In August, I was super ticked off. Like, bad mood, bad attitude, not fun to be around for like a solid week. I kept crying and then decided to vent on Tumblr because everything was in shambles (yes, I’m dramatic). It wasn’t my finest moment, but I was being transparent and “real” about my feelings… without considering anyone or anything else. My friend totally called me out on it and I was instantly upset. Why is she critiquing me? Why can’t I just blog about what I want to blog about?
She reminded me that I have a large audience and I never know who’s going to read my posts. Instead of going into total defense mode and getting overly sensitive, I was like hey fool just breathe, she’s being really courageous by saying something to the girl who tends to get rather defensive and rationalize everything.
Another friend of mine is my “reminder” friend. Emily, remember you said you were going to give up dairy this month? How’s it going? Have you found sponsors for that event yet? And it’s never the nagging-type of questions. It’s the hey, I love you and care about you and I’m checking in on the things you say are important to you. Those people are rockstars and deserve to be flown in private jets to Fiji.
I find it hard to do the same to other people for a few reasons:
1) I’m lazy. Honestly, maybe I didn’t even listen to what you said. Or I just skimmed your novel of an email to me.
2) I don’t feel intelligent enough. This is always going to be a huge struggle of mine. I can’t keep things separated in my mind. I forget really important historical people and events. Ummm, yes I read that book but remember nothing about it. Seriously, if there’s some part of my hippocampus missing, I wouldn’t be surprised. And part of me wants to know because the fact that I can remember your favorite Essie nail polish color but not your dad’s name (even though we met five times) is seriously disturbing. I digress. The point is, at times I don’t want to be engaging because I have no idea what you’re talking about. And instead of asking because of reason one above, I change the subject. #rude
3) I would rather avoid conflict if possible. If we are having a conversation that makes me want to question why you believe something, but could turn up the heat, I’ll most likely avoid it. Or if you don’t respond in a very mature way to something said, I’ll probably just get quiet.
Are you an engaging person? Are you asking the important questions before a project starts? Is your body language indicating that someone is worth your while? Are you just responding to the “how are you” without asking the same?
Rest assured, the quality of life is far better when you feel like people are challenging you and holding you accountable. Sure, there’s pressure. But how could you grow and learn and get farther personally and professionally without a nudge here and there? Please be that to others. At least one person.