Every year it seems complaints about politically-correct language increase around holiday time. You know, the “happy holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas” stuff. Those who whine about this issue seem to forget that PC language boils down to courtesy, respect, and empathy for others who have a perspective different from theirs.
To one degree or another, we all see ourselves as the most important ingredient in our life recipe. The strength of this self-serving bias varies from person to person, and even within ourselves at different times. Any way you look at it, however, the bias is there and it has the potential to make using PC language distasteful to those who refuse to accept that there’s a world out there beyond their personal space.
Being conflicted about using PC language can be a source of stress in interpersonal relations. Here’s a coping thought: Let’s soften our life recipe to acknowledge the importance of ingredients other than ourselves. Let’s ask ourselves, “What determines how others remember me?” The answer is, “People remember how you make them feel.”
What sort of daily legacy do you want to leave? Do you want people to remember you as someone who makes them feel undervalued and inferior to you? Or, do you want them to remember you as someone who makes them feel good because you understand and respect their perspective?
Why not decide life is not all about you, and take the time to make others feel worthy of your respect. Doing so will remove from your mind frivolous, nonsensical things like worrying about PC language. You will feel more empowered and independent; you will feel more productive; and those feelings will bring you more personal satisfaction. Most important, you’ll have more pleasant interactions with others.