Today, I ate lunch with a few people from my office at Jason’s Deli. In the conversation, I was discussing my favorite Indian restaurant in Atlanta and how it served authentic Punjabi food that was just like my family’s. A coworker of mine shared with us how he believed that that restaurant was a “poor excuse for an Indian restaurant.” It was just a passing comment, yet it really stuck with me in a negative way.
I’ve barely interacted with this coworker since he was on vacation and will soon leave the company, but I have to wonder what was going through his head when he said that. When someone is sharing a food recommendation of their favorite restaurant, it totally makes sense to refute it if you disagree. However, there are tactful ways of saying that sort of thing, like qualifying the statement by talking about how it’s an opinion or why you feel that way. While I used my cultural ethos to talk about how the food mirrored home-cooking unlike the usual norm of Indian restaurants to saturate food with fat and cream, he began to change the subject.
I realize that I’ve written a blog post in response to someone’s really small action and that feels super rant-y, but I think it can be important to reflect on experiences and try to learn from them. What I’ve learned is that I need to get a thicker skin and not take such a small comment to mean so much for me and that when I talk to people I should watch what I say in case that any phrase could have a major impact that would be imperceptible to me.