Thursday, July 27, 2017

9 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:

9. "I avoid saying anything that others might not agree with, which means I'm never being myself. I wear a mask of complete neutrality in any situation, because I'm so scared of anyone feeling negative towards me."

My sister's response:

My response:

Another one I still struggle with, but I am doing better. This one needs a broader perspective. I not only wanted to avoid conflict, but I also didn't want to hurt the other person's feelings. I wanted the other person to feel accepted.

Here's the drawback: I'd meet a person at a party, and we'd chat for an extended period of time. I hated parties. It's wearing to help another person feel comfortable. I could talk about almost anything. Okay, that part is okay. The problem came when I'd run into these people a week or two later or a month later. They remembered me, and I had no idea who they were. They'd recap some of the things we talked about, and I'd be clueless. I usually don't even remember names, let alone anything else. The only thing genuine about me was my effort to be friendly. My opinions were not my own but a reflection of the person I was with.

Here's the kicker: I didn't realize I did it, for years.

It wasn't until I was in counseling that I paid attention to what I was saying and how I felt about it. I was horrified to realize I could carry on a conversation for a half hour to an hour without expressing a single personal opinion.

First step is awareness. I can't change a behavior if I'm not aware of it.

Second step is questioning myself. In a conversation, I would stop and mentally check myself. Do I really believe what I'm saying or am I being agreeable?

Lesson learned: Being honest means I don't have to second guess what I've said to anyone.

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