Friday, January 21, 2005

Next time, the tequila shots are on me.

If I'm allowed to make a late New Year's resolution, and really, why shouldn't I be, I'm making one. If I'm allowed to make a semi-serious blog post, and I can think of several good reasons why I shouldn't be, I'm semi- making one.

I'm pretty assertive. I wouldn't say aggressive, but I would say assertive. I have a strong personality. Mostly, this has been a good thing for me: I can articulate what I think, I don't mind articulating what I think, and I'm okay with putting myself out there. For all of that assertiveness, however, I'm not very good at making myself vulnerable in any significant way. I've been working on that, and I've been working on that for a while, but it's really actually very hard for me. (If I use three adverbs, it's definitely true.)

Sometimes this kind of assertiveness -- directness? openness? bluntness? -- turns out to have negative consequences where I didn't foresee them. I say what I think without always having regard for how I communicate it. I speak without thinking a lot of the time. On the one hand, I'm honest. On the other hand, I'm honest. What you see is what you get. I'm now wondering about that. Like maybe I can find a way of being honest that isn't brutally so. I'm feeling like I need to think more before saying what I think.

Because lately I'm feeling like this immediacy isn't always serving me in very good stead. More than once recently (and to more than one person) I've said something with good intentions that has ended up hurting someone I care about. I've been told by three separate people of late (in three pretty different ways) that they find this behavior disconcerting or off-putting or hard to deal with. It's been pretty upsetting for me to hear that. I'm trying to find a way of being direct and assertive that's a little softer around the edges. Sometimes I come across as a bit of a meanie, but I'm really invested in my close relationships. I think I'm a good friend. I even think I'm a great friend! I'm trying to show that in some way that people find less disconcerting or alienating. I'm trying to be more aware of other people's vulnerabilities, which may in turn make me more comfortable expressing my own.

What I'm trying to say is that next time the tequila shots are on me.

Enjoy it while it lasts... :)


Blogger Joe said...

You have a good site here. Some good thoughts and good writing. Most blogs are pretty boring, but yours got me reading. Great work!

6:29 PM  

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