Did you know that your hobbies and interests are subject to review by a jury of Reddit users with ugly neckbeards, elderly people with control issues, coworkers who think the whole world is a high school, and countless others? No? Good, because they aren’t, and you’re allowed to like whatever you like.
Unfortunately, a lot of people miss that memo. A shocking number have quite a lot of shit to say about the food, movies, games, etc. that others love, and if you’re not sure which rude busybodies I’m referring to, let me break down a few examples for you.
The snobby film buff
Wearing glasses fatter than Andrew Petter’s wallet and sweltering under that quirkily mismatched infinity scarf-vest combo, his voice echoes every time you turn on Mean Girls: “You obviously don’t know real movies.”
Um, no, I just have concerns beyond who had the deepest and artsiest cinematography or who’s closest to your vision of “Hollywood in its prime,” such as. . . enjoying myself. I’m not following the crowd by preferring pop culture icons over whatever obscure ‘60s movie you pulled out of your ass to prove your heightened taste. I’m just appreciating that film quality comes in a lot of varieties.
Overly conservative parental figures
No, playing Grand Theft Auto won’t instantly transform me into a delinquent. No, your kid didn’t become a sexual deviant because I introduced them to Spring Awakening, or because they like trashy magazines. On that note, if you are not, in fact, my parent, then I don’t know why you’d think you have any right to tell me what I can and can’t spend my time on, or to place any moral judgment on me.
Even if you are, please trust that you probably raised a good child, and that the world won’t flip inside-out if they consume some media you don’t agree with. If they trust you enough to be open with you about their interests, please return that, and let them be their own people.
The bigoted greaser in the fedora
People who think you can’t like, or must like, a piece of art due to your particular arrangement of gender, sexuality, or race are the enemy. These people might not tell you to your face that they feel that way, but you can see it in their attitudes: girls can’t like comics and still be feminine, straight boys can’t like magical girl anime, and all Asian people listen to K-pop.
This isn’t just being a dick; it’s outright discrimination and ignorance. Also, your 30-plus-year-old ass doesn’t get to tell me I’m ‘too young’ to ‘really appreciate’ Neon Genesis Evangelion until you lay off the friendship-wielding ponies.
The health nut
If you think you can change my diet when I, living in my own body, haven’t — think again. Other people’s eating habits can be a sensitive topic, and unless you really know what the other person is okay with and have a very legitimate reason for worry, it is absolutely not your job to micromanage them.
There are more categories than these for sure, and, not everyone who seems to fit the above descriptions is really malicious. I’m also not saying you can’t speak honestly about disliking what others love. But be aware of the line between sharing your feelings and crapping all over somebody else’s.
Ultimately, use your common sense and don’t be a colossal asshole when there’s zero interest in your rude opinion.