Recently I've been having trouble with my tolerance for others.
I apologise in advance for how very self-indulgent this is.
I used to be quite a sociable gal and moderately tolerant. This has become increasingly short over recent years, since becoming independent and having to deal with people on my own, since starting to work with the public and even more so since becoming involved in performing arts as a "career." I did predict this, but not to quite this extent.
I may be wrong, but in my opinion, overall I'm a "nice" person. I mean well at least. I'm usually polite and respectful. I like to let people speak and wait for appropriate times to reply. I like to give people a chance to express their opinion and in return hope they'll let me express mine. I was brought up to value this sort of behaviour. I really do value manners. I also value honesty. Very much. Even if your honesty isn't what the person wants to hear (there are some obvious exceptions to this, like hurtful and unnecessary honesty) I think in most cases it's better than a lie. I am by no means perfect, I have had my moments like everyone else, and have been known to not know when to keep my mouth shut, but I do try to be these things as much as I can. I do quite well considering how often I'm put under circumstances where I'd rather not.
However, in the past few weeks, I've started to doubt my methods.
As I said, I was brought up to have manners and respect for others, but also only to tolerate a certain amount of aggravation before speaking up. When I was younger I used to find that really difficult. I was quite a shy wee girl and didn't like to get into arguments. I'd always back down because I was afraid of the conflict. This has changed gradually over the years, and if its really necessary I will speak up if there's a problem, but only after quite a bit of pushing, and only if I feel confident that the person in question wont punch me. I've gotten far better at it than ever, but still, there's work to be done.
In the past 4 years or so, I've started to become my own person, and not a silly teenager anymore. I've begun to learn who I am (and all that nonsense) and really think about what I want and who I want to be.
Personally, I am inspired by people who speak their mind, people who aren't afraid to stand their ground even if no one stands on their side. People who wont take shit and will challenge something if they think its wrong. I am inspired by people who genuinely don't care what other people think of them because they are happy with who they are. People who have enough self-respect not to let people talk down to them.
I have become so aware lately that I'm not quite one of those people. Yet!
If you know me, you'll know I am by no means a wallflower, quite the opposite. I also have a line, and once you cross it you'll lose my respect forever.
However, there have been too many occasions where inside I have been saying "Don't speak to me like that." or "What is your fucking problem?" but have said nothing. Or where I have sat in silence and listened to a conversation that I find disrespectful or in some cases fucking horrible and said nothing because well, it's easier not to have to live with tension isn't it? At the time I've thought that I was being the smarter one, not getting involved, but now it's starting to affect me. I'm starting to feel that I'm sacrificing myself in some ways by pretending.
I think the issue sometimes is that I'm really bad at falling out with people. I find it really awkward and unnatural to keep up the whole "I'm angry at you" thing. Sometimes I actually forget and am accidentally nice to them. (Unless of course it's something really bad.)
Then there's the fact that to some extent I do care what people think of me. I definitely don't need to be liked by everyone, but I do like to feel understood, and obviously it's nicer to be liked. I'd hate for someone to dislike me without giving me a chance but if they got to know me and just didn't fancy what I have to offer, then I suppose that's fine.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that what sometimes stops me from speaking up until a certain point is that I don't want to look like a right cow. (Or like one of those "opinionated" people who just disagree with everyone for the sake of it. Eurgh. Those people.)
I have decided today that a new attitude is in order.
From today I would like myself to say "Don't speak to me like that" or "You are out of order" or "I'm not happy with that" (see how fucking polite I am!) instead of saying nothing. I would like to take myself away and not associate myself with those that spark these feelings.
I have tended not to be so tolerant of the bad attitudes of customers at work of late. I realised I just don't care about the job enough to allow it. The first time I said "There's no need to be rude" it actually worked. She stopped being rude. Who'd have thought it?
Today I got myself away from a situation that I knew would lead to feeling this way. Then later, I (sort of) gave the same attitude back to someone who gave it to me (and has been giving it to me for several years now) for the first time (trust me they deserve it).
These are baby steps, but to me these are positive steps towards the new attitude and being the sort of person I wish to be.
I have no idea how this will go. Honestly. It will probably take quite a lot of work for me to keep this new attitude up.
Promise I'll try and be funny next time.
Also, I'd like people's opinions on this issue or any issue. Just bloody talk to me!