This post neither endorses nor admonishes of any political figure. The clothing items I’m wearing were borrowed for the purpose of testing my insecurities around judgement and politics.
I’ve been dreading this challenge since day 1. And I’m scared like hell!
Since I find this challenge incredibly stressful, I’m going to lessen the blow by making two adjustments. In this way, I’ll move closer to my “Optimal Anxiety” sweat spot. In the future, I can repeat the challenge, unaltered. These two adjustments are training wheels for the real challenge:
- I’m going to wear a MAGA Hat and Bernie shirt at the same time. If people see I’m wearing two (generally considered) opposing views, they might be curious rather than reactive.
- I’m going to hangout with friends. But some of these friends are not close with me. Some are really politically opinionated. So, it will still be challenging
I’m still incredibly nervous even with the training wheels.
What I’m afraid of, aka Failure Bingo:
- My friends will make assumptions about my political views
- People will think I’m their enemy.
- My friends will be uncomfortable around me.
- I’ll feel the need to explain myself
- I’ll be extra self conscious and come off desperate
- A stranger might see me on the street walking to my friends place and say something mean.
- Someone I know could see me on my way to my friends house and judge me
- My friends will get into an argument with me.
- My friends will disapprove even if they know it’s an experiment.
What Is Your Meat?
The stoics say that only a stoic sage can be a true friend. Instead, most of us are more like puppies than friends. Playful and loving. Until you throw meat in the cage. Then the puppies are at each other’s throats. You have to ask yourself, what is your meat?
For a lot of people, it’s politics.
Politics isn’t my meat, but I’m highly highly sensitive to the meatiness it holds with others. And so, I’m very paralyzed by the idea that someone will dislike me for a political view.
I’m more nervous about the MAGA hat. Many people make ruthless assumptions and judgements about Trump supporters. But I’m also nervous about the Bernie shirt because people have yelled at me for defending socialism, even if I was only playing devils advocate. And I cried!
How Did It Go
As soon as I walked in to the room full of friends, I felt awkward. However, within a few minutes, a friend figured out that I was doing a challenge. The jig was up!
To further push myself, later I went on a walk wearing the Trump hat to 7-Eleven. Nobody said anything, but I was still nervous and self-conscious.
In the end, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Which in hindsight seems pretty obvious. It was only a small group of friends, what were people going to do? And some of them know about my discomfort challenges anyways.
Then again, who knows what people said behind my back.
Still, the idea of repeating the challenge in the big leagues scares me! Walking around with the MAGa hat on a college campus would be another level of discomfort. Worse even, to wear it at a party, because I couldn’t run away.
What do you think of this challenge? Would you try it?