There is one major goal I have for 2014, and it is this:
I’m going to be very selective about the types of people I want to surround myself with, both in real life and online.
People’s comments, opinions and attitudes occupy my thoughts far more than I wish them to. Some people’s thoughts and their moods have uplifted me and some people’s have undermined my progress.
I realize that “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”; however, it can take a considerable amount of mental energy to keep the negative responses and reactions of others out of my brain.
I’ve had to learn to exercise restraint. I realized that there are people, like my sisters and a few friends, who would say something provocative and demeaning, then I would try to respond as politely and logically as I could (not always possible because I can have a temper), and then they would come back with an even more reactive or harsh response. It took me a LONG time to realize that sometimes the best response is no response.
And then there are just types of interactions that are just tiresome.
I would have these maddening conversations with a friend of mine that would make me feel very sad, and very fatigued:
I said this to a friend I no longer have recently:
[i think] i’m going to address some of what you said tonight.
seems to me that i could expend the energy trying to clarify myself…
then i’ll have to clarify that.
i don’t know if it really will matter if i do or don’t try to correct the things i say.i don’t have the energy to make sure my expressions are perfectly expressed for you.
There were some people who could easily understand what I meant and one who frequently would get hung up on words. I admit my handle on vocabulary is not what it once was, and I’m not a linguist, not even an amateur one. Trying to be friends with one turned out to be frequently frustrating, because a wrong word choice would result in a mini lecture on the subtle shades and textures of meaning and it was evident I frequently chose a word that only approximated what I meant.
I was particularly meticulous when it came to my laboratory work. I am particularly meticulous when it comes to choosing words to express myself in my creative writing or my blog writing, but I’m considerably more relaxed in my correspondence with friends. I do not want to have a pedant attention to semantics when I write to my friends. I try to convey the essence of what I mean, at least. I don’t want to argue over semantics.
And there were times when I truly did not understand what was being said to me, either. It seems though that the more I wanted clarity and understanding, the more things got lost in translation. And generally speaking, while I adore original metaphorical writing, I really abhor idiomatic language. It’s not that I have never used idioms, just that I can’t always understand the use of them in the context of what was being said. I think people can hide their true intended meanings in idioms, and it’s left me feeling confused and quite stupid. I’ve actually had to look up the meaning of a few idioms, then come back and read the passage I found it in and compare the meaning to the conversation it was deposited into. And then, still not really understanding, have to ask how the idiom fits into the spirit of what was said.
I wasted a great deal of
mental energy and time Life trying to interpret information, clarify (or re-clarify) myself, and moderate my own internal responses and reactions to other people’s confusing or hostile remarks. I’ve also wasted a great deal of mental and emotional energy trying to deflect other people’s unconscious misuse of sexual energy (but that’s a whole other blog post or three I’ll probably write about) and repair some damage I inadvertently invited.
What a waste of Life.
I want wholesome, edifying, uplifting friendship (and I realized that I do have a couple of friends just like that).
And I won’t accept anything less.
I’m sad to lose certain companions, but I’m thrilled to gain freedom and self-respect.