Why is it so difficult to stand up for myself in some situations?
I'm not sure, but I do know that it is.
Today, I had to speak my mind with a couple of people with whom I work, and it was the toughest thing for me to do.
I've been sorting through the day to see what the trigger was for me, and I think I've figured out.
I've been working with this guy who not only wants to have everything go his way, but also wants everyone else to agree with him, have all of us tell him that he is right. Then, and only then can he finally relax. Only then will he finally stop...stop talking, stop trying to convince others of his position and stop pushing, pushing, pushing.
Today, I pushed back.
It may not have been the most graceful self-defence in the world, but at least I did it.
We were discussing the way to bring a project to completion and there was one sticking point. I personally didn't care what the solution was, so all I wanted was to make a decision and get it over with.
There were several times during this long phone call that I felt like I was being treated very disrespectfully and dismissively whenI was sharing my opinion with them. I took a deep breath and said so. Although no one responded to me, and truly, I believe that no one heard me, the point for me was in saying it out loud for myself. I was not saying it for anyone else's benefit, simply for my own.
After over an hour, I gave up. Telling the others on the phone that I had to go, I assured them that I'd be fine with whatever decision they made. Then, I said goodbye very nicely...and hung up.
Later on, I received an email from the guy who had arranged the call and who was looking for universal agreement with his perspective. Apparently, the phone call continued for another half hour before everyone agreed with him. Then, and only then, was he content to end the call and go away happily.
The moral of this story?
Pick the hills you want to die on.
Today, this was not one of those hills.
Rather than getting into a disagreement, I recognized the futility of that path, chose to leave the discussion quietly and with no fuss, and let the dust settle anywhere but on me.
Was that the right decision? For me, it was.
I felt stronger, peaceful, more relaxed and very much alive after making this decision, so that tells me it was right for me.
I'm sure there are folks who will disagree with my way of dealing with an unsolvable situation. That's fine.
I'm ok with that. What I'm also ok with is that I did what was right for me and that makes me feel very good inside my soul right now.
Very good, indeed.
"But you now, you wear your soul on your sleeve, exhausting your energy, propping yourself up on a tree, mumbling, or bent over your desk, asleep.
Heaven gives you a form and you wear it out by pointless argument.
The perfect man of old looked after himself first before looking to help others."
~ Chuang Tzu