You two have been in a relationship seven years…when are you getting married?
When are you having children? The older you are the harder it is you know. I wish you wouldn't eat that!
Have you been ask questions like that, by an over zealous, extroverted strangers, or worse yet, well meaning friends or family? Sometimes, some comment like that can send your day down the toliet in a mighty swirl! The worst part of this whole scenario is for me, the admission that I have been the rude, inappropriate dummy that ask some of those hurtful questions I’m sure. I’ll be the first to admit my boundaries aren't always good, and I think at the time I thought I was being helpful. I’m such an open book, that I’m sometimes surprised that others aren’t. I’m also a know it all by nature, and I just embrace it at this point! To anyone reading this that I’ve offended let me take this opportunity to apologize if you were on the receiving end of one of my comments.
A couple years ago, our family traveled to Hawaii. Easton had just started walking. Sydney was a young Mom, and I don’t know if that lead a woman to think she needed her unsolicited opinion or what her reason was to interject herself in our business? We got to the airport at 430 am. There was a long winding line while waiting to check our bags. Easton was wide awake and had ridden over in the car seat if course, and now he’s was in a stroller and wanting to get out. Feeling sorry for him she let him out and let him run, and she followed, while the rest of us inched her bags closer to the scales. Finally all 9 of us were checked in, and ready to make our way to the elevators, and on up to the gates. Sydney still had the stroller with a carseat strapped in it, her carry one and his carry on. That meant he HAD to get in the stroller and be pushed! Of course like most toddlers, he cried a little, and she tried to explain we are going up in the elevator to go up to the gates. About the time she’s buckling his little arched back in the straps, a grey haired lady approached and said, “Can’t you let him walk?” We all slowly turned our heads in disbelief that she was interjecting her unwanted opinion, into this private moment in a public place! Sydney remained friendly but firm, and said something like, “no I have to much to carry until we get to the gate”. The woman stood by the stroller and made no effort to get on her way. Finally, the rest of gathered around Syd, and walked toward the elevator. Sydney was fuming, feeling hurt and defensive! She wanted to tell her to buzz off!
So what should we do when these things happen? I did a little research on it, and here are some things I found from Psych Central. First of all, put up an invisible shield. Don't let any bad energy penetrate you. Next politely advocate for yourself and leave or remain silent and leave. Silence sometimes can say more that words can. Wayne Dyer, has said, “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.”
On a lighter side, sometimes these strangers can go the other way and give you rave reviews and or a compliment, which affects our mood in reverse! “You sure don't look sixty”, or “l love your hair color”! Wow, now a comment like that by a stranger is validating, and can immediately lift your spirits! I give you permission to let that penetrate your heart!
So, I’m going to leave you with a twist on George Elliot’s quote about friendship. In this case be the friend to yourself. When someone pours out their thoughts about you, take the chaff and grain together, and with your gentle hands sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away!” If you aren't kind to yourself who will be?