Welcome to my latest vent post. If you’re not up for some mid-twenties angst, you should probably just skip this one.
These 5 things range from mildly annoying to actually offensive – though I am rarely personally offended, I am often annoyed. If you feel like saying the following things to someone you know (or barely know…or don’t even know) maybe think twice before you do.
1. “Everyone has anxiety”
Ah yes, the classic. I am definitely not the first person to complain about this one, and hopefully not the last. Because, seriously, this is probably the one that annoys me the most. Do more people have anxiety disorders than the past? Maybe – but more people definitely speak out about them. Which is great! Does everyone feel depressed or anxious or stressed out at some point in their lives? Absolutely
But guess what, no, everyone does not have anxiety. Feeling anxiety and having anxiety are not the same thing. Here, if you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe statistics. The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and of that, only 5% experience anxiety disorders (ranging from mild-severe). Yeah 20% is still a lot, and I wish the number was a lot lower. But that is not even close to the majority, and the number is significantly smaller when you look at anxiety disorders alone. So, please. Stop this nonsense.
2. “Your dog is great practice for when you have kids!”
You will not believe how many times people have said this to me and my husband. Yeah, I mean, it is true. When we first brought Max home, we had to wake up multiple times a night to take him to pee, wake up early in the morning to feed and play with him, we couldn’t leave him home alone for longer than 2 hours at a time, and every time we visited family we had to lug all of his dog stuff with us. He tied us down and we had to step up our responsibility game. But…who said we’re having kids?!
What if I’m infertile? As far as I know, I’m not. But what if I was or what if you said that to someone who just found out that they could never have biological children and has been struggling to keep it together and then you go and say that to them? Or, what if I just don’t want to have kids? There’s nothing wrong with that – maybe we’ve decided to live our life child-free. Why do you assume that just because I’m married, I plan on having kids? Right now, my husband and I go back and forth between wanting kids and wanting more dogs (well, the dogs thing is really just me). Most likely, we will, eventually. But that’s not for anyone else to assume.
3. “If you just throw-up, you’ll feel better.”
The people who say this to me must not understand what a phobia is. A phobia is an irrational fear. I am irrational when I panic about vomiting. So, telling me that my stomach will feel better if I vomit – doesn’t matter. The logic has left. Vomiting = worse than death (and I’m not exaggerating there, when I think I’m about to throw-up, I would literally rather be dead).
If you are surrounded by spiders but are terrified of spiders, and the only way to get rid of the spiders is to swim through a lake full of spiders, someone telling you “just swim through the lake of spiders, you’ll feel better!” is probably not going to change the way you feel about spiders.
4. “Working from home is not really working.”
I’ve been working from home for a total of 7 months now (woo!) I love my job, it’s in my field, I work with great people, and I get to write and do graphic design work for a living. All from home. Yes! My dream! I am also not stupid. I know there are perks of working from home. I can take a 20 minute break to walk my dog, or eat a snack, or watch an episode of my favourite TV show and no one will say anything to me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not working, and it definitely doesn’t mean I’m not working hard at my job!
Working from home requires a lot of self-control and self-regulation. I will admit, there have been weeks, especially when I first began, that I procrastinated my first few days away and then had to CRAM all my work into Thursday and Friday and it totally sucked. I am only part-time right now, so it was actually possible to get all my stuff done, but if I was full-time, that could have caused major issues! Personally, working from home is a lot easier than working at an office for me because of my mental and physical health issues. However, for all the people who tell me that working from home is barely working, I have an equal number of people telling me that they could never work from home because they lack the motivation or because they need the social aspect. All jobs, and all job environments, have their pros and cons.
5. “Happy wife, happy life.”
Since being married, I have heard this phrase exactly ten thousand times. A bit of an exaggeration, but it feels that way sometimes. I HATE the idea that men have to do all the pleasing or otherwise “face the consequences.” Likewise, I also hate the phrases “in the doghouse” because it always refers to men (a.k.a dogs?!) being punished by their wives, and “the old ball and chain” referring to men being tied down by their wives, “training” your husband, etc.
Why can’t it just be, happy marriage, happy life? Because I aim to make my husband happy too. I want to be as supportive and loving and caring to him as he is to me! I naturally have a stronger, more opinionated personality than my husband (mostly it’s because of my emetophobia that stops me from being easy-going) and so oftentimes, we end up doing things “my way” because my husband is easy-going and I am…not. At all. But that isn’t something I’m proud of – it’s actually something I’ve been trying to CHANGE! I hate the whole “husband/man as a dog/child/incompetent fool” who needs to be punished and trained. In our marriage, we BOTH strive to put the other person first and make each other happy.
So, there you have it. The top five things you should probably stop saying. Period.