So, I have come to the conclusion that I just need to let people deal with their own crap. And their crap is not my crap. Sure, they may think it affects me, and it could but only if I permit it. I’ve had to come to this conclusion several times over the past eight years. But, on occasion, I need to be reminded. Today, I received another reminder.
I made an honest and really raw attempt to reach out within a group of guys to invite some depth of heart and conversation not unlike I already have within the “crew” I’m in. I was met with complete silence over the last several days. No engagement other than a friend in the group commenting on the sound of “crickets”. It didn’t surprise me. However, the invitation was extended at the request of another in the group who asked my opinion on something. Please be aware that my opinion is precisely that. My opinion. And it is not intended to be directive or advisory in any way, shape, or form.
I have been a part of this community for several months and noticed a lot of men lamenting the fact that they do not have anyone with whom to communicate on any deep level. In fact, another member of the group posted a fantastic blog post here detailing “10 Keys Guys Use to Build Long Term Relationships”. It’s a really awesome piece and worth reading for any guy who is struggling. C. S. Fite’s words resonated with the guys in the group. That’s at least the impression I got from comments from within the group. Maybe I read too much into them. Because I received the exact opposite impression from my own post.
So, I commented on how I feel about his post and can relate to it. Sounds like a plan, right (I wasn’t exploiting the post. I really appreciate what the guy had to say)? Evidently not. Because I got called out for it. Privately, of course. The leader of the group actually told me that the group may not be the right place for me. I think that’s like a manager asking someone to resign, so they don’t have to do the dirty work on their own. No worries, I left. Not quietly, of course. See, my comments to the group were, essentially, that they quit their griping about not having someone to go deeper with because there are people here who want the same thing. Do I want it to be me? Sure. Maybe. But what is more important to me is that I might have stirred up something in some of them. Something that has them wanting more for themselves. Even better if they start believing it’s really possible to do something about it.
I could easily start changing to fit others’ expectations of me. Sure. People do it all the time. And I used to be one. A people pleaser. I could change to meet others’ expectations for any reason. And I did. Really well.
But it wasn’t me. It was a me-shaped person in a different person’s box. The last several years, I have started to learn to be okay with being me. And that other people would get pissed off at me being me. Well, that’s their junk – their crap. Their issues to deal with.
I will not stop being authentic – being me. Not for anybody. And if someone doesn’t like me, they can move on. Like I’m doing as soon as I post this.
How have you struggled with other people’s opinions of your attitudes and actions? What kinds of hurt have you endured as you learn who you are in order to be comfortable in your own skin? I’d love to hear thoughts. And I’d like to let you know that, if you struggle with other people not accepting you – you can be okay with that. Really.