Free yourself by being yourself. Who cares if they like your hair, like your style, like your decision to start a business, change careers, etc.? You shouldn’t care! Who are these people that like to hold us captive in their will for out lives? Well, whomever they are, they are not the boss of your life. So what if that color doesn’t look good on you to them…you like it, you buy it, you wear it.
Oh, and don’t forget to let others be themselves without your approval.
“I love to argue. I like getting a rise out of people.”
“I like to argue because it makes me feel like he or she loves me.”
“I like to argue because it’s passionate and it means they must really love me.”
“I like to argue and I get upset if my lover does not argue back.”
“I start arguments just to break up and make up.”
I’ve heard these things and more. I am always baffled by a person that likes to argue and even more baffled when they describe this in a relationship as “passion and love.” I have heard it so much over the years I ask myself from time to time, “Am I crazy? Is not arguing all the time, over any and everything not dysfunctional? Is there not something wrong with equivalating negative energy with passion and love?” I always thought people that like to argue are just miserable people.
In another scope of this crazy idea (well, crazy to me) is that constant arguing is a normal thing. I guess if you grew up in a house where arguing or creating division among family members was normal, either you do this or you do the complete opposite. Perhaps, it was or is a learned behavior in relationships.
I don’t like to argue. Some associate that with weakness. They associate a loud mouth or constant bickering as strength and power. Maybe, they think I don’t love them or lack passion. I won’t love you very long if you enjoy arguing I can tell you that. I won’t want to be around you much either if you argue every time we are together. Here is why:
I grew up in a house where there was constant complaining/nagging
I grew up where arguments in my younger years were traumatic for me (maybe not so much for my other siblings). IT CREATES MAJOR ANXIETY FOR ME to be in a room or near people arguing and yelling.
It zaps my energy to argue. Especially, over small things.
My temper is better than it use to be, but when you start insulting my intelligence or calling me out of my name I have a tendency to 10 up you and then I’ll be accused of going overboard.
Arguing in general brings about a bad energy, it takes me forever to calm down.
Arguing every day would wear me out. I wouldn’t be passionate about seeing you every day and I would not be in love with you long if all I did was see negative vibes coming when I saw you. You’d look better leaving than you do coming.
It would get old quick in relationships and friendships if every time I had an opinion, made a statement, you would want to question it, debate it, create an unnecessary heated, inflammatory argument so that you could prove our friendship is solid or our relationship can stand the great debate of the left or right TWIX. BULL…
These are just a few reasons as to why I don’t like to argue. Do couples, family, friends, argue? Yes. Does it need to be every time we get together, or every other day? Over any and every thing? I don’t think so. You can call it weak or sensitive. I’m going to call it sanity. I’m for a discussion or a healthy debate, I am not for contention and contempt.
Whenever you begin to set boundaries to preserve and protect your peace of mind and your sensitivity, or even to enforce those boundaries, there will probably be fall out from individuals who lack the respect of those boundaries. I have discovered that people want you to bend and break to appease them and often they wouldn’t do the same for you. Nor would I want anyone to compromise their peace of mind for me. And that is the difference. People will create problems, want you to solve them, and then become upset if you don’t. They don’t care if what they want makes you unhappy. This is blatant selfishness. Recognize this as a flaw in character. Also, people like this will often either get angry in hopes you will change your mind or run a guilt trip hoping for the same results. When you comply to neither they will call you mean and selfish (I am laughing as I type this) but, you and I both know they are merely describing themselves! Some leave you alone entirely or distant themselves.
You have to become okay with this. I know it may be difficult but, do not cave and compromise your peace or the sensitivity of your nature. I was created with a big heart and compassion but, not at the sacrifice of my own peace. Never again. Emotional manipulators are professionals at what they do. They have been use to throwing tantrums, running guilt trips and playing games to get what they want and you are left footing the bill, debt, or uneasiness. I stood my ground recently and I owe no one an explanation of what I want and why I want it the way I want it. I can’t do what you want me to do to make you happy and I am left to grin and bear it or wallow in the nagging feeling of “Why did I do that? Why didn’t I say NO?” Just remember even if you have the money or can accommodate someone’s request, if you don’t FEEL at ease, DO NOT DO IT AND OFFER NO EXPLANATION. You don’t have to explain your no.
Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments and some of us did not. Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments that were flawed on some level. Sometimes deeply flawed or sometimes tumultuous depending on the problems the parent or parents had. It could have been an ill parent, an unfaithful parent, it could have been arguing all the time, or the parent could be one that came and went. Today I want to speak to those that grew up with the Critic Parent. The one that ALWAYS had something negative to say or critiqued everything you did or every choice you made.
I grew up with one. Every choice you made, there was a better one. When you did your chores, there was always something you could have did better or forgot. When you did things to try to impress that parent, they were not all that impressed. Each time you did your hair or got dressed, they would frown up at your attire or choice and I am not talking about the typical parent-child disagreement about clothes and hair. This is beyond that. This is a tear down of the child. A ripping of their power to make choices and to feel good about their choices and themselves. All of this is about that and the child needing to be supported, guided, and free to be an individual. I felt singled out from all of my siblings. The boys in the family didn’t have this problem, but the only sister I had said she would experience it from time to time, but as soon as she was able to she left the house.
The constant stares, criticism, correction, and questioning of everything I did, said, or chose literally destroyed my self esteem. I was already an outsider with my red hair as an African American child, my brainy self, my extreme shyness, and artys personality. I wasn’t accepted in many circles and to be home and not accepted was traumatic to my sensitive soul. Did you know, that those who are artists and creative types have a spectrum on the emotional scale as more sensitive than normal and that can swing to more depressed than normal? I had no idea until I started seeing a psychologist. My mother always said “If you just look at me, I would start crying.” I wonder if she created that insecurity within me or fostered it. I don’t know.
I second guess everything I did, said, and every choice I made as a young adult. It caused me to be paralyzed with fear. I had no confidence. If this is normal mines was twice as bad. Even after choices were made I worried that I was wrong, I didn’t know what I was doing, there you go again…not getting it right. I was surprised when things worked out. An even then, I was not sure that things would be okay.
Many things contributed to my bouts of depression and need to want to escape this world by suicide. I know this was one of them. I equated a wrong choice in anything I did as a reflection of how I could never and would never get it right. Even the simplest things. I was beyond self conscious and not just in the way I look, but in the work I did. Even now I have to say “Hey, it’s good enough. You did your best.” I also had to learn to not do what was did to me to others and when I had my daughter, I vowed to not utilize that aspect of my parent. I did take all of the good from that parent, which was a lot, and use it.
I believe there are many reasons a parent does this. I think we expect parents to be perfect or to know better, but the truth is they are not perfect and they do not know “how to” always do better. Hurting people hurt other people. When we are children we don’t know or think about the fact our parents have lived some type of life before us and has experienced some type of childhood…both of these things either good, bad, or traumatic. These things have an effect on the parent as a child, as an adult, and as your parent. Many hurt parents have know idea of the psychological effects of their behavior on their children and we grow up to think many of the things we experienced were normal and acceptable until we meet other children and other adults. If you can’t recognize the signs of your behavior as detrimental to the shaping of the child, then you as the parent continue to do what you do. The generation before me were not privy to psychology or child psychology. They were too busy trying to make a living. The way they dealt with things were to not talk about them. But, guess what? Buried feelings and events of our lives are still alive if they are not dead. However, we as the children who grew up in some sort of tainted or warped environment, now have the privilege of that knowledge that we may be better parents and better human beings. We also have the work of healing ourselves from these scars.
I am now realizing that I survived by learning through trial and error, my commitment to not repeat those mistakes by taking different actions, some education about parenting, my relationship with God, the wisdom of the Spirit, other wise souls, and yes, therapy. I survived by accepting the relationship I have with that parent, sometimes calling them on their behavior and holding them accountable, and other times letting it go. I survived by releasing my anger and hurt. I survived with knowledge of the effects of trauma on people who never admit or talk about what’s really going on, but instead choose to respond with some outward action or to remain silent and bottled up.
However, for this leg of my journey at 42, I am here to be liberated this year and to be legendary in my doings. I need to THRIVE and not just survive. I thrive by forgiving and by forgiving I am free (liberated). I thrive by realizing that parent may never seek counseling, deliverance, or healing, but my choice to not feed into it or to have some compassion for the hurt child inside that parent, is liberating my emotions to choose happiness even if they are miserable. And all of that is a legendary step for my soul’s journey.