I apologize, there is no transcript for this post. I do have some additional thoughts to share.
It has been my experience that people have a difficult time accepting when someone changes their ways for any reason. When they change for spiritual reasons, it really makes people uncomfortable in my experience. The thing I’ve noticed is that when you make a big change for spiritual reasons, there is a lot of pressure to go back to your previous ‘normal’ behavior. Spirituality is a thing that tends to get swept under the rug or politely ignored in my area unless it is made obvious. And that there are times and places for one to be obvious about their spirituality (i.e. at church) and one must do it in the correct way (i.e. in a manner that is acceptable to the person in question).
Thankfully, my family has been extremely supportive (though at times a bit baffled by it all). There are neighbors and people in my community who are more uncomfortable when I am wearing my fancy scarves. Some people have made comments. Other people have gotten personally offended when I’ve worn anything that looks too much like hijab for their comfort. It’s awkward when that happens in the community.
I’m not a major community figure but I am one of the more identifiable people in our neighborhood because of the fact that I veil and have hobbies that confuse them. (I have lost count how many times people have just stared gobsmacked at the fact that I’m spinning. I also am the only person in town who uses a bright read parasol in the middle of summer. If they want sunburn, that’s on them.) By being consistent and firm in my statements that I am doing this because it is my normal activities, people tend to back down from potential confrontation. Presenting this as it is a typical daily thing not only makes them uncomfortable because there is no way for them to change your normal, it gives you confidence because it is your normal and their opinion doesn’t matter.
So, if someone decides to make a snarky comment in your direction about your choice of head covering or implies that you’re being stuck up because you’re not showing everyone your hair, try responding with the approach that this is what you do every day and “That’s your opinion and your opinion doesn’t matter.” Because, in the end, their opinion doesn’t matter unless you want it to. (By the way, that statement is the one I gave my boys to use with the school yard bully who has been getting snippy with them on the bus. The other kid doesn’t know how to process it and is highly offended that his opinion doesn’t matter. I encourage them to reiterate the reply when the other boy decides to argue he is right or something else equally questionable. It is wonderfully effective and entirely truthful.)
Originally Posted: 6/14/18