What is personal preference?
Well if you Google personal preference, you will find that there is actually no definition for personal preference. So you have to break the term down, taking each word separately.
Preference as defined on merriam-webster.com states the following: a) : the act of preferring : the state of being preferred; b) the power or opportunity of choosing – 1) one that is preferred, 2) the act, fact, or principle of giving advantages to some over others, 3) priority in the right to demand and receive satisfaction of an obligation.
Personal as defined on merriam-webster.com states the following: 1) of, relating to, or affecting a particular person : private,individual <personal ambition> <personal financial gain> 2) a : done in person without the intervention of another; also :proceeding from a single person
So according to the abovementioned, Personal Preference is my personal ability to choose what I prefer. Why the sudden interest in Personal Preference you ask, why write about the subject? Most people know what that means so what’s up?
Well, I had an experience today that was all about “personal preference, “my” personal preference. I signed up for a social media site, and made it clear on my “personal wall” that if you are unwilling to share with me who you are, and what your beliefs are, then please do not bother sending me a friend request, because I will not accept it. I can tell you that this one statement, this one honest “personal preference,” statement caused several individuals to become annoyed. I received such comments as, “some of us don’t want to share much information in public. Just saying.” Now mind, that comment is not angry, and I did not respond in an angry manner. Okay perhaps calling the individual “pet” was a bit sarcastic! It’s one of my not so attractive qualities; I can be very sarcastic at times, especially when I perceive someone is being sarcastic with me….runs in the family!
Others questioned what I was willing to share, to which I replied, go have a look, I pretty much let you know who I am and what my beliefs are right up front, I have nothing to hide! The only info I’m not sharing with you is my address, my telephone number, and my social security number! As for the rest, I’m pretty much an open book! So I am not asking from anyone else what I myself am not willing to share! I think that is quite reasonable and fair. However this individual who I did not know from Adam, and who is not willing to share anything about him-self with me, proceeds to call me Drea, what he refers to as a term of endearment! That’s all great and fine but again we do not know each other on a personal level and he is not willing to share any information about himself with me. So by now, I was getting a bit hot under the collar, and the sarcasm was ratcheted up a bit, and I made it quite clear that I would prefer to be called by my given name, and that this individual could do what he “bloody well pleased!” Then I was told that I “sound pretty angry,” and that I did “not fit the Patriot sensibility in terms of patience, and kindness to name a couple of attributes…” and how did they know that I was not a troll disguised as a Patriot, and then they proceeded to inform me that they were concerned about my tone!
Wow! Now I wish I could say that this statement caused me to take a step back and examine my tone, or my approach, but it did not, it had quite the opposite effect on me, I got pissed! I am quite sure that smoke was coming out of my nose and ears! I proceeded to point out to everyone willing to read the thread, that this was my personal preference and that if they did not like it, the simple solution to the problem these individuals were having “personally,” was to NOT send me a Friend Request! Problem solved. This did not seem like rocket science to me? I was a little shocked that individuals who profess to be adults were not able to figure this out?
Why is it that some people think it is quite alright and acceptable to insult you and bully you; that it is okay to make you feel bad about who you are when they do not agree with your stance? And had I done that to the folks who responded to my “personal preference?” Taking a step back, and with hand on heart, I could have handled the entire situation better, but I felt quite insulted and attacked by these individuals on my own personal wall, sharing my own personal preference.
So I have decided to look at this situation as a learning experience, for myself personally. What can I learn from the experience? As someone who professes to be a Christian I feel compelled to look and see how I can grow from this. Proverbs 15:1 says: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I allowed others to stir up anger in me, and instead of responding with a soft answer, I responded in anger. No matter how right I may have been, or felt I was, I gave my power away, by allowing others to define who I am. Had I responded with a soft answer, a kind answer would that have stopped the entire situation dead in its tracks? I don’t know, but in future, I intend to put this into practice and see what happens.