Protecting YouMar 30, 2023
The other day, I wanted to invite a new friend to do something with me but I was overwhelmed with uncertainty. The uncertainty stemmed from wanting to protect them and knowing that the people I was hanging out with may say or behave in a potentially damaging or harmful way to this person. They would do so completely without knowing or getting curious about how they may impact another. Not only did I feel protective but absolutely embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed and had to get really honest with the fact that many of my friends will justify their actions and words in their own form of protection and it will be justified because they were “kind, generous, and fair.” This has touched me so deeply that I’ve cried for days.
This is what I said:
“I’d love to hang out with you and to be honest, it feels unloving and irresponsible to bring someone that I care for (you) into a potentially emotionally harmful situation without fully understanding. My friends believe these things ______ and I understand that these beliefs can create conversations, actions, and ideas that contribute to the devaluation of human experience and can be emotionally damaging. I’m concerned that they may subtly hurt you and not understand why. I think that you should know that.”