A strange thing happened to me yesterday. I’m almost embarrassed to share, but why not? A random stranger mentioned me via Twitter to let me know that there was no such thing as a “Yankee Texan”. This woman, apparently a native Texan, was apparently insulted by the mere suggestion.
I could have and should have chosen to ignore the Tweet and move on with my day. I did not. A few Tweets back and forth quickly showed me that this woman had dug her teeth in and wasn’t going to back down. A suggestion to “agree to disagree” was rebuffed. Humor was also not a response that was accepted. A hint at her bully tactics was denied but her Tweets told a different story. She informed me that she was simply “giving me knowledge of who I was, a damn Yankee.” In the end, I blocked her from my Twitter and moved on with the rest of my day.
This little exchange made me think. As I have gotten older and more self-aware, I try not to engage with these types of individuals. I have tried to learn that my identity is my identity. A random stranger cannot change that. Still, something in me wouldn’t let her comments pass. I was compelled to respond. It was not until her opinion could not be influenced that I realized the sheer insanity of the exchange.
It was as if I were back on the playground facing down the bully. Only now I am older and can fight back. Halfway through, I realized that I was giving this woman power simply by responding. That’s when I picked up my toys and left the fight. A few clicks, a blocked user and the power was back in my hands. Her opinion is her opinion. It does not change who I am. Thank God the adult took the brain back over and figured that out.