Being Direct

For a long time, when I was growing up and even when I became an adult, I just shoved down the way I felt even though I was miserable. I would get angry at the way I was treated by others or sad because of some reason or another and I’d just pretend it wasn’t happening. It would eat at me until I exploded. I’d get so angry that I would yell and scream and insult. It never ended well. I’m pretty sure I lost a few friendships that way. (Although the question remains if we were really good friends to begin with, if one fight could break us.)

Anyways, I finally realized the only way I’d feel better is if I talked about the way I was feeling. Then, it was up to the other person to work it out with me or decide not to be friends with me. It still sucked a lot of the times because usually the problem had arisen due our world views and ideals not aligning and that meant that it would be difficult to remain friends unless we wanted to argue or be annoyed all the time. It was better for both of us to walk away at that point. At least, we maintained our sanity and civility.

As I get closer to 40, I thought that most of the people I knew subscribed to this thought pattern. I realized recently that I was wrong. There are still a few non-confrontational people out there. And somehow, you could be doing something and never know it was happening because no one told you that you were doing it. It’s a difficult way to maintain friendships because it requires you to be perfect all the time.

I learned after having quite a few meltdowns and having a few spectacular blow out fights that it was better to be uncomfortable with someone for a few minutes but have a stronger friendship for it. I’d rather talk to someone about something even though, honestly, I dread it. I get nervous and anxious just thinking about being in that weird zone where we have to talk about our feelings. There’s the possibility that the discussion will end in a fight because you’re both arguing your point of view and no one is really listening. But there’s always the possibility that you both will figure it out and it will make you both better for it. I’ve had practice having these discussions with my husband because it’s impossible to have a happy relationship unless you’re both willing to discuss the important issues and listen honestly without getting defensive. I’ve been in the relationships where it was just attack and defend. Those aren’t any fun, trust me. You have to be able to admit that you might be at fault (even accidentally). Everyone is human. Everyone can make mistakes.

After the last few decades of my life, I also learned that it’s okay if not everyone likes you or even wants to be friends with you. My personal goal is to be honest with myself and and believe that I’m doing the best I can to love myself and to be a good person to everyone I know.

After that, whatever happens, happens.

Get It

I want to be really good at just one thing. I want to be known for at least one thing.

Let me explain to you where this came from. Everyone has their thing. I follow enough people on social media (and honestly, in real life as well, because as we all know, social media is a little bit of a fantasy world) to see who have hobbies or careers where they are living it up well. They have made something they enjoy into something that they can really live for.

I want that. And while people who know me might say that I am also doing that, it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. It could be that time just travels so slow so it’s hard to see things changing as we are going through them. And one day, I’ll wake up and realize that I have been doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. But it’s frustrating right now at this moment.

I constantly tell my kids that they have to learn patience. It seems as though I need to learn it as well.

Do any of you ever have a reaction when you think about what you want to accomplish? Lately, when I think about this one particular dream I’ve had since I was a kid, I get this immediate negative reaction where I can’t even think about it because I start getting anxious. Trying to analyze the feelings makes me anxious as well. It’s like I already want to believe I can’t achieve it. It’s a horrible way to feel. And I give my usual excuses on why I will fail at it. I don’t have enough time right now, I have other priorities, how would I even start, etc.

I want this feeling of accomplishment, like I set out to do this big thing and I did it. I’ve done it before with other dreams so there’s no reason why I can’t do it again.

What are your dreams and/or success stories? What have you accomplished that you’re super proud. Please share and let me live vicariously through you and inspired by you.

Coping

Life is hard sometimes.

I don’t want you to feel like just because you have everything you physically need that it can’t be hard as well. Many of us deal with emotional issues on a daily basis. And it’s just as important. It’s easy to argue with ourselves and list down the positives that we have and therefore, ignoring the things that are difficult for us. I believe that you should definitely acknowledge the positive but instead of ignoring the negative, find a way to deal with them. Find a way to make it better.

Me, I’m constantly struggling to feel my value in this world. My brain can argue with my heart and list 100 different ways I am valuable to many people. But I really need to feel that contentment. I have been diagnosed with depression at least once in my life. I haven’t felt the need to see a therapist again about it but I am aware that I probably am fighting against it constantly.

I cope with this struggle by exercising. Not only does it help me get out from inside my head and heart but it makes me feel good about myself physically. Dance is also a big one for me. Just being able to fall into the music and leave myself for a few hours is really helpful. I’m not thinking about anything except what my body is doing. I’m not really thinking about anything. I’m just feeling.

I have a sister who does a lot of coping by being out in nature. It helps her to deal with whatever she needs to deal with in her life. Whether it’s hiking or traveling, just being outside helps you to realize how much positivity there is in the world. I once did a hike where I had no cell service the entire time. It felt good to disconnect and emotionally recharge.

There are a lot of ways to cope with the emotional anxieties that we face. These are just a couple of examples that work for my family.

I hope you find whatever helps you cope.

Doing Something Nice

The world is a little crazy right now. Okay, let’s be honest. A lot crazy.

It’s enough to give anyone anxiety.

Between that and trying to figure out how to live our own lives in this craziness, it’s easy to worry about yourself quite a bit and forget that we live in a collective world that it’s nice to connect to. So much so that we forget that sometimes the best way to stop worrying is to do something nice for someone else.

The world could use more kindness right now. And we all could use some relief from the stresses that have been popping up.

I can’t remember the last time I did something nice for someone else. I’ve been pretty immersed in my own life. I do know that whenever I have put someone else first, I feel better about the world that we live in today. There is nothing like kindness to help reconnect us. We are able to relate to someone else even if we don’t know them. I know that when I start having intense anxiety about the way people seem to treat each other or have opinions that I don’t agree with, the best solution for me is to go out into the world. As soon as you feel others being kind towards you, it is enough to reassure that most people are still grounded and are just trying to live their daily lives as you are.

Think about how it makes you feel when someone does something nice for you when you least expect it.

Now, with that thought in your head, go out there and do something kind for someone else.

Anxiety…My Hidden Companion

At 8:53 a.m. I was still curled up in a ball in bed.  It was Monday, and I had work, but I was thankful that my 10 am meeting had been canceled. The cancellation allowed me to stay curled up in bed a bit longer before I absolutely had to get out.  I had originally woken up at 4:08 am. “Breathe in. Breathe out,” I told myself as I tried to relax and let the anxiety pass. But it didn’t. It stayed with me.  It stayed with me all day.
I thought about every single thing I could be stressed about but there was nothing in particular that was actually stressing my out.  This prevented me from going through the exercises to try to at least manage my anxiety by telling myself that the reason I am anxious is well just not a good enough reason to be up at 4:08 a.m.  I turned to web browsing to tire myself out.  A little after 5:00 am, I was finally falling asleep.   When I woke back up again at6:54 a.m., I thought “6 more minutes…”  As I started to become more awake, I realized the anxiety was still there — without any reason.  I could feel my heart beating loudly in my chest.  I tried holding my breath.  I tried meditation.  I tried trying to slow down my breathing.  I tried to just feel my anxiety so I could accept it so it would decrease.  Nothing seemed to work today.

In the midst of client calls and work, I felt my heart beating and my chest constricting.  By 1:37 p.m., I wanted to cry.  I was tired of dealing with my anxiety.  Today was especially emotionally draining to “manage” my anxiety (because I am not supposed to “control” it) and still have to work.  I wanted to feel “normal.”  The idea that there are actually people out there who don’t have to deal with anxiety without any explanation was envy worthy.

But the anxiety wasn’t going anywhere.  Sometimes, I have an entire few hours without anxiety.  It’s rare for these hours to occur when I am alone.  Mostly they happen when I am able to just lose myself in the moment around some family or friends.  My unwanted and unwelcome companion just rides through life with me.  Some days it’s more overbearing than others like today.  I have learned to smile through it, but it’s there. Lurking – in the background.  Always.

Social Anxiety

The idea of walking into a room full of strangers and having to talk to them scares the crap out of me. I’m assuming it’s because they might not like me. There are people who can go anywhere and will walk out with a room full of friends. I have one friend who I have gone out with in the past and she will know everyone in the place by the time she leaves. I know someone else that somehow manages to get to know everyone and has no trouble (at least that I can see) talking to anyone at anytime.

I wish I had that ability. I moved recently and while I am still in touch with my friends, I do have make new ones that are geographically closer. I haven’t had to make new friends in years. A lot of the people I have become friends with in the last few years I have met through other friends or through doing activities. I find that much easier than having to make friends without any type of familiarity in the process.

How many of us go through this social anxiety? I’d like to think it’s normal to feel this way. So how do those other people do it? How are they able to just talk to anyone? I honestly have to psych myself up when I know I’m meeting a group of new people for the first time. I have to convince myself that they will like me for me and that the worst that can happen is that I don’t talk to them again. I’m in my early thirties so I really should be over the idea that everyone has to like me.

I wonder where this fear comes from. Is it based on doubts of ourselves? Am I just not sure who I am? Is something else? I was never very popular. I always had my group of friends but I was definitely a nerd. I do feel as though I was judged while growing up for not being “cool”. Maybe this tag has remained with me as I’ve grown up and regardless of what I have done in my life, I will always feel like I’m not quite accepted for who I am.

I also wonder if the people who make it look so easy to just blend into a group also feel the social anxiety. Is it something that everyone go through whenever they step into a new situation? Or are there just people who are completely at ease no matter who they are talking to or any new place they go?

What is the secret to get rid of the social anxiety?

People Pleasers and Jerks

I realized something important last night. No matter how much you analyze someone, there is no way to figure them out. They are just jerks. And there’s no reason (or maybe there are many reasons) to why they are that way. 

I also want to explain why, in the title, I added people pleasers as well. Well, I think one of the characteristics of someone who turns out to be a jerk is that they are a people pleaser. That’s not to say that all people pleasers are jerks. The ones that are jerks tend to focus on someone they want to impress and use all of their might to please them. The rest of the people in their life get don’t get much effort at all. I always wonder if the people who are the beneficiaries of the people pleasing can see that they are just temporarily the focus of this person’s efforts or if they realize that there isn’t much to that person otherwise. I know I don’t realize it until I become someone who doesn’t get the effort. And then, it just sucks. It sucks to deal with those people because you can remember the friendship you once had and the fact that they don’t respect you or that relationship enough to really put in effort anymore at all. 

I have learned that there is no way to get through to a jerk as well. You can try talking to them, manipulating them, being overly nice to them, yelling at them, and in the end, it’s a wasted effort on your part, no matter what. They will do what they want to do. And usually, it’s to benefit themselves. Luckily, experience helps in figuring out who is a jerk and who isn’t earlier on in the relationship but sometimes, it’s hard to see right away. The fact that it eventually ends up hurting me makes me not even want to trust new people at any point anymore. 

The only solution I have found that works is to walk away from these people. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible due to circumstances such as working together or being on the same team. The best you can hope for at that point is limited contact. Exposure is only more toxic. And why keep fighting for people who no longer even realize you aren’t there anymore? I don’t think they realize that when you fight with them, that means you still care about them some because you’re fighting to fix something that you believe in. When you just stop talking to them, it usually means you have given up and the energy isn’t worth it anymore. 

If you are one of those people that I described here today, try to remember that there is a world full of people out there that you should learn to be considerate around. There are people that care about you that might not be in your field of vision because you take them for granted. Take responsibility for the fact that your actions might be hurting someone even though you don’t think it would hurt. Most people do feel and aren’t just left-brained. Things are not good just because they look right to the outside world. There is usually a lot more to human beings than just that. 

I want to dedicate this post to the people that I can’t remove from my life and cause me anxiety whenever I have to talk to them.