I find that when dealing with people disrespecting me I go one of two ways, I minimize myself and my importance and become submissive by keeping my mouth shut or I get overly aggressive and berate the person by swearing, yelling or plainly insulting them, there is no in-between.
I usually end up doing both, I stay quiet and submissive until I can’t hold in my frustration anymore and blow up. I’ve been finding that more recently, I’ve started a class that is mainly filled with older women who are parents, I’m the youngest.
The thing is it’s a big class and we’re encouraged to have discussions through “topic of the day” I find that everyone sort of tries to talk over each other but especially with me, since the first day people have been having their own conversations and trying to talk over me/interrupt me while I’m trying to say something.
My teacher seems to have noticed as well as she’s been trying to get them to be quiet while I talk but they just continue their conversations anyway! I understand it might not be a personal thing but it kind of makes me feel excluded, unwanted or like I don’t matter which hurts and makes me feel depressed.
There is also a woman working in my smaller group who doesn’t use manners when talking to me she doesn’t say “please” or “excuse me” just “Hey” and “Oi” even when I’m busy doing something. I was the most tech savvy of my group so I took on the role of typing up what the rest of my group was saying which I regret as these people seem to have no patience or courtesy; they don’t wait for me to finish one thing before trying to get me to do another and they kept talking over each other so I’m just there trying to keep up while my attention is being divided three different ways.
This may sound trivial but as a young person I feel I’m expected treat these older women with respect and listen to what they say because they’re older but they don’t listen to me or consider how they treat me so why should I respect them? Respect is a mutual thing and should not be dependent on race, gender, age, etc.
I just feel like if I started treating them the way they treat me I’ll get in trouble simply because I’m younger than them but that doesn’t mean they can treat me like their child or that my voice isn’t as valuable as theirs. I could be making too big of a deal about this but I find it frustrating.
We were taught things like saying please and thank you and not talking while another person is, in primary school, even my sister with severe autism knows she needs to use her manners but these women in my class seem to have forgotten the basics of human decency. I know it’s rude but I’ve started going on my phone during discussions because I know there’s no point in me trying to get involved because they don’t listen to me and I have no one to talk to and it’s lonely for me in that class…
Bit of a shorter and more personal post today, I just needed to get this out as I’ve just been feeling so low about this class lately, I don’t know if I should quit. I really want the qualification but I’m not sure it’s worth all this stress; maybe if we had a smaller class or I could learn more independently it might be better but I don’t know, I’m trying to get through it.
It’s not just the disrespect I’ve had to deal with but also homophobia, aggressive behaviour and talk of a triggering topic. I don’t want to give up but I just don’t know if I can complete this course without self destructing.