Today I would like to talk about something very close to my heart – simple respect.
First of all, as many of you know, I suffer from severe anxiety. I overthink and sometimes I get so anxious, that my body feels weak. While I’m smart enough to know that nothing is wrong with me physically, that does not stop my body from going through the motions.
I am ashamed to say, that sometimes, feeling weak due to my anxiety causes me to sit down in inconvenient places – on the floors in restaurants, in stairwells when I was going to school (not actually on the steps themselves, but the landing in between), etc. I hate this! It’s embarrassing and I know what an inconvenience it is for others, as well as for myself. With that being said, I am not able to just snap my fingers and make my anxiety vanish without a trace. I wish I could, but I can’t. Also, I think that people around someone struggling should be understanding. If they don’t know how to help, fine, but they shouldn’t go out of their way to make things more difficult.
Let me give you an example. Today I went to a restaurant and became extremely anxious. I had to sit down on the floor. Am I proud of this? No. Am I embarrassed? Yes. People stared. While I didn’t like that, I understood. As human beings, we’re curious and me sitting there looking panicky probably seemed strange. Fine. However, one of the workers at this particular restaurant gave me an extremely dirty look and was very rude.
I understand that what I did was not appropriate or proper. I understand that sitting on the floor at a restaurant is not what is perceived as normal. Like I said, I’m extremely embarrassed. Even so, I do not think I deserve to be treated the way I was. I was not disruptive to any of the customers (I quietly sat down and waited about a minute before I could get back up) and other than people staring, I did not cause a big scene.
If you are reading this and you work at a business where you are around a lot of people, please remember to be kind and considerate. You may not understand what someone is going through, but that does not mean that they do not deserve your respect. Also, if you want to ask someone nicely to please try harder to get through their struggles, do so nicely. Trust me when I say that it is hard enough for someone to go through something difficult without others making them feel even worse than they already do.
If you would like advice on how to be kinder to those around you, please do not hesitate to ask. Also if you see someone struggling and want to help, but don’t know how, please ask them in a polite matter. Sometimes just trying your best to be kind can make all the difference.