IE Grapevine Updates

Sweeney: Forceful is just not attractive

Yelling at me and shoving a pamphlet in my face is pretty much the best way to get me to not listen to you and disregard your message completely.

Katlin Sweeney

Katlin Sweeney

Do not get me wrong; I love the expression of opinion. I think that in order to advance the human race, it is necessary for people that come from a multitude of backgrounds and root their foundations in various beliefs to come together to discuss and learn from one another. However, there is definitely a difference between expressing and condemning.

Due to the fact that I run a news publication, I can understand and empathize with people that pass out fliers and information about their cause. When you are very passionate about what you are doing and think that it will be of benefit to the people around you, of course you are going to try to garner their interest. I end up networking and talking to people about my newspaper at plenty of social events that I go to (i.e. look at this subtle example right here).

I do not mind collecting the pamphlet a person is passing out or stopping for a minute to listen to their message.  I do not even mind a big presentation board, poster, or booth that has your cause splashed all over it. What I do not like is when you are spewing terrible words and phrases from it.

I understand that many people that have to pass out fliers are naturally defensive and nervous that they will get yelled at, so they may be more timid and not as friendly. However, some people just do not understand the concept of pleasantly offering their content versus metaphorically shoving it down my throat and physically forcing it into my hands. This happened to me the other day when I was walking across campus.

Over the course of two hours, I was stopped by four different people with the exact same pamphlet (out of respect for the fact that every cause has crazies representing it, I will refrain from stating what it was for). One person allowed me to politely decline, another two gave me a nasty look but let me go, and the last one was far less pleasant.

One of the men that tried to hand me a pamphlet did not seem to understand that between carrying a heavy bag, binder, huge textbook, and a Starbucks, I had no free hands and no real capability to take his paperwork. I very pleasantly declined his offer by using the excuse that I had already received one, but instead of letting that answer be acceptable he approached me again and asked if I had received the second one. Obviously, I had not. When I responded with yes, he gave me one of the coldest looks I have ever received and tried to physically step in front of me to force me to linger longer to hear his message.

I wish I could say this was the singular time that I have been approached like this. I have been criticized for not signing petitions, tried to be forced into signing things without seeing what it was for, tried to be pushed into donating to a group with my credit card number, and told I was going to hell; all while simply walking to class.

I love open communication and one of my favorite endeavors is meeting new people. But with the example that is being set in place by some of the more ‘passionate’ members of our society that are unfortunately being perceived as the representatives of their causes, I think it’s time that we put these public protestors away until they get some manners.

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