This hit me about an hour ago.
It’s something we all can relate to and it’s not necessarily a good thing but lately, I’ve found myself acting passive. As in, letting people have their way instead of standing up for myself.
I’m not talking about major decisions or work related stuff – I can hold my ground on that – I’m talking more about how I interact with the world around me.
For example, if someone is walking behind me, even slightly close to me, I’ll jump to the side to let them pass in almost fear. Or if someone doesn’t respond on Facebook, letting that make me feel pointless and annoying and taken for granted.
I can’t count how many times I’ve blamed myself, and vocally taken the blame, for so many things that actually weren’t my fault like saying something that someone else misconstrued, or for apologising in fear of being annoying.
And for what reason?
I examined what I was thinking when these things were happening and all I could see was a spew of negativity towards myself. I jumped out of the way of people walking fast because I felt I wasn’t good enough to keep up. That they must think I’m stupid. I assumed that people rolled their eyes when they saw a message from me and I was passive enough to let that affect me, and not engage further. When the likely truth was that they were busy.
I realised that I wasn’t being passive for the sake of not having an argument, or because I was choosing my battles etc but because I didn’t think I was worth the argument. I didn’t think I was good enough to stand up for myself because I wasn’t worth standing up for.
Jesus, that’s not good.
I think when things are stressful, we tend to think the worst of ourselves. And when others around us are the same, we are much more focused on ourselves than other people. We don’t have the time to follow up on how other people are feeling because we’re so self consumed with our own. And if you’re like the majority of the population under 30, and get your validation from external forces, you’re going to feel pretty shit after a while.
That can do things to you when you’re not on top form. We, as humans, tend to self obsess anyway – ie, what do they think of me, am I funny, am I pretty enough, etc – and this just heightens that. This passive thinking reinforces that we aren’t good enough to be bold and treat ourselves like the we run the place.
To message even if it’s the 4th one in a row, or to just let that guy behind you take over, to stand your ground and know that I can either lie down and take my own beating or fuck it.
I know that I’m worth standing up for and not letting how other things play out dictate how I feel about myself but when things are stressful and raw, it’s incredibly difficult. It’s like training a puppy to not shit on itself – sort of the natural instinct when it’s anxious – but with reminders and gentle practice, it can, and will, get that little easier.
The puppy grows up knowing that there’s a time and place for shit but it’s not on itself.
Just like you.