Last night a friend of mine really upset me. I know it wasnâ€™t intentional, but she said something that sent me reeling with anger and hurt for hours.
The thing is, she didnâ€™t know the comment she made was going to push one of my buttons, and Iâ€™m sure if she had known, she wouldnâ€™t have said it. None of us know 100% what kind of effect things we say will have on our friends and other people we come across in our day to day lives. More often than weâ€™d like we manage to hurt and insult people, and for the most part, I think weâ€™d rather avoid that.
With our close friends, we get to know what kinds of things we should avoid bringing upâ€”someoneâ€™s ex boyfriend, someone elseâ€™s parentsâ€™ divorce, problems with alcohol, etcâ€”but with strangers or new acquaintances, itâ€™s easier to accidentally step on a landmine. This is especially true when dealing with people who come from really different backgrounds from our own. Comments that you might not give a second thought to can be seen as downright offensive, and sometimes a simple curiosity about a life thatâ€™s so different from your own can come off as nosiness or voyeurism.
This week on MJL weâ€™re featuring an amazing article by the very talented Aliza Hausman, of Memoir of a Jewminicana about the Dos and Donâ€™ts of talking to converts. This is an issue that I know Iâ€™ve struggled with before. If you know someone has converted, itâ€™s hard to know whatâ€™s appropriate to ask, and whatâ€™s just none of your business. Alizaâ€™s article helps clear a lot of these issue up, and reminds me to loosen up, and always remember to welcome converts to the Tribe. Check it out.