Monday, June 16, 2014
Most of the time, if you ask me how I am and I say "I'm fine," it's a total lie. Not only am I not fine, I'm probably secretly wishing you would notice that I'm really not fine and try to make me feel better. I'm not sure if not telling people how I'm actually doing is a defensive maneuver/girl thing, or if it's just something I do because I hate to sound weak/annoying/emotional (and all of those three things sort of go together in my head, which I realize is not great).
Sometimes, I'll say that I'm cold or that something is heavy, but as soon as someone offers their coat to me or offers to take something off of my hands, I immediately pop back with "I'm fine!" It's as if I'm going to win an award for being independent if I refuse help from other people, which is really stupid. Not only will no one care whether or not I take the coat or give something to someone to hold, if I ask for help and then refuse it, I'm still stuck doing whatever it was that I spoke up about in the first place.
I also feel particularly uncomfortable volunteering good things about myself in conversation without a proper segue. For example, my birthday is on Friday, and instead of just telling people that my birthday's coming up, I keep my mouth shut because I don't want to sound self centered or selfish. I want cupcakes, dammit, and I should be allowed to ask for some!
The same thing happens when something good happens to me, like when I'm recognized for doing something well. Instead of telling people straight off, I wait so as not to potentially injure someone else's feelings. Then when someone else tells me they've been recognized for the same thing or when they've won the same award, I say "Oh, me, too!" And then I kick myself repeatedly for holding my tongue, because I realize that other people think it's okay to share good news, so I should be able to do so, too. I'm too goddamn empathetic, and I'm pretty sure that gets me into trouble sometimes.
I guess the point of this is to say that even though I usually seem pretty even keel all of the time, happy and unstressed, I struggle a lot with putting myself out there and speaking up for what I want. Sometimes it's hard to understand what other people are going through, but understanding and being sympathetic is really important. Life would be awful if we were solitary; the friends and family that surround us on a daily basis are our strongest supporters, and it is important to be open with them about our wants and needs.