Don't Criticize Things That Bring Other People Joy

Stop Sh*tting All Over Someone Else’s Joy

February 17, 2020 Updated February 18, 2020

stop-shitting-on-joy
Malte Muelle/Getty

You’ve heard the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, more people need to take that to heart. When sharing your opinions, specifically the ones no one is asking for, pause for a minute. Consider if voicing your opinion makes you sound like an asshole. It’s really easy to make someone feel bad with an unnecessarily judgey or mean comment. If you don’t like something, it costs nothing to just keep quiet. Don’t rain on someone else’s happiness parade.

Obviously, not everyone likes the same things. That’s great! In fact, it’s nice to have people in your life who like different things than you. What’s not nice is when someone who doesn’t like what you like has to be an asshole about it. There is never a reason to make a person feel bad about what they like because you don’t. That shit isn’t cool, nor is it necessary. If you don’t like something, there is nothing better than to just keep your mouth shut.

For much of my life, I’ve loved things that people love to make fun of. When I was younger, it bothered me that my friends would give me shit about liking things they didn’t. But as I got older, it started to affect me less. After a while you just get used to it. Doesn’t mean that I’m not bothered by it, but I’ve learned to accept it. What bothers me is that people can’t keep their mouths shut. Just because I like the musical Cats and Harry Styles, doesn’t mean you have to. All it means is you can respect that I like it. Don’t rain on my parade just because you think what I like is basic.

It doesn’t take anything to not be a jerk about what the people you know are into. Chances are they’ve already heard whatever comment could make make before. Shockingly, people are not particularly original when they’re mocking what others love. But there’s only so many times you can make fun of something before you hurt someone’s feelings.

I don’t like Star Wars or anything relating to it. Nothing about the franchise (except for Baby Yoda) appeals to me. But a ridiculous amount of people in my life are obsessed with Star Wars. They all get so excited about every facet of that fandom. Since it’s not something I’m into, it’d be easy for me to constantly shit on their love for it. But because I’m not a total douchebag, I don’t rain on their happiness. Actually, I think it’s sweet they have something they love.

Social media has given people the belief that everyone cares what you think. Having spaces like Facebook and Twitter to voice our endless stream of opinions means people are constantly seeing them. And when you’re engaging in that manner with other people’s opinions, you place more value on your own. Especially because we live in a world where we seek validation from likes. Sometimes people forget that not everyone needs to hear their hot take. Especially if it’s only invalidating someone else’s feelings.

Don’t wreak havoc on someone else’s comment section simply because it’s not something you enjoy. If you see someone’s post about You and you think the show is trash, don’t tell them that. It may make you feel like hot shit for a few minutes, but what did it accomplish? Chances are, you leaving your trash opinion just made your friend feel bad. And even if it didn’t make them feel bad, they’re likely not happy with you. They were just looking for a space to talk about something they enjoy. Maybe they’re looking to find other friends who watch a show to talk with. So don’t bring your unsolicited opinions into their space if you don’t have anything nice to say.

Really, it doesn’t cost anything to be kind. It won’t hurt you to not share your opinions if you see something you don’t like. Who cares if Susan shares a cute video of baby raccoons and you think those loveable little trash pandas are vermin? Obviously Susan loves raccoons and doesn’t need you to come in and talk about how they carry rabies. Don’t rain on Susan’s joy that only watching a video of raccoons eating bananas can bring. Why would you intentionally bring down Susan’s good mood by being a judgy-ass raincloud? Don’t be that asshole, seriously.

Here’s a novel concept: if you see something you don’t like, just keep scrolling. Yes, it feels like a ridiculous idea, but hear me out. Not everything is about you, and sometimes your thoughts are best left in your head. I don’t make the rules here, but it feels that this isn’t something that should be shocking. Keeping your opinions to yourself when they’re not being asked for isn’t hard to do. It’s only hard if you refuse to acknowledge other people’s feelings. Especially when you’re coming into their space. If you wouldn’t talk shit about that thing if you were face to face with the person you’re disparaging, don’t do it online.

It’s so easy to not be an asshole about things that aren’t directly affecting your life. Whether it be my love for Cats or Susan’s racoon videos, they’re things that spark joy. But if they don’t spark joy in you, don’t rain on our parade. You’re entitled to your wrong opinion, but keep it somewhere where I don’t have to see it. No one wants to feel attacked by their “friends” because they like something like ridiculous musicals or furry scavengers. Just let Susan enjoy her fucking trash pandas. Stop being that jerk.