Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Being the Best Me I can Be Regardless of Another's Perception
Mmmmm.....ok....I'm a sensitive sort. I weigh every comment and analyze. I think living in the South, where there is more of a passive aggressive approach has trained me to do this. Face value is not always what it seems. Combine my over analytical mind, my sensitive self, and my eagerness to please everyone and .......OUCH...I can become a deflated soul in a just a short time. Despite my efforts to change this, there is not much you can do about your personality and your character. To a point you can try - and should try - to be able to let it roll off. After all one is never certain if their derived conclusion of the current state is an accurate one. And in situations where there is little to no communication, you are left only with your own thoughts and experiences to assess the situation.
Having been a minister's child, and in a unique career position - my life has always been somewhat in the forefront. While in many ways that has helped my introvert of a personality to develop some extrovert ways, it has also been somewhat scarring. The devil has more reason to target, the people have more reason to talk, and then the arrows most certainly come.
All that said, I can be tooling along so happy and thinking the world is a disneyland. And then someone can say something and the wheels start to turn and in a few minutes, I'm feeling bad - thinking I've done something wrong, said something wrong, not done something I've supposed to have done, or not said something I've supposed to have said. And then on a path to reconstruct myself into a better person that is more liked.
It is said, and I see it proven, that the character traits of your persona, can be one's success as well as one's demise.
The very over analytical mind, the sensitive self, the eagerness to please - is also what makes me good at what I do in life. My intent has been good. Knowing that when my aim has been high and has been in the right place, if someone complained or whined about ME, it really impacted me - and has all my life. I learned quickly that the way the devil works, is through people, and arrows to discourage and deflate - especially when good things are happening.
Not only are we going about our day with other minds that are not in the right place and set out to trip you but the devil himself threads the needles and leads the way, like a snake in the grass, going for the prey. And bap - the bite is done and the wound is left.
There are so many layers to our psyche. Things learned, things experienced, things felt, things worked through. That sometimes new information, new ways of thinking, new ways of processing - can be refreshing. If we learned things before, if we've been shaped before, the information can surely re-shape us?
God's word can reshape as well. And give us hope, take away the hurts, and lead us to water, to life, and to our tower of protection. How awesome is that? And there is a psychologist out there named Henry Cloud. I don't know a lot about him but his directness about how to process and handle relationships with others, is really intriguing and refreshing. And I want to read more. He wrote a book called "Boundaries".
It would be good to read about "different ways" to sort out the relationships around you and let others own their own emotions instead of letting their emotions own you. Sometimes we don't even realize that we do that. Why is it that we let someone elses anger or snappiness, effect our own mood? Why? We feel it's something that we did wrong. Maybe it is or maybe it isn't. But if you know that you intentionally did not do something to someone, then it is that person that has misunderstood. Not you.
I often cannot stand it if I think someone is disappointed in me, or upset with me, or if I feel that they are reacting negatively to me. But if my intentions are good, then why should things like this bother me? It does b/c I try to be a good person and I don't want to be viewed negatively. But in reality - think back to your own shoes. Look at all the people around you. Is there not EVERYONE that you yourself think some negative thing about? Have you not experienced flaws in others characters or been at the mercy of their mood or their own agenda? Well nearly everyone? There are good moments and bad moments. The bad does not always have to define the entire person or the entire situation.
But oh - I'm one that seeks perfection in my environment, my relationships, my house, my job. It's never attainable. But not to notice that gap b/w current status and state of perfection, would mean that there would not be a closing of that gap - purposely anyway, it would mean not striving for improvement and perfection.
I was raised in an atmosphere where cleanliness and neatness was just about next to Godliness - the two met at the corner quite often and both were preached and expected. If anything broke it was fixed immediately, if it looked scarred it was replaced - there was always a striving to make things better.
So here I come along with my little personality and raised in a fairly sheltered and somewhat secure world and fly into the world - to sink or swim. A few successes, a few mistakes, but at least the trend line is going upward. We must have done something right along the way. Why would we change it now?
Still I sit in a conundrum of thought. Am I really trying to perfect the part of my persona that I try to perfect things b/c someone might think I complain or whine too much b/c they think that is what I am doing when I observe that the stove doesn't work right, or that the linoleum is blue? Who wants blue and who even wants linoleum anymore? (lol) Or that my internet is blinking in and out b/c Comcast is having issues, or that the grass is on the floor when I just vacuumed it up and I comment on it. Is that such a bad thing to want things to be nice and homey and in working order, and pleasing to the eyes? Or that I don't have an HRIS system or that there are bars on my windows, or that my chair makes me lean forward too much and not comfy. Is that so wrong for me to mention or observe? It might be to someone else.
But I'm me. And I'm trying and have always been trying - to be the best me that I can be. The me that I have been, has gotten me here where I am today. Things are improved, they are working, they are getting better, they are getting done - in a methodical, practical, and well thought out, prioritized, and analyzed way. So what if I have noticed imperfection? What if I hadn't? What. If. I. Hadn't?
I am me. I will be me. I will appear to be positive or negative, observing or complaining, wanting it to be better or whining - however one wishes to perceive it. According to God and "Mr. Cloud" - both from the heavens it appears (lol) - I don't need to let others perceptions and feelings change my mood. Not to be insensitive by any means, but their own feelings are theirs. They own those feelings. I don't have to.
So if you come across negatively to someone in anyway, and you had no intentions of doing that, it doesn't mean that the person can say you did and that becomes fact or that the person gets to change your mood. That means the person thinks that and they are wrong and they get to deal with the outcome of that. A person knows themselves and their own intentions. Another person may not. Why should a person feel guilty, concerned, or worried over something that someone else perceived incorrectly.
So this has all been written today mainly so I could work through some thoughts twirling around in my head and I'm glad I did it. My persona needed to do this. And now I feel better.
In closing, I'm realizing that often I will let someone elses words effect me in a grand way. Often those words have hidden meanings or I try to assign a meaning for lack of clarification. I over analyze things and guess what? So does the rest of the world, which is why we are all in these kind of situations to begin with. People are going to have their perceptions. There will always be good ones and bad ones. And so will I. Look around. I have my own. About every person. Every single person has things I've perceived to be good character qualities and bad - EVERY single person I know. They do the same with me. How I deal with that fact - I can let it bring me down - or keep doing what I do best. IF someone has a problem with me they can come and genuinely communicate their thoughts directly to me and we will in unison work on it together as to what the problem is - is a perception issue or I've offended someone - I can refine a bit how I do things. But all in all, unless someone comes to me and says there is an issue, I shouldn't try to read their mood to see if I've done something they perceived to be wrong. Just let the person own it and go on and be the best me I can be.
And that is my story and I'm sticking to it.