One of the many joys—do you hear my sarcasm?—of being so connected through all of the thriving social networks of our day is that we know just how negative a conversation between an animal-loving vegan and a bacon-loving troll can get and just how fast it can get there.
Digital interactions make it a little easier to look away and not participate in the negativity, but holiday parties and in-person gatherings make it harder to avoid uninformed questions that border on offensive. Enter Holiday Wellness Tip #4, the final of our series: Up your comeback game!
By this we don’t mean to prepare yourself to take it to the next negative level should you be asked questions that you deem asinine. Actually, we think that the best approach this holiday season is to change what you’re hearing and frame your response around what’s really being said. Read on for some examples:
When they say: “Plants have feelings, too” or “Think of all the bugs your salad kills!”
You should hear: “I’m not interested in relating to someone who thinks they’re better than I am.”
You should say: “I’m not perfect, but I’m focused on making choices that do the least harm possible.” Use this as an opportunity to connect with this person and to help them realize just how big of an impact can be made by just taking a small step towards more compassionate living.
When they say: “But don’t you miss bacon?” or “I would go vegan but I love cheese too much!”
You should hear: “I can’t relate to you because you must not have the same feelings about food as I do.”
You should say: “I grew up on the same comfort foods. I was surprised by how much better I felt when I swapped them with plant-based, healthier alternatives!” Our friends may not realize that you didn’t necessarily lose a taste for meat and animal products, but your values are more important to you than those cravings. Oh, yea and there’s all of these amazing vegan products that keep your plate far from empty and your umami cravings satisfied.
When they say: “Where do you get your protein?” or “What do you eat?”
You should hear: “I want to know more.”
You should say: “So many delicious things. Have you tried this dish that I brought to the party?” The key to interactions that start like this is don’t take offense! Even if the Q is asked with a sarcastic tone, it’s in your power to take it as a request for more information from someone who just hasn’t had the pleasure of being introduced to our world yet.
What kinds of questions are you fielding so far this holiday season? What’s your approach for staying positive through it all? Share in the comments below.