Pet Peeves

Special Snowflakes

Ah, special snowflakes – we all know at least one. More than likely, they’re the ones who were loved just a little too much, who were coddled in order to be shielded from the world’s harsh realities. They’re the ones who cannot possibly fathom how every event could not turn in their favour and who blame everyone around them when things go wrong, the ones who think that the sun shines from their own butts and single-handedly lights up the planet.

They are, quite frankly, an absolute nightmare.

Now listen – I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be supported and encouraged to pursue their goals and to be the best that they can at whatever they endeavour to do. But a little rejection goes a long way in balancing a person’s ego, and it’s a totally necessary thing to experience. It’s what separates the puppies from the big dogs, so to speak, and what helps you develop a sense of integrity, ambition and well-earned pride.

When people skip this stage, all hell breaks loose. You know what I mean – more than likely you’ve had a friend or a co-worker who was just a wee bit more sensitive than others, who struggled to cope with the most basic of let-downs. Suddenly you realise it’s 5pm and you’ve spent the last 3 hours with a box of tissues, telling Her Royal Highness (yes, men can suffer from this too, I’m aware!) that the coffee shop closing early was not a personal affront to her happiness aimed at keeping her from her iced caramel macchiato.

The world stops when a special snowflake begins to melt. Oh, does it ever. I’m not an unsympathetic person and in fact I try to put myself in other people’s shoes in order to relate better to what they must be going through. We’re not talking about normal people experiencing normal disappointments here. We’re talking Mr or Ms La Di Da and his/her inability to properly process events – such as getting a bad grade or not being cast in a show – as they happen and continue living life as before.

If you couldn’t tell by the Pet Peeves theme, I was not blessed with the virtue of patience. I’ve got fodder for the next 12 months of this column and then some. But the topic this week holds a special (yes, pun intended) place in my heart because it’s one of the most unreasonable (and most obnoxious) qualities a person can have.

Part of the problem with special snowflakes is that they see the world only through their own experiences and perspectives. No, dear, you couldn’t possibly have gotten a B- on your term paper because it was poorly written, it must certainly have been that the professor doesn’t like you and wants to sabotage your perfect academic record. I mean, you know? That sort of selfishness is wearing and quite frankly, on a list of qualities I just won’t deal with in a person.

The world does not have a personal agenda for or against you. Things which happen to us are partly luck, partly timing and very largely our own doing (or lack thereof). Sometimes when things happen, or don’t, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles, a random happening which holds no greater significance than what it is. Sure, sometimes certain things are “meant to be” in life, but I can personally guarantee you that a dress in your size being sold out isn’t one of them.

Be passionate – if you want something, pursue it relentlessly and work hard for it but understand that there will be setbacks big and small that come your way. Realise that these setbacks should serve to strengthen your resolve, to make you question your actions to make sure you still want to do what you’re doing. Use that to your advantage rather than being victimised by random series of events. And for the rest of it, well, you know what they say… don’t sweat the small stuff.

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