Thursday, 9 May 2013

Please stop being so sensitive!

I overheard these words on the street yesterday. Some American tourists I think, a group of young women visiting Copenhagen, complete with city maps and cameras.

One of the women was walking a few meters away from the others, and she did indeed look a bit sullen. The others ( three or four) walked close together and it was from that group I heard those words being shouted at the sullen one.

Of course I resisted my urge to ask the shouting person: If she knew how to do that, she probably would've done it long ago, don't you think?

In fact that was the reply I should have given when people told me the exact same thing. You can't ask people to stop 'being' what they are. I can't ask my son to be less odd. I can't ask myself to be more relaxed, less sensitive. It is like asking people to take off their hat, only that it isn't. We can wear traits as a hat, if we choose to. And take it off as well. If I am afraid somebody would trespass my boundaries, I'd put on aloofness as a hat. But the aloofness that is inside me is there always, and that I can't take off.

Instead of telling other people that they should stop being what they are, perhaps we should stop judging them by our own standards and instead try and embrace the heterogeneity of people and their personalities.

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