So before I start my series on Living Deliberately, I wanted to talk about something that is far too common with online communications.
I want to talk about Yum Yucking.
What is this? Well, I have no idea who coined the phrase but Yum Yucking is, quite literally, the act of telling someone that something they like isn't good enough to like in the first place.
For instance, if you're out to eat with a friend and you order sushi
they might look at you and say, "Ug, how can you eat that? It is so
awful. I've never tried it but I just can't imagine eating that!" This,
my friends, is yucking someone's yum. Telling someone what they like is
capital-B.A.D. doesn't foster communication, it shuts it down. Why would
you continue having a conversation with anyone when you now wait for them to have a negative comment about everything you like?
I've known Yum Yuckers my entire life. When I was in college I listened to a lot of Tori Amos. Some of my so-called friends would constantly tell me "I don't know how you could like her - her music isn't any good." I never once thought, "Wow, they're right. This music sucks!" What it really made me want to do was never talk to them again.
What is horrid to you is delightful to someone else. Taste is subjective and your opinion on the matter doesn't make it universally bad.
This most certainly applies to conversations within the tiny house community. At an event not too long ago I was showing photos of our house when someone exclaimed, "Oh, how ugly! Why would you decorate your house in green?"
Most of the the time I just smile and move on but this time I looked at them and said, "Because I like green. If you don't like green that's fine. If you build your own house you don't have to use any green."
I was kind of surprised when they were taken aback. "Did that comment offend you?" they asked. Well, yes, it did. What purpose does it serve to tell me that the thing I like is bad?
I know some suggest that we should "grow a thicker skin" to deal with these kinds of comments. And while this can help our blood pressure stay lower in general it doesn't actually solve the problem. In truth, I don't need to listen to negative comments about the things I like. I strive not to say similar comments to people I care about even if I don't share their taste. I recognize that we enjoy different things. I might like sushi and you don't. I like green and you don't. There are any number of things that you might like that I don't prefer.
Let's recognize these differences and focus on the things we do share.Let's all make a conscious effort not to yuck anyone else's yum.