Rolling Over and Standing Up.

How many times have you been in a situation where you got a call, text or a letter and were blindsided by someone and couldn’t think of the perfect response until later when you had calmed down and were able to re-engage the brain? In the moment, you recoiled or just stood there dumbfounded, not knowing how to respond to their putting you in a corner. How many times have you left an encounter or hung up the phone, only to have the perfect retort come to you five minutes later?

Well, growing up as a girl when I did, where I did, in the culture I did, and with a mother who could cut me down with a single lash of her tongue, I did not have permission to speak out or to speak up for myself in any way. During the 60’s and early 70’s, it wasn’t nice to say this or be assertive. No one will want to marry you. You must be “nice.” To this day, I hate the word nice because of the connotations I associate with it.

Because of this, when in a confrontational situation, my go-to reaction is often to become a doormat. I’m still working on it.

A few days ago, I had one of these encounters; not in person, but through e-mail. At the time, after I sent a lame response, I got mad. No. I got pissed. Pissed that I just rolled over. Pissed that the person I was corresponding with didn’t see the world the way I do. Pissed because I want this person to “get it” the way I do, and they don’t. And pissed because I thought I knew this person better than I really do. Bit by bit, they are showing their true colors to me, and they are disappointing. Very disappointing.

So, how did I handle it after I rolled over and played dead? I crafted several carefully worded replies in my head and never deliver them. Well, at least not yet. I will at some point, when I reach the point in our relationship when it doesn’t matter if they get mad and choose to never have anything to do with me again (because that is very likely to happen). For now, with this one person, I still need them in my life.

Sitting and thinking about the whole situation, even though I’m not pleased with how I still tend to roll over instead of standing up for myself in some situations (not all situations!), one thing I gleaned is my ability to think in multiple levels about something, virtually at the same time. My brain is fast! That’s one of the things about this person that I got wrong. They don’t and likely can’t do this. I can look at something from ten different angles, inside out, upside down, and sideways in a matter of nanoseconds. Another thing I am seeing very clearly is my assumptions about this individual. I thought that because they are extremely talented in one area of their life, it would extend to other areas. It doesn’t. My 13-year-old son is more capable in a lot of ways than this adult.

And my big disappointment is really two-fold. One: that I misjudged this person. And two: that I’m not standing up for myself… at least not yet. It will happen in due time.

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a very spirited 14 year old son, and a former merchant ship's deck officer. To feed my creative side I take photos and make a very occasional batch of soap. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family.
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6 Responses to Rolling Over and Standing Up.

  1. emjayandthem says:

    You’re far ahead of the one who cut you down ~ why? Because, as you pointed out, you’re deep enough to think through it and NOT respond in kind. I have a # of people like that whom I know – I’ve learned that I can engage at their level and that simply exhausts me and leaves me feeling badly. Or – I can step away – and not choose to get into it. My experience has been that folks who want to do battle with me usually want to battle everyone. I let them have at it but I don’t engage ~ so much healthier for me because 1) engaging is exhausting 2) they’re usually far better at it than I am (at lobbing negativity) and 3) doing so steals my joy. Not. doing. it.

    Cheers! MJ

    • Thanks MJ. Sometimes it’s good to bite my tongue (and not sink to another person’s level). And other times I really need to speak up for myself. Learning the balance. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

  2. There are lots of stories about Abraham Lincoln writing angry letters and then deciding not to send them after having a day to think. I also hate being a pushover and feel I need to stand up to people when they’re being unfair, but I often feel the confrontation isn’t worth the fallout after having a day to think about it. I worry the Internet enables such fast communication that we don’t have to cool off and be rational.

    • Good to have you drop by. Thanks for the info about Abe. Wise man. There have been many times where I’ve written letters (e-mails), only to later delete them instead of sending. Writing is how I get my “stuff” out. Some of it sees the light of day, but not all.

      In this instance, I haven’t called this person to the carpet, but the day might come. I won’t do it online though; only in person. We’ll see. Trying not to throw the baby out with the bath water in this particular situation.

  3. Peta Kaplan says:

    It is okay. Because “this too shall pass.” Sometimes its not worth investing the energy on someone that is negative and makes us feel bad. Yes venting might get rid of immediate anger, but its stressful to get angry.

    Dont beat yourself up, just move on….

    Thats why I prefer animals to people, ha ha.

    • Thanks Peta. I have now gotten what I needed from this person and have a much clearer picture of their complete lack of authenticity. I won’t have to have any further dealings with them.

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