April 26, 2024   growth skills

Don’t argue for your limitations

Sometimes when I try to explain possibilities beyond the limitations someone sees as real, they will become defensive & accusatory. “You don’t understand how limiting this limit really is!!”. Sometimes this takes the form of, “You are privileged; you don’t get it; you don’t have to suffer this limit, so you can’t possibly understand it”.

I usually walk away from these conversations just feeling sad. It’s not that I disagree that privilege is a real social phenomenon–of course it is. But that doesn’t mean people are helpless, and it doesn’t mean there are no possibilities to work around the way society is set up. Two things can be true–life can be unfair, and you can still make the best of your life. But if you argue for your limitations, you are making them more real, not less.

This usually boils down to an unmet need for validation, but limiting yourself to prove you have been limited is a costly strategy to employ. You can validate the suffering you’ve experienced without staying in it. “This sucks, and I’m moving forward anyway.”

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