There are those I admire in my life, that I wish I could be more like. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with who I am, but rather that I wish I could change myself in little ways to improve myself.
One of the things I admire about some folks out there (and I’m sure you know who you are) is their strength. In particular, their strength when it comes to dealing with other people.
For example, say we have Person A and Person B. Person A is one of these folks that I admire for this reason, and Person B is highly annoying. Person A will not brook any sort of nonsense from Person B, and will, as we say in the vernacular, administer the smack-down as necessary to keep Person B in line, or at least, tolerable.
What do I do?? Nothing like this. I listen to Person B yabber on, I try to make Person B feel better about things, I am there for Person B. The thing is, Person B doesn’t seem to care one way or another because s/he’d rather throw a pity party. As a result, Person B still whines to me, and I still feel obligated to listen, to console, to do what I can. Even when Person B is obviously just in the mood to whine and complain and bemoan life in general.
And so I aspire to be more like Person A. To tell Person B to get a life and quit haranguing all of us about stupid things. To stop making threats, to stop taking Person B’s anger out on me.
I want to not be afraid. That’s my problem. I’m very afraid of confrontation. Well, maybe afraid is the wrong word. I just hate it. When someone gets upset at me, justifiably or not, I get worried and I start to fret about that person being mad at me. And I’ll either let things blow over, or I’ll apologize profusely.
Of course, my family members would probably not see that. When it comes to family, I will get into arguments with them and I’m not afraid of confrontation. As far as my stepmom goes, she actually picks fights with me. I think it may be some sort of ploy to get Dad to side with her instead of me. It rarely works because Dad understands that my stepmom can be very abrasive and usually starts the fights. My father and I have gotten in some nasty fights, not to mention the fights I’ve had with my mother and my sister at various points in my life. About the only person I don’t fight with is my brother, but he’s still young yet, and there’s nothing to fight about.
A lot of my fear of confrontation comes from living with one of my ex-roommates. She was rather a manipulative person, and I wasn’t as strong as I am now. I did a lot of things for her over the year we lived together, and it always was not enough. She would get mad at me for something and just not talk to me for a couple of days. Then, after a few days had gone by, it was like nothing had happened. Also, she got to be really good friends with this person who had been my best friend here at college, and when I saw them together all the time I felt a twinge of envy. My former best friend now preferred my roommate, and knowing the two of them, I’m sure they talked to one another about how bad a person I was. I had a massive complex from it and my self-esteem suffered.
The problem is this still sometimes affects me. Sometimes my roommate is just not in a chatty mood, or she’s having a bad day. And the first thing I always think of when she doesn’t talk to me is that I’ve done something wrong, and she’ll be mad at me for days. But then I realize, I’m living with a totally different person, and just because my former roommate did that sort of thing to me doesn’t mean that my current one does it too. And I know my roommate now doesn’t do that sort of thing. It’s still hard sometimes… A very strange thing to try to explain.
And so I want to be strong, to stand up for myself and not let folks treat me this way. There are few people who can do this sort of thing to me now, but they do exist. I shall just have to watch those who I admire and aspire to one day be brave enough to emulate them. Maybe then I won’t get walked on all the time….
Because I am NOT a freakin’ doormat.