"Because it's optional!"
Part of my upbringing has been that I "should" always answer people's questions. I don't know why I've grown up thinking this rule applies distinctly to me while the rest of the world has a free ride, but it was always a "rule" that bothered me. I'd answer someone's questions, and because I detest dishonesty, it'd be honest and often tread into the "personal". I'd almost wind up feeling violated by this "nice, well-meaning" person!
Well, I had an epiphany that hit me like a ton of bricks. I always used to instinctively think I had to provide an explanation for everything from "Why don't you want to eat Big Macs?" to "Why do you homeschool?". Over 39 years of upbringing had kind of made this habitual. But I do not have to!
Well, no more. Raw, in and of itself, without all the pomp and ceremony, is an attention-getter, no matter how hard I try to remain inconspicuous in social situations. When pressed in social situations, even after a polite "No thanks", I often get "Why?". Well it's clear people are looking for the "Because..." and won't quit until they do.
So.. from now own my "because" answer will be, "Because it's optional". There is nothing they could say to trump that and draw me into a conversation in which me and my food preferences become the centre of attention! People can draw their own conclusions in their own heads all they wish, as long as I get to blend in and talk music, world events, movies, community happenings like the rest of the group gets the luxury of enjoying!
(worthy of note) I have tried, and successfully used the "No thank you" over and over again, but I felt uncomfortable afterwards, because I often appeared to be like a drone who just robotically said it without any consideration. It seemed unnatural and forced. So, this "because it's optional" response would be more in tune with who I am, and satisfy the standard "Why ----> Because" formula that provides closure to a topic.
Said in a certain way that could be very funny :). It's interesting how sometimes people need to find their own way of cutting people off because, as you say, one way may not fit their personality or feel comfortable. For me, it actually depends sometimes on who it is and the situation. People can be so invasive sometimes. It can amaze what people have the nerve to say to eachother.
Glad you found your way. And welcome back!
Thank you jaurequi for your insightful response.
Questioning other people's choices has become so much the default that it seems people don't even realize they are doing it. It's normal behaviour in our society to pry into other people's personal lives. I mean, just look at the popularity of celebrity gossip sites!
To reply simply with "Because it's optional", politely whacks them over the head with the idea that they _are_ indeed (often inadvertently) infringing on someone else's choice with the seemingly innocent question of "why?". I think it could possibly plant the idea in the questioner's head that "oops, I did question this person's choice, didn't I?", thus giving them the option of changing their behaviour.
While I aim to be unselfish, kind and respectful to people, I am starting to grow up a bit, developing a straight spine, and insisting that my own choices be respected. "Because it's optional" is a 3-word way of saying "It's my choice, I made this choice, end of discussion."
I love the simplicity of it!
Well done! I'm delighted that you found the security and comfort you needed to be polite and yet resolved.
Eating raw, even vegetarian or vegan for that matter, is different enough to draw even an uncaring eye. Because I prefer to have the chicken removed from my salad usually brings the question - "are you a vegetarian?" Then that usually invites the additional discussion - ethics, religion, or health?
I have never believed that people are challenging my decisions, but moreover feel themselves challenged or judged by me. My epiphany came the day I realized that simple fact. So I say, "I've made an ethical decision not to eat meat of any kind, because it's the right thing for me. However, each individual needs to act as their conscience and/or health leads them." Your "because it's optional" has just saved me 30 words of unwanted diatribe!
Awesome. I can't wait to use that one. Except in a case where the person may really interested in the raw lifestyle. It'll sure help in restaurants and with snotty prying people.
Maraw: You do have a point. People aren't always trying to challenge for the sake of being nosy, sometimes they do indeed feel like the very act of being raw is a slam against their choices.
For me, it's not that I dislike talking about raw from time to time, nor that I dislike having the floor on any topic. It's just that for me it gets wearisome to routinely hear people say "Oh, you're raw? And mostly organic? Why?" and then have _that_ be the one-track conversation ad nauseum. And then after all is said and done, people will often remember the event as "Oh, and all Ariannah wanted to do was push her raw diet on everyone"... time has a way of warping memories and perceptions about what they heard. They'll conveniently forget that they did the "pressing".
Amberly, you're right. I don't mind discussing it when people are truly interested and their interest is piqued, but one eyeroll, and I'm outta there :)
It's interesting to study our human nature and the variations that exist among different cultures and societies.
wow i love the post you have just written.
may i also use the great phrase "because its optional?"
i was also brought up that you are honest and answering questions is what you do as its rude not to, and there are things in my life i wish not to talk about and i find constantly i am answering things i don't want to and then i feel bad as i was forced to answer what i didnt want them to know.
have you an answer for general questions like one i dont want to answer is have you any bro or sisters? and other such questions regarding family?
thank you in advance,
*thinking, can you smell the wood burning*
Originally Posted by maraw
If someone asks a yes or no question like the above "because it's optional" would not fit as an answer. What else could be used?
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
Yes, to anyone who asks, "May I use that phrase!" ... the answer is "Of course!" That's why I shared it! Use it to your heart's content in any situation or conversation where it'd apply. :)
Sharon brought up an excellent point, and yes, there is no one "stock phrase" that can work in all questions, and certainly "because it's optional" would sound odd in the phrase that Sharon quoted. (sorry to talk in the third person about you, Sharon).
If I were asked "Are you a vegetarian?" after picking chicken bits out of a salad, I would simply say "Yes", without any qualifiers.
If someone were to say "Why?" and I was not feeling up to a lengthy detailed response, a good response might be, "I get asked this a lot, and would be happy to discuss it with you at a later time. I came here to just gab about other things today".
"Oh I am so not into labels" is my typical response to these sort of questions, or I say "you know I've yet to find exactly what I am". Which in this season happens to be true due to my lack of consistency.
Originally Posted by Sharon in Colorado
I like the "because it's optional" answer, I'll have to use it where appropriate.
What gets me are the super intrusive nosey questions that people ask. Boundariless folks who ask questions about finances, relationships etc... especially when it's irrelevant to any conversation you have every had with them in the past 90 days. Like:
"How much is your house note?" WTF ( what the fruit), who goes around asking people that. Or worse than that "How much does your husband make?"
If you are not my accountant or tax preparer, then these are none of your buisness type questions.
Forum questions are different. Thread topics that question the personal stuff like finances, copulation practices, elimination, grocery cost etc.... are appropriate because the questions are more like an "optional" invitation to participate. So surely no one is going to post a Why didn't you answer me thread if folks opt out of participating.
It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, aliments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, aliments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.
Formerly lifeAgift aka RAWMamaSutra aka Nettle Rainbowfly when fasting
Thank you. Those are good answers. When asked if I'm a vegetarian, I just say yes and usually it goes no further.
Most of the time, 98% people will ask for further clarification based on true interest, yet the protein question always comes up, usually asked in a "concerned" manner.
I like what Raw Nora says "we don't need to eat protein, we need to eat amino acids"....that would probably stop the conversation cold right then and there, and then the subject can be easily changed.
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
Yes, I was raised the same way. I was also raised not to ask intrusive questions of others. Then one day it dawned on me that I was not raised to treat others the way they were allowed to treat me (regarding asking intrusive questions.) I also notice that the intrusive questioners at work have their own strong boundaries and do their best to avoid answering in kind. They are information gathering for future weaponry.
I love the "because its optional"! Maybe when feeling spunky I will alternate with "because it's political" to be followed with "well, think about it!" in the hopes that they don't ask me to do their thinking for them.
I am already tired of answering questions at work. Some seem truly curious and others say there is no way they could do this. There are many people who have lost alot of weight recently with some special diet that they are not sharing - so alot of people are watching even if they don't admit it. Weighing results on weight loss techniques. I have never been the picture of good health so I am sorry that I will probably never be a good poster child for the raw food lifestyle but maybe that will change! Meanwhile raw may be enticing to some because it is healthier and cheaper than their doctors and their mail order meals. I really don't want to get into telling others what the long term negative effects could be on their health of the weight loss techniques they are doing. And weight loss is just a side effect benefit of raw anyway so I will not promote it that way - they just ask as they see me cramming spinach into my mouth!
The "because its political" suits me well. After all, I am the one that wore a green armband with the Danish flag on it a few months ago LOL!
I'm adding "because it's optional" to my vocabulary and will use it as often as I need to. Thanks Rawandnatural!!
Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. (Robert L. Evans)
I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. (Louisa May Alcott)
Excellent idea -- 'because it's optional' -- that will help me.
Thanks for sharing.
I suppose sometimes people are asking questions to arm themselves for later hostility. You surely know your work situation better than I do. :)
Originally Posted by luckitri
But I just wanted to add that I think in general, intrusive or persistent questioners aren't really being hostile -- they're just idly curious, making conversation, etc. Some people just aren't good conversationalists or aren't good at picking up on other people's cues. :)