Sometimes it feels like we all deserve medals for just making it through the day and having to deal with people. Our lives it seems are filled with interactions with people we don’t choose to be around. Your co-workers, for example, are a great example of this. You work with them because your company hired them and hired you. That’s it. You got no say in this other than accepting a job. However, you also accepted a minimum of 40 hours a week with people you may share nothing in common with, who you may not “vibe” well with or who possess a variety of unpleasant characteristics seemingly designed to irk your soul.
Let that sink in.
In order to support ourselves and our families we are forced into spending the majority of our time every week with people we are not choosing for their personalities or companionship. A major side effect to this is having to execute job functions effectively even if you’re spending a significant amount of time handling how annoyed one or more of your co-workers makes you feel. This delicate balancing act can sometimes feel like too much to bear. I’m speaking from experience here.
I’m a self-realized and self-proclaimed selectively social introvert. I am also an empath. (For information on what an empath is, click here.) I literally absorb the feelings and emotions of those around me like some super-absorbent human sponge. For years prior to me figuring out that I was an empath I had severe anxiety when it came to relating to other people and would frequently feel completely drained after forced interactions with people at work. I now have developed some coping tools to “protect my energy” so to speak but am aware that there have been times when even the best of those tools failed me.
For example, at one of my jobs there was a twenty something, slightly rough around the edges chic who just couldn’t seem to wrap her head around the fact that I don’t easily fit into carefully constructed stereotypes, specifically regarding how I speak. I have a vast vocabulary mostly due to my love of reading but am also fluent in so-called Ebonics and what I like to call “Phill-ease” which is the adopted spoken language of people in my beloved hometown, Philadelphia, PA. It is not uncommon to hear me use the words “boul” or “jawn” intermingled with so-called “proper” English. This particular co-worker decided one day to confront me not only about my use of proper English but also about whether or not I was actually black because of it! Inappropriate? Definitely. Offensive? Very much so. But though I initially was very irked by her commentary, after reflecting a bit I learned a very valuable lesson.
In keeping with with my spiritual/ metaphysical belief system that I’ve adopted over the past couple years it became clear to me that the only reason my soul was so irked by this girl’s overt rudeness was because she was casting judgement on me based on her own perception of the world and how she thinks people in it should be. I’ve previously written about perception and its importance and found in this particular situation that I needed to revisit a few things. I can’t control how she recognizes, discerns and understands the people and things she experiences. Her life and the experiences she has are all based upon what she has been through so far, what she has come to know so far and what she has seen so far. I realized that in my getting upset about her judging me I was in fact judging her for not having encountered anyone like me before and acting accordingly. After that realization it became increasingly easy to deal with her.
In my co-worker I recognized judgement because I was in fact judging her. That uncomfortable feeling I got when she questioned the way I speak was simply me recognizing judgement. If judging people was not familiar to me as something I have a tendency to do, I would be unable to recognize it. Just like if you saw a stranger you’ve never seen before, you wouldn’t recognize them but if you see someone you know or saw in passing before they would look familiar. In my mind the judgement was “Only someone bored with their own life and ignorant would care about how I talk. Or she’s just stupid and mad that I speak better than she does.” The fact is, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day I still speak the way I do and it still is baffling to her. When the judgement is taken away on my part what is left is the understanding that I could have avoided being irritated by simply remembering that we truly only recognize in others that which we recognize in ourselves.
Speaking of recognizing…
Does anyone else recognize how dope this song is?
The 90’s vibe to it, and that Shai “If I Ever Fall In Love” sample OH EM GEE! LOVE!!!
And since we’re talking about the 90’s I have a quick rant. I am a HUGE fan of “Golden Era” Hip Hop. Anyone who knows me well can certainly attest to this, specifically when it comes to my love of The Wu. Golden Era Hip Hop had a huge impact on me growing up as a music fan and a “femcee” and I still blast many a 90’s rap song on the daily. However, that does not mean that I am what one of my friends refers to as a music snob.
What’s a music snob? From what I understand specifically as it pertains to Hip Hop it is a person who gives no “ear” to anything outside of the era they consider to be the greatest, who complains about the current state of music without even having heard any of it and who constantly reminds the younger generations that their music is crap. The most interesting thing I have found when dealing with music snobs is that if you happen to know a lot of the music or artists they like they automatically assume you to be as “close-eared” as they. For a person like me who has varied musical tastes this is often a problem.
I have been rapping since I was 12. To say that Rap/ Hip Hop is a very big part of my life is an understatement but if it were the only genre I listened to I would more than likely go crazy. When something sounds good to me it just does and I don’t care what era, what genre or what artist the music is from. So if it bothers you that I can go from this…
…. Then you’re just gonna have to be bothered!
And even though I’m sure my music snob friends would be offended, I most certainly like this…
Nothing makes me feel more equipped to get into work and get my money than Trap Music. So yeah, Future is definitely limited as a lyricist and I’d be lying if I said I understood half the words he says most of the time but nonetheless this is my “Walk Into Work Ready To Go” song. Criticize me if you will, but remember what judgement is? Yeah a reflection on you!
I hope anyone impacted by this incoming inclement weather stays safe, warm and dry! I’m signing of with a “Namaste” and one of my favorite Raekwon songs. I wish you peace, love, light and joy!