Healing From The Herpes Criticism with Alexandra Harbushka
Life With Herpes
Herpes jokes, are they funny?
Well yes, they can be funny but they’ve gone too far. It also is a time for us to reflect and think that there’re times when we say a funny joke or comment it can be offending someone even though it was never our intention. We can use this as a time to reflect. But back to the degrading herpes jokes throughout the media or from our social groups. They can make us, people living with herpes, feel uncomfortable and even worse, like scum. We’ve all laughed at them before we had herpes. Right? I mean, #guilty. But now that we are the brunt of the joke it’s not funny and even infuriating. Here are some ways you can put the flame out without advertising that you have herpes.
- Consider who you are talking to and what the consequences are. So, in other words, is this a boss, is this a group of peers, are they complete strangers. The differed settings will have different consequences and of course, will require you to change your tone or ammo.
- Don't assume - the person may not have meant it in an offensive way. Or they may not have even put any thought about it. We’ve all said that “oops did I just say that” comment and it truly came out wrong. This could have been the situation. As the old saying goes, ASSUME makes an Ass Out of You and Me! Ask questions to go deeper.
- Don't fire back with fire - comments like you’re an asshole or that was a dush thing to say is not the right way to approach it. In other words be careful about calling people out until you know the story. If you lead with fire you’re going to get fire, it’s a simple law of physics. Every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
- Explain how you feel about the comment. If you don’t speak up then you’re saying without saying it’s ok for you to make fun or say degrading comments. Use the words “I feel” because nobody can criticize your feelings. People can criticize you with “I didn’t like it” or “ you’re wrong for saying that” or “what a jerk” that’s tee-ball for someone to just lay into you. If you talk about your feeling nobody can argue with how you fee.
- Ask questions about it - Ask the person why they thought it was funny or why they thought it was a good idea to say those things. This way it’s a way to remove the “assume” and start understanding where they are coming from. You never know when you’re going to get with asking questions. Oh and. “I don’t know” isn’t an answer so keep digging for an answer.
- Educate them - So in this particular situation with herpes, it would be great to let them know that 2 out of 3 people have HSV 1 and 1 out of six have HSV 2 so looking at it statistically you probably offended the majority of the room with your joke. You can use facts to educate and break the stigma. Letting them know that herpes is a stigma and all it is a little skin disease.
By integrating these steps into your life for conflict resolution you’ll begin to see uncomfortable situations as an opportunity for you to stand up for yourself and grow. These are great tips for really any uncomfortable situation, joke or disagreement. You can be a fighter without offending other or telling the world that you have herpes. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. Let me know. Xoxo, Alexandra
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