Who’s Assuming Who?

(Disclaimer- I proofread this post a dozen times and used Grammarly to help. If you see any mistakes, I’m only human. And I am not perfect. Thanks for reading!)

Last week I posted a blog post called, “Dear Scared White People” that received mostly positive comments.  But three people took issue with the title… (Insert dramatic music here) without having read the post.  On the Facebook blog post, one woman said, “I am not a sensitive woman, but the title of your post turned me off.  I am just being honest. While I am sure it is all in good humor, I wouldn’t click it.”  Although she said that she wasn’t a “sensitive woman”, the fact that she felt a strong emotion to just the title tells me she is.  I promptly let her know that I wasn’t trying to be humorous.  I told her that the post wasn’t directed at ALL WHITE PEOPLE.  I have the where with all to know that not ALL WHITE PEOPLE behave in the manner in which I was speaking of in my post.  I go on to explain that the title is directed at the so-called “scared” ones.  The second person left a comment that said, “Wow racist to a T.”  (Insert the emoji with the person with their hand over their face.)  The sheer ignorance and cluelessness of that person didn’t surprise me one bit.  And the third person said it was, “terrible click bait” and “kind of offensive, too.”  He went on to say that it was a “terrible assumption to make with the title.”  He continued by saying, “The way you’re approaching, what I would assume is an important matter based on other comments here, is terrible.  You’re projecting an assumption of an entire racial class.”  To which I responded, “So from your statement, I can tell that not only didn’t you read the post to find out exactly what and whom I’m talking about.  You didn’t even read all the comments posted here by others.  You are ASSUMING you know what I’m talking about based solely on the title.  The exterior.  So don’t say I’m projecting an assumption when clearly you are doing the same.”  After addressing all three (politely I might add) what do you think happened?  Absolutely nothing.  Complete radio silence from all three, just as I expected.

By their comments, I feel, they clearly fit the narrative of people making assumptions about certain things without learning the truth.  It piggybacks a little off last week’s post about people calling the cops on people of color because they made assumptions about them.  The assumptions being who they think these people are or what they think they may do.  Let me be very clear here:  ALL HUMANS make assumptions about others at one time or another.  (Raises hand…..I’m guilty of this.)  I have a friend named Kevin that I have known for ten years now.  When I first met Kevin, I didn’t think we would have anything in common.  He listened to different music, he wore Insane Clown Posse tee shirts and he wasn’t the friendliest looking guy.  I made assumptions about him based on what I saw and nothing else.  Fast forward to now, and he’s one of my dearest friends.  I’ll be attending his wedding next summer.

I developed inaccurate and stupid opinions about people.  Most of which were truly unwarranted and unfair.  The one that I used to make was if a particular white person I encountered would be racist.  These thoughts stem from interactions I had while growing up black in America.  I’ve been followed around a store while shopping on a few occasions.  Sometimes I’m still nervous that someone thinks I may steal from a store just because I’m black.  I’ve heard things said like (insert their idea of a compliment here) for a black girl.  And the infamous, “You’re different than other black people.  You’re not like them.”  I’m still not sure how to process that last one.  The fact that I have encountered a few bad apples in the bunch is in no way an excuse for me to think all white people are racist.  But I wanted to give you some context as to where my thoughts came from.

As I stated above, we all make assumptions.  We assume that we will not like the taste of certain foods because of the way it looks or smells.  We assume that we won’t like a movie because of reviews it received from our family or friends.  We assume that the title of a post is “terrible click bait” without knowing that the person titled it that way to convey an important message.  And we assume that a whole race of people are bad because we have heard things or had an unpleasant experience with someone of that race.  Assumptions get people in a lot of unnecessary trouble.  So take the time to dig a little bit further beneath the surface before you project your own thoughts onto a situation.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll make a new friend you thought you wouldn’t have anything in common with.  Or maybe, just maybe, you learn something you didn’t know about yourself.

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Resting Bitch Face: It’s Real

(Disclaimer- I proofread this thing a dozen times and used an online site to help.  If you see any mistakes, I’m only human and not perfect.  Thanks for reading!)

According to Urban Dictionary.com, the formal definition for Resting Bitch Face is:  “A phenomenon in which the resting face lacks animation and appears to look bitchy at all times, thus leading people to believe a person must be upset, a snob or a bitch.”

I am a sufferer of this misunderstood facial phenomenon.  Thinking back on it for the majority of my life, I had absolutely no idea!  I would get the usual questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” or “Who pissed you off today?”  Or worse I would hear later that comments were made about me to others basically saying that I looked bitchy and “unapproachable.”  I wanted to say to them, “This is just my face.”  Who knows how many dates or hangouts I missed out on because someone was afraid to talk to me.  Who knows how many times someone may have looked at me and thought I was an angry person that would kick their ass in a minute.  Now to be completed honest and fair, back in the day I was not always the nicest person in the world.  I had what some would describe as a “bad attitude” and I was a bit of a “Debbie Downer.”  And I take full responsibility for that.  But I’m a totally different person from who I used to be.  I worked really hard to be a happier person for myself and toward others around me.  But do you know for all that work I did, I STILL have Resting Bitch Face?  Smh….

On a brighter note though, having Resting Bitch Face probably kept me from having a lot of unpleasant experiences.  So that’s good!  I feel like I shouldn’t be solely judged because I’m not walking around smiling 24/7.  Who the hell does that?  You know damn well if I did, people would think that I was either high or crazy.  Before when I saw someone sitting alone minding their own business smiling for seemingly no reason, I would have definitely been leery of them.  I would have more than likely thought to myself, “Is that person up to something?  They are smiling way too hard over there and they’re sitting alone.  I better get out of here.”  I know it isn’t right, but that’s what I would have been thinking.  Deep down in my mind, everyone is the potential killer/ rapist.  Weird thinking I know, but hey it has kept me alive and well so far.  I attribute this to watching and listening to far too many true crime shows and podcast.  But seriously though, it’s perfectly ok to be cautious.  But I was judging someone in the way that others judged me. And that isn’t right.

I currently work as a Teacher’s Assistant for a living until my successfully (and very profitable) writing career takes off.  I have to say children never think I have Resting Bitch Face.  Not that they would know exactly what that is, but they don’t judge me on my lack of a happy facial expression.  They usually just see another person that they can talk too about whatever is on their minds.  Children are extremely comfortable around me. I even have children in public places start talking to me without any motivation from me to do so.  I once had cute little girl start a conversation with me in a ladies line bathroom.  I’m sure to the adults around;  I may not have looked like I was interested in talking.  But she didn’t see that.  She saw a person that she wanted to talk to about her Little Mermaid shoes her mother bought her.  And that was the best.

Since I’ve discovered that I suffer from RBF, I do my best to be mindful of it.  Sometimes though, I can’t help it.  I get lost in my own thoughts of things I have to do or want to do. And my facial expressions (or lack thereof) get away from me.  That doesn’t make me not a nice person or unapproachable.  It just means I have a lot of things on my mind at that given time.  So next time you see someone who may suffer from Rest Bitch Face, don’t judge them too quickly.  There may be nothing at wrong with them at all.  For all you know, they could be thinking about how much they really want a taco.

Shy + Crush = Alone

I currently have a major crush on someone who (for all intent and purposes) doesn’t know I exist.  Maybe “doesn’t know I exist” is a bit too much.  I mean this person and I have communicated on Twitter here and there.  But you get what I’m saying.  What’s even sadder is if I had to opportunity to tell this person how I felt upon meeting them, I totally would not be able too.  Smh…..  I’m an extremely shy person, at least with people that I have romantic feelings for.  The thing I find funny about myself is, I’m not shy in any other part of my life.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I have zero problem expressing myself to anyone about anything.  But if I have the slightest romantic attraction to a person, I retreat quicker than a turtle does into their shell.  It’s quite sickening to me actually when I think about it.  Ha!  Ha!

What it all boils down too for me (and probably most of us) say it with me now: REJECTION.  I knew you would know the word.  We’ve all experienced it before and have done it ourselves.  The feelings we get from rejection are totally universal. Heartbreak, sadness, embarrassment and many more on the list that don’t need to be written.  The way we handle that rejection though isn’t always universal.  For me, I retreat and decide it’s not worth the risk of putting myself out there anymore.  But some people have so much self-esteem (aka they know that they are the sh*t) that no matter the amount of rejection, it doesn’t bother them.  Those lucky sons of bitches.  I truly envy them with every fiber in my being.  I have a friend who is exactly like that in every way.  She wouldn’t know how to be shy if she were being paid to do so.  I desperately need some of what she’s got ASAP.  I once sent an anonymous balloon to someone in 9th grade for Valentine’s Day.  I later found out that this person found out the balloon was from me, and gave it away to someone else.  OUCH!  Talk about a pain in the heart, my feelings and pride.  That one incident taught me a lesson, possibly not a health one though.  Never express your feelings to your crush.  Ever.  Ha!  Ha!  Seriously though if you’re actually brave enough to tell someone how you feel, go for it! It could actually work for you in a majorly good way.  In my early 20’s I had a crush on someone that I would see at all the poetry spots that I would go when living in New Orleans.  I knew that this person and I had a mutual friend, so I casual asked if this person was single.  Knowing how she was, I knew that she would want to hook me up with them.  She would bridge the gap that I myself was way too painfully shy to do myself. This person and I fell in love and dated for a while.

But what does one do when they are too shy to approach their crush, but desperately want to get to know them?  What has worked for me, has been finding someone to bridge the gap.  You want to be causal about it though because if you’re not, you’ll come off desperate.  No one, and I do mean no one, finds desperation attractive.  If finding someone to bridge the gap isn’t an option, you could always try sending an anonymous message to them.  It could help you feel this person out, without fully putting yourself on display.  I haven’t done this myself, but it’s definitely something that I would try.  But if you find yourself in the situation that I am currently in, crushing on someone who either doesn’t know you’re alive or barely does, have faith.  For me, I just put out into the universe that someday I will meet this person and we’ll hit it off swimmingly.  Yeah I just typed swimmingly.  Ha!  Ha!  I had an opportunity to meet them in October, but plans got changed and it didn’t happen.  And maybe that’s a good thing.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have been half as cool as I will be when the universe “hook us up” in the near future.