An offhand comment triggered my desire to just post a quick rant so here you have it, unstructured, unedited and unfiltered.
The story is, someone that I hardly knew called me ‘sheltered’ and I found that incredibly insulting not only because I don’t think it’s true, but also because I think it’s so pretentious for anyone to pass hasty judgements on someone else.
When I first heard that someone saw me that way, I couldn’t stop laughing because I didn’t have a logical response to said comment. I know that we’re all human and we inevitably all judge each other but I have always been convinced that the only thing you can be certain of is your own subjective view on the external world. Therefore, your opinion is your opinion, no more and no less and that’s the standard I have been holding myself and others to.
I concede that we are all a part of the world therefore we are influenced and shaped by events out of our control but ultimately they’re coloured by our ethics, upbringing, relationships etc. and that’s something you can’t ever tell from looking at someone and for someone to have the audacity to not only judge but conclude about me, elevating their opinion to ‘truth’ is astounding.
Although I will admit I am almost obsessively interested in how other people view me in order to adjust how I want to be portrayed accordingly, it has always been on my own terms. As an interesting and helpful exercise in order for me to do the best I can in life, I have never had issue with people’s judgements but their conclusions. In other words, I don’t hate the girl who sees my skin colour and thinks I’m probably loud and obnoxious or the guy who sees my gender and thinks I enjoy domestic work as much as I hate those who don’t even see me at all and think they know me better than I know myself.
I’m definitely angry that the word sheltered is one I would never have used for myself. A word that holds implications of being less – less prepared for life and therefore less valid in their opinions and therefore less worthy of my time…but perhaps the abhorrence to the phrase is more to do with what it says about others rather than what it has to say about me. Isn’t it slightly egotistical for someone to condescendingly assert the superiority of their existence due to their belief that they have weathered the ups and downs of life that I apparently have yet to see? I don’t think I would mind being sheltered from those with such elevated senses of self.
Then and again, being the over-thinker that I am, I can’t help wondering if I am antagonising a victim? Someone else could have spun the comment as flippant and carefree and thought that I was being sensitive and harsh but hey, it’s my narrative here and this is how I have told it. Judge it as you will.
Let me reinforce this – nobody knows me better than me, and I’m still trying to work it out.