Today I’m going to do you a favour. I’m going to share with you the biggest lesson I’ve learned in here and trust me, this one’s a game changer, quite literally.
I learned this the hard way cycling through this pattern a few times before it finally embedded into my thick head. So here it is;
If you insist on imagining you know what someone else is thinking and you then base your decisions upon that supposition then you are absolutely 100% going to be taking action upon something completely incorrect.
I do this all the time. Things aren’t going quite how I imagine they should be going. People aren’t acting in exactly the way I think they should be acting and, instead of articulating my, let’s call them concerns, I just go off into tailspin and start imagining all sorts of shit. And it’s never good. Pretty much always negative. I’ll throw up a bunch of theories in my head and then pick the one I feel fits best and convince myself it’s reality. Then I’ll start altering my behaviour and interactions accordingly which, of course, has a knock on effect and invairably cause issues where usually there were none to begin with. In this daft situation often the only issue is the one I concocted all by myself within my own stupid head.
I’m very, very good at doing this. I’ve don’t it many, many times. It’s wrecked countless relationships and friendships RL and SL. I’m stubborn and strange and frankly awful at talking things through. I avoid anything I feel is sensitive or awkward, anything that could expose me and my feelings in any way at all and potentially open me up, like the plague. I’d rather let a relationship wither and die than put myself on the line like that. It’s a tragic way to be and I probably would have kept doing it had it not been for the insight provided by a friend quite recently which gave me the courage to try something new and …. to be amazed and awed at the results.
I was mid spiral … committed to my free fall again when he gave me this counselling. For some reason his logic made sense to me and he managed to penetrate my thick skull. Here are some of the things he said…
- What did I think had happened?
- How did I arrive at that conclusion?
- What facts (note facts not assumptions) support this?
- Had I voiced my concerns?
- Had I given the other person a chance to not only defend themselves but even be aware that the situation existed?
- How could it be made better i.e. what did I actually want?
- And … here’s possibly the most important one … was I acting like and mature, rational adult or an immature unthinking child?
That last was hard to acknowledge and I’ll admit, pissed me off when he said it. However he said it a few days ago and I’ve had a little time with it. Now I realise that although I’m not a child that I do sometimes act like one. Quite a lot. I use my social anxiety and general weirdness as an excuse. I use it to hide. I use it, I realised, to perpetuate unhappiness unnecessarily.
So… I laid it all on the table, warts and all. I explain that it was new to me, uncomfy, hard but here it was; this was what was running around in my head, this was how I felt… and this was I needed.
And.. wonder of wonders. He understood. He graciously and without hesitation offered me what I needed. And all was good in the world again.
As simple and easy and straightforward as that.
And I learned something. And maybe reading this, if you are anything like me… you will too.