Over the past couple of weeks due to awful events that have happened in the world, many of us have been worried about saying “the wrong thing” for fear of who we might offend and what people might think.
If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I don’t usually write about political or heavy issues…and don’t worry I’m not going to start now. Instead I’m just going to write about my experiences of saying “the wrong thing”, starting with this week.
So, Tuesday I got up at my usual time, but waking up to grey rainy weather I didn’t feel my usual energetic self. I still went on my run and got dressed up in my finest stay at home fashion attire, but when I got home I was definitely lacking my usual Ali positive productivity.
Things went from bad to worse when after months of waiting, I FINALLY got a text from my hairdressers. Now, this should have left me ecstatic, unfortunately the text was a link to an online booking site…a broken online booking site.
Four attempts in, a tired, slightly hormonal, Ali, in desperate need of hi lights, was not in a good place. It was at this point that an energetic , positive, not hormonal, Stuart came in. Seeing me getting me upset he firstly said “why you going getting so upset over just booking a hair appointment “ wrong thing to say number one. “Have you tried exiting it and opening it again “ as I was on my fourth attempt this was not helpful and wrong thing to say number two. “Does it really matter what your hair looks like anyway, no one sees it now.” As someone who has not been blessed by god with beautiful natural blonde hair, after my wedding, a hair appointment has probably been the biggest thing I’ve been looking forward to, so this was definitely wrong thing to say number three.
It was at this point Stu saw the red in my eyes and said a right thing and suggested why don’t we put the phone down and go for a walk and try the hairdressers later.
Thankfully, after a walk some fresh air and a nice talk with the sweet old lady we met in Coop, I’d managed to calm down and put my hair problems into perspective. I was still desperate for a hair appointment but I also knew Stu was only trying to help … despite saying the “wrong thing.” By the time it got to the evening I got a message from the hairdressers apologising about their online booking platform and after speaking to a person I was then finally able to make my appointment and all was right with the world.
Another time I remember feeling like people always said the “wrong thing” was back when I was single. Now, anyone that has been single over the age of 25 will know what it’s like to go to a dinner party or family function and have people ask you “so why are you single?” Looking back even though it might seem like a bit of a random question, I guess it should just be taken as a compliment as they are genuinely curious and it’s just an easy thing to ask. Anyway, whatever response I’d say “oh I haven’t met the right person” “oh I’m not looking for anyone right now” it was almost impossible for people to say the “right thing” back. If they’d say “oh I’m sure you’ll meet someone you’re amazing” I’d feel like 1. Are you psychic? 2. Do I have to meet this person to be happy because as a single person I’m obviously not enough 3. If I’m so amazing, what am I doing wrong to make me not meet this person? – please note, I understand this is a lot of thoughts to go through in response to someone just making small talk.
On the flip-side, if I met people at parties and I told them I was single and they said you’ll never meet anyone, I can’t imagine I would have felt that great either – thankfully no one said the latter.
Now, please don’t think for one second I’m comparing me getting upset about Stuart saying the wrong thing when I’m feeling hormonal or a relative at a party questioning my relationship status to the issues we are currently facing in the world! However,looking back on both these experiences as someone who is rested, less hormonal (and most importantly has a hair appointment booked) it’s so easy to say the “wrong thing” and as much as it’s so important to work hard not to upset anyone, it’s equally important to realise that sometimes people might say the wrong thing when all they are trying to do is understand.