Thursday, 15 August 2013

To cry or not to cry; that is the slightly less famous question.

Okay, so I know that Shakespeare didn't say this but I figured we'd still entertain it as a topic to look at today because, quite frankly, sometimes I like to live dangerously. 

2013 has been a year of self-discovery for me. I have been a recluse, a social pariah, which was the followed suddenly by becoming a woman who's social life is booked up months in advance. I have also been a push-over, followed suddenly by a push of assertiveness and sticking up for myself. In addition, I have gone from reserving my periods of drastic emotion to nights in with a bottle of wine and the movie One Day playing in the comfort of my own company only, to public displays in front of others and trying to accept that that's okay. 

All of this is, I've been told, a positive thing but I'm still battling with years of social programming to accept this. This is what I want to focus on today. 

If people reading know me, the subject of my public crying will come as surprise or be completely normal, depending on the period of my life you were introduced to me. I go through seasons of being emotional for a while then suddenly deciding that this is a bad thing and becoming completely void of all public emotion. 

At the moment, my source of public emotion seems to manifest itself out of my being angry. I get frustrated with things and then suddenly there are these tears that just fall and continue to fall and I'm all "well this is hardly productive, what the hell?"

However, throughout all of these changes, I am trying to accept that this is perfectly normal and that, if I'm the type of woman who decides that she wants to cry when annoyed, there's really nothing I can do about it and I should learn to accept it. Better out, than in and all... Although I'm pretty sure that saying applies to the manner of burping, I'm going to apply it here because I'm a rebel like that. 

There are several factors in my life at the moment that I won't go into detail here but I can safely assure you are pretty much hella frustrating. My go to reaction in these areas are that I should just lay down, close my eyes and let it happen, suppressing it from my mind once it's over. This is all derived from this bizarre inclination that I have whereby I want to be liked so, if I don't argue about it, people won't hate me unconditionally and will continue to adore me. 

However, what I have found in these situations is that doing this doesn't really make people like me but rather realise that they can get me to do anything because I don't argue. So I decided that a little gentle "no, sorry, I can't do that" or "I'm actually not happy with the way you have spoken to me" might be beneficial before I became known as the world's biggest push over. 

And this is what I have been doing. Let me tell you, my life before doing this was so much easier and... Well... Predictable. Since I decided that I was going to let people know of my limitations, it has felt a massive struggle just to get through the week sometimes. 

And this is where the crying comes in. There is one thing that I have been just ridiculously terrified of since as far as I can remember; confrontation. Confrontation is a bitch and something that gets me all freaked out and frustrated when it happens. Because I don't know really how to deal with these situations as I have generally avoided them like the plague, I am now finding myself in them and not knowing what the hell I am doing. I get all freaked out and my tone reflects it, all the terror comes to the front and manifests itself into some form of anger. 

When a person sits with me to discuss opposing views to what I feel, my brain automatically freaks out and screams at me and the following internal battle happens:

Programmed self: Lisa? What the hell? I know that people have a different opinion to us, but why are you gearing yourself up to verbally tell them that?
New self: Apparently this is what the rest of the world do when they disagree with something. We're trying new things this year, remember?
Programmed self: Yeah, but we don't know how to do it. Remember when we tried it six years ago and the world almost ended?
New self: Yeah, I've been thinking about that, we may have over-reacted slightly on that occasion. 
Programmed self: But if we tell them that we don't agree, then they're going to know we're not perfect and the world's easiest person to get along with. 
New self: Let's be honest, did we ever really believe we were that person?
Programmed self: Of course we weren't, but what happened to our life goal of striving to become that person?
New self: I've been told that that person might not exist. 
Programmed self: But how are we going to cope if this person gets angry at us an their opinion drops of us? We'll lose points!!!!!
New self: ... I've been thinking about that... Would that be such a bad thing? So one person doesn't like something about us. I think that that's the nature of the human race. 
Programmed self: Okay, now you're just not making sense. What if this person decides not to like us at all?
New self: Well... Maybe that's okay too. 
Programmed self: We don't know how to handle that. We'll self-combust. Remember that time-
New self: I think we can safely say that the previous times, we didn't quite react in a normal capacity. 
Programmed self: What is the normal way of reacting to things?
New self: I'm not sure. Let's find out. 
Programmed self: We don't know how to argue!
New self: We did it once. 
Programmed self: I don't remember that bit! I'm sorry but I'm freaking out. You're making me do something I don't like. I'm not happy. What if we get it wrong?
New self: Then we know what not to do the next time. Let's just go through this calmly-
Programmed Self: Nope, I'm not happy. I think I'm just going to make you sound angry and... And... Cry!! Cry uncontrollably and then see if your argument has any credibility or people actually pay attention to what you have to say. HA HA! I win. 

And then I am left with New Self making an argument and Programmed Self forcing me to seem uptight, rude, angry and with the overwhelming inclination that tears will help my argument when I'm trying to say that I'm not being over-emotional at the moment. 

I mean seriously, those tears just spike up and pour down while my Programmed Self is laughing in my head and saying "Yeah, that's right. Assume the foetal position and close down." 

And yesterday, I almost did. I almost decided that my opinions clearly didn't matter and I should just give up because people were starting to see my imperfections instead of the flawless persona I have tried so hard to bring across. Then I had this epiphany. So what if they see something they don't like? It's not the end of the world. Provided that what I'm doing with my life isn't spiteful or damaging to anyone and I steer clear of acts that might send me to jail (I wouldn't last two minutes in prison), I should embrace all the parts of me and let my freak flag fly... Or something. So I have parts of me that aren't that great. So what? Everyone else does. 

And then a weight lifted from my shoulders that was such a relief I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... And, in that instance, I didn't cry. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

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