Saturday, June 21, 2014

Learning to Change My Shortcomings

The process of self-discovery and growth never stops. Through trial and error as well as being in the fire, I am learning when my gifts are best used. I'm a good person to turn to when crisis is at hand or ideas are being tossed around. Planning and organizing comes with ease for me. I guess that's a by product of my secret self diagnosis of OCD. However, a common wall I am coming against is when things are in the execution phase. Typically with family and close friends, I take things entirely too personal. I get emotionally affected by the problems and stress of others. It's as if I can feel their pain and I don't want them to struggle. I try to offer a shift in perspective that there is always a remedy to the mind's problems.  I'm continually search for solutions that could possibly be of help.  

I notice however, that when I witness my close friends or family doing things that are not efficient or even things that are potentially harmful, I haven't learned the delicate balance of keeping my mouth shut, and just be a listening ear. I speak passionately and with a very direct tone. It becomes black and white for me in matters of character or when dealing with the spirit of a person. So, to my detriment, I offer my suggestive opinion far to openly, when it is not necessarily wanted. I'm finding what people want most, is to just be listened to and NOT have opinions offered, especially if they are stated in an aggressive tone.

This has been a frequent criticism about me and has been the cause of intense friction with my family and close friends. It doesn't happen with acquaintances because they rarely ask my opinion. I usually don't say what I think if I am not asked for it. I simply listen. So, when my close friends and family are asking me what I think, I say it. It's not always received though, mostly because I can easily get elevated in tone and passion when the other side makes excuses for poor behavior. I understand that my tone is not helpful. The message gets lost entirely. Pure intention means nothing when poise is not maintained.

I am definitely NOT the person you go to if you want a fluffy feel good conversation. If you just want a 'yes person' or have your ego stroked, I am not the one to turn to. However, I realize I can adjust my perspective as well, and tame my passion a bit, so the message is not destroyed! The spirit is willing, but I need better self control and maintain a spirit of grace. Amen.


  1. Wow..It’s like reading my diary. I too have struggled with this for years. Especially with family. I seem to be the one people lean on in crisis and I want to help so badly but end up straining things and getting my feelings hurt with my opinion/help and what they view as my "over stepping assistance". It's becomes a vicious cycle...they need help, I help to the best of my ability and then feel used and resentful only to have them say they feel resentful of my suggestions or ideas. I have in recent years, with the help of therapy realized that I tend to throw my feelings out of the picture and only think of the person and their problem until it becomes unbearable for me. I now try to back off (easier said than done) and listen without offering any solutions (of course they are rapidly firing off in my head but I try keep them quiet). When I'm alone again I write in a journal all that has transpired, what I think, what I'm willing to do to help and then I back away for a few days. When I revisit it things always seem less dire and I'm more clear headed about my response when I talk to them again. I think this is a common problem, especially with women. I think it means we are good people, who want to help but we tend to open up too much of ourselves in the interest of others and risk becoming lost in everything but our own issues.
    When I miss the mark and get into things to deeply I try to forgive myself and them for any bad feelings and realize I can say no, I can focus on myself, my feelings are real and valid and if they really didn’t want my help they wouldn’t have come to me in the first place.
    You and I have had many loud, interesting, wonderful conversations about every topic I can think of and I have always treasured them…you are one of my favorite people to debate things with, I always love to hear your thoughts on different subjects.
    Love Lisa 

  2. Oh, I can relate to this! Michelle, I can say that our conversations are always amazing and l love when you give your honest opinon/advice. So no need to simply listen with me. :) Maybe it's because of my tendency to the same habit. Most of my favorite people are blessed with this trait (call it outspoken?). I would much prefer an honest opinion over a bitten tongue and allowing me to fall on my face. But that is MY preference. Not everyone is like that. I could learn to filter that opinion for those that need me to put the filter on. I like the Journal Lisa, it really is awesome that you are able to give the pause needed to take that approach.