Honesty is important to me but I realize now that some topics don’t need to be breached.
In trying to communicate and exhibit integrity, I crossed the line into a territory where I’ve shared too much.
I need to NOT avoid or repress feelings. They should to be reflected on and processed.
However, my emotions can change, moment to moment, so I don’t need to cater to EVERY thought.
There’s an art to being tactful when hashing out one’s sensibilities.
First of all, the feelings and thoughts we have are important, but they’re not concrete truths. They are merely our own perceptions, opinions, and points-of-view; no one else’s.
At the same time, the feelings and thoughts we have are NOT unique. What differentiates me, from you, or the next human, is response; action.
We all have choices regarding how we react to feelings, thoughts, circumstances, etc.
Attempting to repress emotions is a chosen act so we may as well take the time to acknowledge how we feel and why we feel that particular way. Allowing this process will likely lead us to the most appropriate action.
When we bottle our emotions up, we run the risk of losing control.
When we lose control, we’re caught off guard, which makes us more likely to act inappropriately.
Self-sustained sensations rooted in fear, such as paranoia, worry, obsession, etc., only lead to suffering of oneself.
Another fear-based sentiment is guilt.
There’s no need to feel guilty for feeling.
Feelings are not set in stone. Feelings do not dictate who we are at our core.
When a feeling or thought, first enters my noggin and it wants to stay, I (again) need to process it (not push it down). I will look at the “how I feel,” “why I feel that way,” and go from there.
Feeling #1: I’m worried about how I’ll do on a project for school.
I’m worried because I’m afraid of failing. If I fail, I’ll lose my funding, I’ll look “stupid,” etc.
Solution: I don’t need to indulge in worst-case scenarios because they’re hypothetical and if I do my best, I should have nothing to fear. If I allow my “worry” to take over, I’ll be wasting energy that I COULD be using toward a resolution, and even be, potentially, setting myself up for failure.
If I didn’t do my best, I need to take responsibility for that. No scapegoats!
To make “my best” happen, I will make sure I have all the information I need. If the professor prepares an outline, I’ll use that as a checklist. If I’m not sure about something, I’ll ask questions. Just because I may want some things spelled out for me, doesn’t mean I lack intelligence. I’m just being thorough in sorting semantics. When I assume, there may be a breakdown in communication. I’m not a mind-reader so if there is confusion on my part, I’m responsible for asking relevant questions to clear it up.
Feeling #2: Someone said something to me that, sort of, stung.
This comment hurt my feelings. Why did it hurt? Because I took it personally. Why did I take it personally? Maybe, there’s a ring of truth to it. Maybe, it triggered a painful memory.
Solution: This one’s tough. Maybe, confronting the culprit would only engage the person, thereby “rewarding” their negative behavior. Maybe, they “know not what they do.” Maybe, I did something adverse, and they’re reacting to it by lashing out. Maybe, it was meant as a joke that crossed a line.
How I choose to react, depends on any particular situation.
If I provoked said “attack,” I (again) need to take responsibility by addressing what is transpiring.
If it’s a conflict with someone I know, I should, probably, express how the comment made me feel; create a boundary. While, I’m not a mind-reader, neither is anybody else.
If it’s someone that I’ve never seen before and will never seen again, I could, by all accounts, refrain from delving into any further contention.
Sometimes, not taking action is the best action. Again, it’s all about how I CHOOSE to expend my energy.
An activity I perform routinely is to reword, what could be, subconscious or unintentional self-depreciating phrases.
Examples: Above I spun “asking questions makes me feel stupid” into “there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be thorough, which can be done by asking questions.”
“I am neurotic.” vs. “I am methodical.”
“I am weird.” vs. “I exhibit character.”
“I’m never satisfied.” vs. “I evolve.”
“I can never stay in one place for too long.” vs. “I am worldly and love to travel.”
Etc., etc., etc.
It takes just as much effort to indulge in negativity, as putting positive vibes out there.
If you aren’t a nihilist, why not choose positivity?