In Kentucky, we’ve had quite a bit of rainfall the past three weeks. For folks in agriculture, it has been a long three weeks of wanting to get back into the fields during a time of year meant for planting the crops and working hard.
This has been the common view out of my front windshield.
My husband, a safety specialist, insists on frequent application of his beloved Rain-X. I’m not opposed to the product—it’s just not my priority on Monday morning out the door.
The basics of Rain-X: you apply a coating to your windshield so when rain, sleet, or snow comes a falling, it acts as a barrier between your glass and those rain drops slide right off leaving your view more clear thus making the drive safer. Results show visibility improves by a full second or more—Safety Hubby loves this one.
Coating. Rain drops just glide right off. Safer, clear vision.
Here’s where we’re going.
Anyone on social media these days?
There are lots and lots of articles titled something like this:
What NOT to say to ________________________ (specific group of people)
An example of this would be this hilarious, yet so good video on behalf of adoptive families:
I can’t say I understand these comments but I’m assuming adoptive families are so appreciative of this video. While it takes a comical route, I’m sure these comments have been said and are so frustrating.
Honestly, though, I can’t keep up with all of the “What NOT to say” articles, videos, and such that exist. Popular among millenials, everyone has seemed to create a “what NOT to say” for their peeps.
And while many of these bring light to insensitivities that exist and provide an understanding of what it’s like to be among a group of people that feel midunderstood, is anyone else afraid to say anything to anyone for fear of violating one of the ten or fifteen “not to’s”?
Maybe we need a little Rain-X for the ears?
An intentional barrier that allows those comments, when insensitive or rude, to slide right on off.
“Oh and let them continue being ignorant?”, you may add? Not exactly.
Think about the description of Rain-X: Coating. Rain drops just glide right off. Safer, clear vision.
When we don’t get offended at every comment made that violates the article specific to our people group and the ten things “not to say” to us, we then have the opportunity to engage with a clear vision.
1. Assume the best:
Assume that this individual really isn’t sure what to say or didn’t mean to be hurtful. Sometimes we can be frustrated that this person hasn’t engaged with your type of people that often or ever at all. Instead of marking it as “ignorant”, assuming the best about their intentions can really help us individually be in a better spot as the conversation continues. I get it, sometimes you just KNOW that person wasn’t coming from the best spot. But by doing this, you’re ready for the next step.
Correction is ok but tone, word choice, and facials are extremely important. Ah-ha… now the responsibility also falls in our court with the conversation!
I’m not the mastermind of this, example once being a nursing mom who works outside of the home. I'll share a real life example of a work trip from last year.
Comment when trying to get into the nursing mom’s room during a work trip and finding a young, male adult napping with the room locked (note: did not take place at my company’s HQ):
Me: “Were you aware of what this room is used for?” (wrinkled forehead, harsh tone, red in face)
Him: “Yeah, I just didn’t think it was being used so I took a nap.”
Me: Shakes head, crosses arms, waits for him to exit the room. Ignorant was the word said to self.
Ok, so not a great model of this, huh?
Each opportunity is one to engage. I find this very often with the work that my company does in agriculture biotechnology. Sometimes we need to come off our high horse, stop being offended, and use the moment to engage with someone who may not have been exposed to what we do and who we are.
3. Move on:
Even if the conversation didn’t end with a lightbulb moment for the other person, move on! No need for a Facebook rant, although if you’re really worked up a text conversation with a good friend could be beneficial, especially someone who knows what you’re going through.