Posted by: Judy | August 2, 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:

https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

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:

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/07/dont-make-waves/

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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Responses

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes!!! To God be the glory! 🙂

    • Amen.

  2. It’s sad that people actually work to quiet someone so they can have control or not be challenged. It’s exhausting to always be “on” and constantly gauging what you say or don’t say.

    • Yes, it is. Blessedly, it can “un”learned or at least toned down.


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