Judgement from Others…and Conflict


So today I was riding my bike and a woman yelled at me for not wearing a mask. I have carefully thought about my decision not to wear a mask while riding or running, and I also understand that everyone has a different idea of what is safe. My reaction to it (obsessing, justifying, getting angry) is very similar to another situation that happened a few months ago, where a woman came up to me in a Starbucks and said loudly “it’s called manners!”. To this day I don’t know what it was she was upset about. But for days I was irritated/angry/annoyed about it.

So my question is about managing my brain around this. In both cases I wouldn’t have done anything differently. (Well, maybe at Starbucks if I had known what I was doing and it made sense to do something else). I’ve tried out thoughts like “people are allowed to think and do whatever they want” and “everyone has different ideas about what’s the right thing to do right now” as well as “there’s no PERFECT way to do COVID and people are going to disagree”.

How can I approach this so I am more at peace with being confronted or having someone angry with me? It would be especially helpful now when everyone is pointing fingers at each other for “doing it wrong”.