you are perfectly right and justified in telling someone that their thing is ridiculous, it’s more important to generalize this.
The short version if this is anything a person has that discourages, discriminates, denies, intentionally causes harm and hurt, or otherwise destroys someone (i.e. overt sexism, racism, ageism, misogyny, nationalism, white supremacy, etc.) should be called out. However, complaining, berating, and belittling will actually empower such people more.
The best way to handle such a situation is to either provide powerful proof of the other person’s unkind and destructive intent, cut them out of your life, or let them scream into a vacuum until they vanish or otherwise get lost. Teasing and abusing will further encourage and tend to make them think they are more right.
The internet has empowered the trolls with a certain degree of anonymity that would not exist in any other medium. As such, people spew their terrible, hurtful opinions, and even threaten good people over stupid stuff. That’s where a given issue can turn into a ridiculous thing (the whole Gamergate awfulness and ludicrous reactions to casting a black woman as The Little Mermaid and the direction The Last Jedi took Star Wars in, for example.)
This is why when you encounter the trolls, don’t feed them…find better ways to quiet them or otherwise cut-off their message.
Mindfulness, kindness, and consideration
In conclusion, treat people how you prefer to be treated.
Think before you type or speak. When you are standing against a troll don’t give them more fuel for their fires, build up solid counter-arguments and turn them away from a place where they can do harm.
Overall, let people have their thing. Just because it is not your thing, that doesn’t lessen its value. Your thing is not everyone else’s thing, either. Keep that in mind before you call someone a basic bitch over her love of pumpkin spice coffee; or a dweeby fanboy over his love of Star Trek; or a wannabe over his love of football.
The world would be a pretty boring place if we all were into the same exact stuff, don’t you think?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, as do the things you obsess over.