Effective immediately, I am formally resigning my title as the Queen of Political Correctness. It has come to my attention that through my years of life and experience, I have become tender-hearted to all those around me. I try my best to be agreeable in every situation as to not ruffle any feathers or cause unwanted and unhappy emotions. Yes, I am quite the picture sitting on my throne of contentment wearing my PC crown, and I am done.
Now before everyone gets their knickers in a twist, I want to clarify what being politically correct means to me. It’s treading lightly in most situations and carefully choosing just the right combinations of words, all in the name of being perceived as someone who is not judgmental, nosy, rude, crass, obnoxious, insensitive, or unkind. With all of that said, this pertains to situations that have room for levity or are of little consequence. There are obviously times where delicacy is necessary, but I’m not talking about those times.
How’d you get so PC?
All of this personality suffocation began in my days as a high school teacher in my pre-mom life. I would painstakingly take hours and sometimes even days to pen the perfect non-confrontational, non-judgmental, borderline-overly-enthusiastic email to parents with kids who had failing grades and bad attitudes. I became a master at finding just the right words to tip toe around the truest root issues: your kid’s lazy, your kid’s absent a lot, and your kid’s a turd. But my desire to keep my job kept my snark and honesty in check time-after-time.
Much to my dismay, this incredible skill set seeped into my personal life, as well. I am always the most agreeable person in a group because I can’t stand the idea of not making everyone in the room my friend. I want people to like me, so unless you’re being an entirely awful person, I’ll probably smile and nod and listen to everything you have to say and wait until later to complain about it behind your back. But maybe you still want to get coffee sometime?
But you’re so nice!
Being this way all the time is exhausting, especially when my inner true self is screaming to be let out. I am hyper-aware of the way I converse with people. In fact, this post alone has taken me hours to write because I don’t want to sound too dramatic. However, at heart, I am incredibly sarcastic, and I swear on a regular basis. Only my friends see that side of me because I’ve locked them in, and now they can’t get out. It’s like Hotel California; deal with it. (See? Sarcasm.)
The more depressing side effect of this political correctness is that I quite honestly don’t know which side of an argument I stand on most of the time. I’ve become so skilled at seeing both sides of an issue equally that if I were to join a debate team, I would win every single one. A point of anxiety for me is when people ask me “Would You Rather” questions. I mean, how can you choose between the beach and the city? And what if no one else agrees with me? It’s most likely going to be public shaming or total seclusion from a group. I fear putting my foot in my mouth so much that I would rather stay neutral than risk the aftermath of what could happen if I just told the truth. My truth.
Time to make changes.
This is what I’ve learned: I’m not making more friends by being overly sensitive to everyone’s feelings. It’s too hard to put on this air of constant agreeability day after day, especially when no one seems to be responding to it. There are too many other things in life I have to worry about without making fear of rejection one of them. I want to surround myself with people who can appreciate my sense of humor, who can handle some sarcasm, and who can see the person I really am deep down inside.
In the spirit of practicing what I preach, below are a handful of things I have previously conversed about in a politically correct manner and would like to take a firm stance on at this time:
- I don’t think macarons are all that. I’d rather have a regular cookie with butter in it.
- I feel that if you’re going to take part in a book club, you should read the book. If not, it would be like showing up to a hat making party and choosing to not make a hat.
- I think Steven Avery from “Making a Murderer” is innocent.
- I believe a gift card is a completely acceptable gift option. Most times it’s more appreciated than whatever scented candle you’re gifting.
- I would rather visit the beach than go to the city.
It might seem silly to make these small proclamations, but this is a step for me to show the outside world my personality. By letting go of this notion that I can’t disturb the peace with my own feelings, I’m making strides toward being a truer version of myself.