I have had the need to assess my responses to situations around me. Am I REacting to what I perceive as your Insert Adjective behavior. Or am I acting out of Life Experience and somehow imparting a piece of my Character into this situation to a Useful End. Am I participating in someone else's emotional reactions and snowballing something out of control? Or do I stand firm and tell my Truth without seeking my own end?
I have lived in different cultural situations. The nomadic existence of being a military brat created short term relationships that sometimes led to certain young people telling fish stories of their grandiose life styles and secrets of state we swore we knew and could never tell. The adolescent tales of 'who is sleeping with who' and who wore what, and how cool are you, as opposed to me? That all took place in a culture that my family had spent generations in, though I was still an outsider, since not everyone of my contemporaries immediately knew my family. The short term 'ole lady. The long term wife. Co-worker. Lover. Friend. Partner.
I have never had time for 'survivor' style manipulation. I don't get the amusement. I don't understand the need to undermine another person for professional (or personal) status. If you have to step ON me, apparently I have more value than you want to admit. So, get off me.
Since I have had to take a detailed inventory of ME (which is a damned chore), I have been watching my responses to things. I have always been pretty careful during my young life to watch my body cycles and make sure that I am fed and watered well if I got short tempered. Checked the status of the moon to see if I had to put all my knives away, made sure I let the people around me know that I could be surly, and to just smile and nod if poison drips from my face. Any other response usually just escalates my temper. I have had some absolutely wonderful partners in my life that have stood and yelled "rawr-rawr" right back at me, and let me just hollar a bad mood away until the behavior just made me laugh. I have very good friends.
I have been watching Action versus REaction in myself very carefully. I have been working on my constructive ability and functionality. I would like to someday trust that I can make a plan, execute, tidy up, and reap the benefits of my good work without pausing, second guessing, finding a squirrel, or just tossing my hands up and taking a nap instead. I am a difficult teacher, I do not accept failure. My ears have no ability to process whining (even my own). I cannot hear the word "No" (ask my anyone).
I stumble. I fall. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I still scream my newly invented epithets. But I have never beaten anyone for driving like a moron. I have had lots of opportunity. I am not saying I never will. Just that I have not.
It's not my core character to hurt someone. I do not do so with intention. My intention is to bring comfort and honesty. My intention is to act with an open heart and give what I can to this situation. My intention is to Listen and Teach. No more than you need, no less than you require.
I am working very hard to give myself Time and Space. To evaluate what, in my day, may be motivating my next sentence, or the way I feel RIGHT NOW. Is it important that I say the next sentence that is about to come shooting out of this pie hole of mine? Or should I bite my tongue, wait 24 hours and see how I feel about it then? Is this next sentence going to permanently change my relationship? In a good way? Will this benefit one of us? Is is shallow and trivial? Is it hurtful?
--Pleasure's couch is virtue's grave <<Augustine Duganne