Disclaimer: This post is not intended to berate anyone, I just want to introduce you to a new way of thinking.
This weekend was spent in the Fort Worth area of Texas. We met up with a dozen and a half friends and painted the town red. We witnessed the marriage of our friends Paul and Heather, and experienced probably everything Fort Worth has to offer (at least the best stuff!). Throughout the trip I noticed multiple people remarking how one of our friends “couldn’t drink because she is pregnant” and this type of speech irks me considerably but I was never before able to put my finger on exactly why.
When you say that somebody cannot do something, it takes the personal responsibility off of their shoulders, which I think belittles them. If I were pregnant and somebody told me I “couldn’t drink” I would lash out and say (respectfully, of course) “I have the capability to drink. If I bring this glass to my lips, would not the spirits easily pass down my throat? I am choosing not to drink for the health of my baby.” Something along those lines. And I feel that our friend deserves the same respect for her commendable decision.
When it comes to eating out in restaurants, how many times have you heard “I will get the salad, because I am on a diet”. Or “no dessert for me, I am on a diet.” It must be that people are ashamed to refuse dessert or eat healthy just because they want to! I have broken this habit a long time ago. It is just as easy to say “I’ll have the salad because that sounds delicious”, or “no dessert for me please” (you don’t need an excuse).
Next time you find yourselves belittling your or others’ decisions with excuses, try and think of another way to word it that praises people for their healthy decisions. If we keep feeling ashamed in this way, it will only hurt us as a society.