6 Dos and Don'ts for When You See Someone You Hate in Public

Yesterday some disturbing video of someone publicly attacking Tomi Lahren showed up on the internet. Apparently offended by the mere site of Tomi Lahren brunching in L.A. with her mother, a cranky patron gleefully threw water on her as she passed by. Lahren and her family decided to leave the restaurant after being verbally assaulted by a customer who clearly was not Team Tomi.


In today’s political climate there is no shortage of division, and social media gives us all the opportunity to indulge our cruelest impulses without having to see the human being we are tearing apart. It has also left us all to judge the morality and value of those we disagree with based on what can be tweeted out in 240 characters and clever memes.

Nuance is dead – or at least blocked on Twitter. The courtesy we used to automatically extend to others in public has been replaced by self-righteousness in the name of ‘likes’.

Maybe we all just need a reminder about how we are to act when we see someone we absolutely hate in public. Because people we hate go out too. They like to do things like eat and drink and walk their dogs. We haven’t yet figured out a way to keep the people we hate from being people, so maybe we all just need a reminder about how to treat these so-called “people” when we see them out and about…just for the sake of law and order, if nothing else.

Here are some “do”s and “don’t”s for you if you’re unfairly forced to breathe the same air as that idiot you only know from social media posts.


1.DO…just ignore them. I know it’s hard. After all, this person is a Nazi/racist/bigot/cat-lover. They deserve to be publicly shamed. They deserve to be humiliated! Except once we get into the very sketchy area of who deserves what and when we also put ourselves at risk. Sure, we all love to think we’re better than that OTHER person but without a doubt there is someone out there who feels strongly that you deserve to be treated like crap in public for something they found grossly offensive. If we all indulged these urges life in a civilized society would become impossible. It’s why we have rule of law. If you just ignore the offending person you might not get the satisfaction of 6,000 retweets but you may be able to stave off karma just a while longer.

2.DO…refrain from being a picklepuss on social media. Believe it or not, the entire world doesn’t need to know your righteous indignation at any given moment. Your thoughts are still valid even when they’re not sent out to thousands of people the instant you have them. I have a friend who works in human resources and she tells me that when her company is hiring she regularly checks the social media accounts of the applicant. It acts as an extra “reference”, if you will. If you’re petty enough to put a total stranger on blast on your social media account, you’re likely to be equally as petty as an office employee. Most employers don’t prefer pettiness. Petty is not a good look. Believe it or not you can see someone you really despise and just not do anything.


3.DON’T…throw things at them. Not water or food or your own bodily secretions. Especially not that last one. It’s just not cool. Just…be cool. Mmmkay?

4.DON’T…yell profanities at them, particularly if they are dining with family. You may hate that one chick, but her poor mama didn’t do anything to deserve your ire. Unless you count birthing a person as a sin. In which case you are a butthole. Just don’t do it. You don’t talk about another person’s mama, you don’t come at another person’s mama, you don’t doย anything to make another person’s mama feel crappy or frightened. Can we all agree to leave our mamas out of all this? Don’t be a pig. Mama is off limits. This rule also applies if the focus of your ire is with their children.

5.DON’T…decide that now is the time and the place to unload your every frustration and all of your rage on this person. Ivanka Trump once had the unfortunate luck on a flight to sit next to a woman who inexplicably felt obligated to berate her and accuse her of all manner of despicable behavior because her father won an election. All while the Trump daughter was holding her own child. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean you are right to vomit your rage all over a public location. My 10-year-old daughter has a bad habit of blurting out exactly what she’s thinking about other people when we’re in public. Needless to say, there has been more than one occasion when I’d have preferred the earth to open up and swallow me whole in that moment. We often tell her, “There are things you think and things you say out loud. Before you make a comment about another person, ask yourself if it’s something you should just think instead”. To reiterate, just because you’re thinking it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to say it.


6.DO…consider the other people around you. After all this advice you still may feel that you’re justified in publicly shaming that person you hate. Perhaps you are…perhaps they really do deserve it. You should also consider the people you are with and the other strangers in that location. Perhaps your girlfriend/boyfriend/BFF finds your outburst embarrassing and just wants to eat/drink in peace. Perhaps the other patrons of the establishment you’re in would prefer not to have to listen to an arrogant, self-righteous prickle rage at an unsuspecting media personality. Just like they don’t want to have to listen to your very private conversations on speaker-phone. For the sake of decorum, just lay off altogether and go home and start a blog.

These are just a few suggestions. If anyone has more, add them in the comments. Together we can bring back common decency one un-thrown glass of water at a time.

Oh, and BTW “Twitter Moments”…we don’t throw things at women in public. It’s really not up for debate.





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