I overhead the the franchise CEO at my real estate brokerage firm tell someone I was a broker’s assistant. I’m actually the marketing manager of the group. I was upset that he did not know that. I mentioned this to my co-worker and she told me I should not care and it doesn’t matter. It matters to me. I am upset because several people in the office also thought that I was an assistant. Instead of asking what I do, it was assumed. There is nothing wrong with being an assistant, but when I am not that position, why should I claim it?
Why are we dismissive with people? People filter through their minds other people’s expression and instead make it what they want. We need to stop doing that. Things matter to people. We can respect that, even if we don’t agree with it. We also don’t need to share our opinion when it isn’t asked.
Similar thing happened on a radio show this morning. A woman called in and said one of their segments was highly offensive because the DJ jokingly said, Hitler was not so bad. She proceeded to say, this was poor in taste, even as a joke, because of all the Anti-Semitic hatred that has been in the news. She mentioned that she listens to their show every morning and knows they were making a joke but this was not the time for it. The morning show personalities listened to her and acknowledged her concern. They said they try to joke about things because the world is scary and want to take the power away from racism and bigotry. Another caller spoke right after her, a man, who said the caller was too sensitive and needed to relax. This second caller was a white man who has probably never experienced what BIPOC people endure daily. Here it is again, someone dismissing the problem because they never experienced it or care to acknowledge it is even a problem. Thankfully, the DJ cut him off and told him he was out of line.
I have done this countless times, too. To my husband, my child, to others. It is not okay. But, I’m learning and hope to give them space for it.
Image: Clare Rojas, 2022 painting at OCMA in Orange County, CA
photo credit: Kellie Cross
One thought on “Stop Telling People What They Want Doesn’t Matter”
the opposite of dismissiveness is validation? Validation for how we feel by the person, even tho they may disagree. Then even with opposing views, a normal discussion can follow.