Please share this post if it resonates with you. I would love to hear from you, privately on in the comment field below if you have gone through similar experiences. As always, if you have a topic you are sitting on I welcome you to get in touch so we can chat.
I’d also like to note that this isn’t in any way directed at any one person or event. This blog isn’t a shield for me to vent about something someone in particular did. I am using this as a platform to talk about thoughts, feelings, ideas or worries that have occurred to me or that have been brought up to me by those around me. Cheers xo
I am an open and honest person and friend.
I try to share myself with and hope to receive the same back from others.
I am that person who can strike up a conversation with someone and within five minutes know their life story.
But this quality has been eroding over time.
I have learnt that my news, my work, my fears, my worries, my world, none of this belongs to those around me and I am not obliged to give them over to someone to do what they will with them.
Me oh my am I feeling dramatic today…!
Over the last few years I have often spoken openly to people about fears, stresses or worries I have about risks or choices I have taken or am about to take.
What has taken me off guard is how common comments can be thrown out about how it can be “expected” that something would be hard. That I “should have known” that it would be challenging. I could have “seen it coming”.
These comments are really stinging to me and it has come from good therapy and a lot of self reflection to realise why this is.
- I feel underestimated.
- I feel like I have been misunderstood.
- I feel like I have been viewed as “hasty” or “rash”.
- I feel like I have “missed something” or haven’t done my full research.
- I have not been able to convey the emotion or point I had wanted to communicate.
- I feel vulnerable.
- I feel isolated.
- I feel exposed.
The exposure and vulnerability is the key here. It shows me that I did not have a good enough relationship with that person to enter into that depth of conversation with them. Or it wasn’t the time/place to get into an involved topic.
Unfortunately this has lead to me, at times, “closing off” to people who genuinely give me so much happiness, warmth and love.
Sometimes I think people describe what I have just spoken about as getting “burnt” or “stung” by people who don’t understand them.
I completely understand that emotion. I have seen in myself, however, that it sometimes boils down to little more than disappointment in myself for trusting too early, for speaking too rashly, or for underestimating an environment/person/situation.
And that’s on me.
Why is that on me? Because I can’t control what you do. I can’t control how you will respond to me, so I have to protect some of that good stuff for me and for myself.
This 100%, hands down, does not come easy to me.
I have found myself physically sweating as I try to stop myself from sharing something with someone.
I have found myself anxious that I am disappointing someone for not sharing something with them that they 1) have not asked for and 2) have no idea I am sitting on.
There’s another reason why I am so actively employing this tactic.
It’s because my tolerance for that style of response has really shrunk.
A few years back, if someone had said “well, what did you expect?” to me, I probably would have looked hurt, closed down, perhaps even welled up and cried at you. In between all of that I would have been furiously justifying myself. I would have been making damn sure that I had my say and told you why it was not surprising but it was disappointing, that I was not taken off guard but that I was still hurting, what ever it might be.
That’s OK, because I traditionally have worn my heart on my sleeve and I’ve already been through the wave of emotions that have just been brought up by that simple sentence.
It’s also OK that I don’t want to deal with that anymore. There are so many reasons why someone might respond like that, and quite frankly I don’t have the energy to relate to you on that level of understanding when I am frantically working through my own emotive response.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I still can’t change someone else in the way they respond to me. But I do get to choose what I say in the first place.
So I will continue to be an open and honest person. Realistically, I will continue to get “burnt” by people when I step outside my newly defined comfort level in a moment of excitement of feeling of connection that isn’t quite there.
I am actually OK with this. I’m human, and that makes me vulnerable to getting hurt. It also leaves me resilient as anything so I know that I’m going to be fine!
I will also continue to take risks and make changes in my life that might seem silly to people. That’s because I am who I am, and my husband is who he is. We like to adventure and sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn’t. It means we have stories to tell and shared experiences and crazy memories. And that’s OK too.
I don’t really know how to end this one guys… I’m just sitting here wondering how many of you are sitting there thinking “I can’t believe she put this out onto the internet – the backlash she is surely going to get – what the hell did she expect???!!!”