Ask the Readers: What to Do Around Smokers?
For the most part, I’m really easy-going.
I think it’s one of my biggest strengths, and something that has kept me quite sane with all this traveling.
You just have to keep rolling with what comes along and make adjustments as you’re environment is always changing!
Sometimes, though, I wonder if I’m too laid-back and if I should speak up?
Specifically, I’m talking about staying with people who smoke cigarettes.
Do you say anything? Do you just tolerate it?
Bit of context: I don’t smoke. Never have, never tried.
It’s probably my 11 years of living in Los Angeles (where just about everywhere is smoke-free) that makes me forget how many people do smoke. I have heard that it’s still quite common in other countries.
As far as I know, I’m not allergic to it (well, not the “immediate-death” kind); I just don’t enjoy it at all, and of course, I do believe it’s harmful to breathe in.
Now staying with people who are different than you is part of what makes travel really amazing.
You learn new ideas, get fresh perspectives, and understand other approaches to life.
But what do you do when someone’s lifestyle creates an environment you don’t enjoy and find unhealthy?
Now the occasional smoker who steps outside is really pretty manageable, but what about chain smokers, or people who do it everywhere (in the car, in the house, at the dinner table).
I tend not to say anything, and just move myself out of the direct path of the smoke. I even, very subtly, exhale a strong breath if anything is coming my way.
I’m not eager to make my host feel uncomfortable in their own home, so is their a middle ground?
Is there a delicate way to broach this topic?
I do think there is an empowered approach, so that I don’t feel like I just have to take it (even if I don’t end up saying anything). Now I’m just looking for what that could be!
Again, here’s the question: what do you do around smokers you’re staying with?
I’d LOVE to hear how you tackle this one! :)
Looking forward to learning more!
P.S. As I was writing this, it became obvious there were TONS of other issues you could swap out for smoking here (what makes you uncomfortable/feel unhealthy): drinking, partying, drugs, etc. I have to imagine there’s a common approach, assuming your host is a reasonable and rational person. :) Feel free to chime in about any other topics, too!