Have a Blessed Day

This weekend I learned that if you bring up this phrase when I am with a group of family and friends I will start spouting, and all the people that love me will just giggle at my sudden passionate outburst.

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I do have a (possibly irrational) extreme negative reaction to this phrase. I have traditionally defended myself by saying I think it is a subtle yet pervasive form of prosthelytizing. While I do think this is true, I think it is not the true reason I get so unbelievably fussed about the whole thing. I have been analyzing my feelings for a couple of weeks, ever since I had this conversation (as close as I can remember it):

Me (to guy on corner every day): Hey, how are you?
Guy on corner: Good, how are you?
Me: I’m well
Guy: Have a blessed day
Me (turning around to say something after months of this interaction): Can I tell you something?
Guy: Sure
Me: It really bothers me when you tell me to have a blessed day
Guy: Why?
Me: It seems presumptuous and a little condescending, like you are assuming you know what kind of day I need more than I do
Guy: Oh, that is not what I mean
Me: OK, what do you mean
Guy: I mean I want you to have a blessed day
Me: Maybe I don’t want to be blessed by your god
Guy: But I want you to have a good day
Me: Then tell me to have a good day

Now every day I get a very pointed “Have a good day”. I wish he would stand somewhere else.

When I tell most friends about this pet peeve (aside from the group that giggles at me) I am told that I am being too sensitive. I should apparently just take the good intentions of the well wishes and move on. That being an apparently unattainable goal for me, I am trying to at least know myself better and understand why my shoulders tense and I grit my teeth.

List of possible reasons:
1) Prosthelytizing (inherently bothersome to me). Even more so, I kind of feel it is an especially emotionally manipulative sort, because people mean well.
2) Assumption that others share your belief. It seems to just alienate people.
3) Presumption that you know better than I do what kind of day I need. It feels patronizing and condescending.

Well, writing that down made it clear that it really is #3 that irks me so. The first two are most assuredly negative things in my world, but man, if someone talks down to me I just fill with seething anger.

Also, I liked this person’s write up on the issue. They may have written it all better than I.

Feel free to disagree, to come up with other reasons it is annoying, whatever floats your boat. Personally, I am happy to have clarified a bit of my thinking.

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7 thoughts on “Have a Blessed Day

    • Oh yay! Thank you! Has kind of been ‘do I like this and want to keep doing it’? This morning I decided I am actively enjoying writing, your comment makes me feel good about that decision.

  1. #3 runs in your family, babe. Remember last year we determined that Shep doesn’t like holidays because he doesn’t like the calendar scheduling how he’s supposed to feel? And your mother’s long standing policy of being in bed by 10:30 at night on New Year’s Eve for pretty much the same reason?

  2. I think your money would be far better spent on therapy instead of crafts or wherever you put your discretionary income. I find people who are pissed of by, make assumptions about, or need to analyze a wish of goodwill to someone – whether it’s “Happy Holidays” “Merry Christmas” “Happy Hannukah” or “have a blessed day” have far more issues that the one sharing the greeting.

    • Ooh, my first negative comment, awesome! Sadly, therapy costs way more than yarn.
      In seriousness though, I strongly believe in the power of examination, of self reflection, and of conversation. The more *we* as people are willing to have respectful conversations of our differences the better and more understanding our world will be. Civil discussions about how we feel and how things affect us are worth having.

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