The simplest/hardest of things…
June 20, 2011 § 2 Comments
"Natalie Anne, you have arrived. And it's about time."
From the early years on up, most of us are raised to consider others, to be respectful and ready to help. We are encouraged to be courteous. Hopefully. There are those of us, however, who take it many steps further.
When we enter a room, we take in our surroundings. This requires a certain amount of awareness, of sensitivity and observation. We use our peripheral vision like a superpower and can tell by the air on our skin if someone is joyful, relaxed, or melancholy as they walk toward us. We assess, note, and consider. Taking all of this into account, our approach is modified accordingly, a process that only takes a few seconds. Exhausting? Sometimes.
You won’t usually find folks like this blazing into a room or interrupting much. Overriding an opinion? Not often. The phrases “I could see that” or the non-commital “Mm-hmm” are common. They ask questions but don’t always like to answer them. If someone else has a strong desire for certain music/food/movie, great. They would hate to be responsible for anyone not enjoying their pick. In fact, the pressure of choosing for others turns them into balls of anxiety and nervous energy, all while they gauge everyone’s reactions and emotions.
This is not all bad. For the most part, it’s not an entirely unfortunate quality to have. But there’s a catch- a fine line between consideration and comparison. Being the thermostat in the room for other people makes it hard to identify yourself. It leaves little time to establish your thoughts, how you would do it, understand and present your feelings. You don’t want to raise a ruccus, so you allow others who clearly know where they stand to take over.
Well, at the ripe age of 27, I no longer need to look to the person next to me and see what Crayon color they’re using- I can decide for myself. And be okay with that. There is a balance in there somewhere and I think I’m a bit closer to finding it. Understanding others is great, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of identity and giving yourself a little credit.
According to my mom, this was a little breakthrough today.
It must have been pretty revolutionary for me because the woman who knows me best got really excited, hand supposedly in the air as she genuinely cheered over the phone, so clearly this thought process was years overdue. Guess I’ve had a certain M.O. my whole life and it just might be on its way out. I don’t need to take in and accomodate whoever is in my line of vision. I am Natalie Anne, who gets excited over cold milk, annoyed at public swearing, and comforted by a good book. That’s just me.
And that’s okay. 🙂