Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Con to the front

Yesterday something really crummy happened.  I'm afraid I can't go into it on here right now--though down the road I definitely will.  (NOT trying to be cryptic, I promise.  But this is a public blog, so I can only say so much.  For now.  I'm already envisioning a future rant on the subject.)

As a result of said crumminess, my entire day felt derailed.  I hate that!  I went from lazily laying on the floor, reading library books about archaeologists to my kids, to being really frustrated and upset about something that is out of my control.  All because of a telephone call.  Which just happened to tap into all my feelings and thoughts on, well, everything in my life, really. 

And it involved confrontation.

I despise confrontation.

I have ALWAYS despised confrontation.

At any given point in my life, I have done whatever it takes to avoid confrontation.  Anything.  Because during a confrontation, I get very uncomfortable, grow very anxious, my throat starts feeling tight and I have to expend large amounts of energy to fight the hot tears threatening to spill down my cheeks. 

You see, I HATE to cry.  I don't cry often, and I NEVER cry in public.  I don't however mind other people crying, not in the least.  It doesn't make me uncomfortable and it demonstrates vulnerability.  But as for ME, I'm just an ugly crier and once I get going, it is oh so hard to stop.  And then I wind up with a headache for the rest of the day.  Complete with red, puffy eyes.  No thanks.

Anyway, this morning on the phone, I was on the verge of crying for much of the conversation.  Not because I was sad or had hurt feelings, but because I was upset, and stinking mad, and felt as if a great injustice were being done.  AND because I found myself smack-dab in the midst of a confrontation.

Somehow though I was able to remain calm and firm and say the things I wanted to say.  Even the hard things, that felt confrontation-ish.  I felt like I got to advocate a little for something I'm passionate about.  It wasn't a happy conversation, but I was polite.  And honest.  Honest about what I thought.

I'm generally what someone could classify as a "relatively nice person."  In junior high, my friends used to tease me and say that if anyone were ever to call me a dork, I would probably just smile and cheerfully reply, "Okay!"  There's probably some truth to that.  (With the caveat that I have a mean-looking resting face, am hard to get to know, and some people think I'm stuck up when they meet me.)  But as a general rule, I don't rock the boat.  I keep a low profile and go with the flow.  I have a few strong opinions and hold some convictions pretty tightly, but I don't usually broadcast that stuff or make it an issue.  I live and let live.  This has, on occasion, led to me being a bit of a doormat.  I tend to think of great things to say AFTER the fact--but I know myself well enough to know that I would not have had the courage to say them at the time, even if they HAD come to mind.

Let it be known that I'm really quite happy to go through life this way.  No need to have major confrontations or bluster around telling people what-for.  I'll leave that to others.  I DO like to always have a few friends of this sort around, because they intrigue me and I, the consummate wimp, need some gutsy-ness in my life.

But every once in awhile, like yesterday, confrontation cannot be avoided.  And I find myself having to stick up for me and mine, tight throat and all.  It was awkward, left me feeling upset the rest of the day, and I didn't get half the things done I'd hoped to.  (Yes, confrontation is so stressful for me that I'm apparently rendered incapable of doing housework.  Perhaps I should be grateful that this happened!)  That being said, I'm glad I have the ability to have tough conversations when I need to.  I was forced to face one of my weaknesses head on, and I did it.  I'm hoping and praying that the outcome is good--I'll know in a week.

Oh and for the record, as of last night, I still couldn't fully shake the yuckiness of the whole fiasco.  I'm hoping that today is a new day, and that there isn't a lingering ick-factor casting a pall over my week.  I honestly don't think I could ever get used to confrontation, no matter how often I had to face it.  Part of that is surely due to my sometimes-unhealthy desire to be liked. 

But that is an issue for another blogpost. 

Today's was about my aversion to confrontation, remember?

One neurotic tendency at a time, folks.

Because if I ran out, what would I possibly have to blog about?


Mommy Laity said...

Love you. I wish I could sit on your couch right now and here the whole story. I'm sorry. I hate confrontation too. Having to defend myself is so hard for me.

(Just so you know, admitting to you that we like different types of movies is my way of practicing this skill in a VERY safe environment. Hee, Hee).

You have beautiful values and I'm so proud to call you my friend.

darci said...

argh. hope today is MUCh better for you. I can so relate...I HATE situations like that, and I have the tight throat and fighting back tears (or not) thing too...I hate that because it looks like I'm sad or scared when I'm mad. hang in there. darci

Kevin Heldt said...

"I tend to think of great things to say AFTER the fact" Just like George Costanza. "I'm going with jerk store! Jerk store is the line! Jerk store!" :)

Hang in there, hon. You did great, and I think God is going to work it out just fine.

Angela said...

livid for you...
and feeling my throat tighten and tears threaten the spill over even as i type.
but...kev is right. God has your back, just as He had ours.

rachel said...

I love your blog, you and your family are amazing. I know exactly what you mean by confrontation, I could've written the exact same post. You have a great heart & I have faith God will lead you where you are supposed to be. I hope your day was much better today!


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