I honestly don’t know where this phrase comes from and Google doesn’t help, either, but I first heard it from Eric Dean’s Finding Weird podcast I listen to and would recommend for all the weirdos like me out there.
When I was younger and a budding ideological menace, my main mission in life was to argue with people and criticize. Because being a budding ideological menace, that seemed the thing to do: To combat and be a contrarian.
In fact, even before politics, I recall one of the first argumentative things I ever jumped into for whatever reason was a discussion on religion on Facebook.
At the time, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with voicing negativity. If I didn’t like someone (usually a prominent public figure; I’m not calling out normal folks) or something, I would call it out. I would offer a contrasting, critical view of that person or thing.
However, as I’ve gotten older, you can say I’ve softened, but I’ve simply not seen the value in disseminating negative perspectives. Now, I’m not perfect on this, as I still have my moments and I still have my critical views on things, but I don’t see the value in always being someone who disseminates negative (even if you want to couch it as constructively critical) vibes.
I want to put out good vibes. If I like something someone is producing for me, like a podcast or a movie or a book or whatever the case, especially when those things are free content, if I can, I want that person to know I enjoyed it and thank them for it. Which itself can net the ire of those who are cynical: Oh, you’re just chasing clout.
I’ve never cared about clout. My negative views hardly reached anyone beyond the sound of my own figurative voice and for the most part, I doubt positive vibes do, either. As usual, the point isn’t so much the dissemination, although that’s good, too, but what we project to others (or don’t) is about ourselves and safeguarding our own mental stability.
Who wants to be a negative person all of the time? Even if you feel like you legitimately have a negative view on something! I’ve deleted so many Tweets, for example, I feel I could have justified for their negative ire against someone or something, but then I think, Why bother? and delete the would-be Tweet. Or blog post. Or whatever the medium happens to be.
And that’s not a nihilistic “why bother” sentiment, but rather, why orient my brain in that way? Why orient my time in that way? If I don’t like something, that’s okay. That’s fine. If I don’t like someone, that’s okay. That’s fine. But do I need to always put that out there?
I’ve come to the conclusion these last few years that I do not need to.
This goes for inter-personal relationships, too. Maybe I’m the weird one, but I’ve always felt (even longer than the aforementioned) that if I didn’t like how someone in my family or friends circle was being toward me or others, then I would walk away or disassociate myself from that situation. Why bother? Why continue to partake? Why put myself in that negative zone? Even voicing it seems to give rise to something which ought not matter to me as much as my negativity would give value to it.
That isn’t to say we ought to enable negative traits, attitudes, personalities, behaviors, people and so on, particularly in our inter-personal relationships, but again, when you think about it through the prism of this is more about us than it is them, then I think you can see what I’m getting at here, right?
If I’m alive, I want to be enjoying things I’m likely to enjoy and then discussing that through my own musings (like through the blog) and with others who also liked it. That doesn’t mean I’m opposed to others offering constructive criticism because that only serves to make me think through even better my own liking of something. But I guess I don’t want to be the point person on negativity, right?
There’s also a whole lot of other ways you can take the phrase “don’t yuck someone’s yum,” like, for example, don’t kink shame! We’re all a bunch of weirdos in our private lives and let us enjoy what we like and what gets us off without it being something shameful, so long as what we like and what gets us off is based on an informed consent, nonviolent and safe.
In my view, this isn’t an argument, or about, creating a bubble or a safe space, so that what you like can’t be interfered with by others. Rather, it’s an argument about ourselves and how we comport ourselves. What kind of person do we want to be?
I know what kind of person I’ve chosen.