This is a clean site, I swear.
This is the third time I’ve re-wrote this post. I hate being all personal and stuff in public because then you feel like you’re out there. Let’s start this one with one my most favorite quotes:
“The person with the least invested in the relationship has the most power.”
Ever since my teacher said this quote two years ago, I’ve been obsessed it. In every relationship, be it friendship, family or “other”, I’ve tried to hold on to some sense of power. It becomes a sort of daily fight because I hate, HATE feeling weak. It’s funny how some people think this feeling is a mostly masculine characteristic because women are supposed to want to talk about their feelings and disclose every single detail about their hearts. Coming from years of wearing my heart on my sleeve, I know that it blows. There is nothing worse than sitting down and revealing yourself only to be shut out. It’s easier to just repress it all inside until you come out as an irrational monster and one freak out in a bathroom stall. Let me tell you internets, no one wants to stay that girl’s friend.
For years, my way of maintaining some feeling of power in my relationships has been to withhold secrets. It has been my go to strategy and at the very least gives me the illusion that I have…THE POWER! The best way to do this is to let the person know that you know you are withholding because it adds to the sense of superiority. “I’d tell you but you aren’t equipped to deal with this.” If you want to go more dramatic then turn on your Jack Nicholson voice and pretend your opponent or loved one is Tom Cruise, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
Okay, Melissa it sounds like you advocating something that seems to contradictory to your goal which you have yet to state by the way. Well, keep reading.
I have gotten into argument after argument because instead of saying something like: “What you’re doing right now is really hurting my feelings and if you could stop…that would be great.” I say nothing and wait a year. I find I can still work up a good anger about something that happened over a year ago, if I’m in the right mood. Of course, that anger gets misdirected and I end up either being emo, eating ice cream and popcorn, or writing bad poetry I expect everyone to be like: “You are flipping genius.” If I don’t get that response then I just store it away as something to get mad about later.
Well that’s cool but how does one stop this awful pattern? What is the key? So many different roads to take. Let’s try the simplest or Occam’s razor (I’ve always wanted to use that example)
Melissa’s project is more open. Transparency is a difficult skill. It’s not like wearing your heart on your sleeve, thereby opening yourself to get really hurt by strangers. It’s more like wearing your intentions on your lips. Sure, people can read your face and tell you are not happy but that means next to nothing if you can’t express what is the source of that. So as part of my ‘You are going to be 25 soon, grow the hell up’ list, transparency is going on the list.
I fear that this means giving up some power. It wasn’t really power anyway (of course I knew that) but I think it’s worth. If a person stops talking to me it’s because they actually don’t like me. Now, don’t expect me to just start spilling all my proverbial guts because that’s not me, son. It’s an on going process that has it’s limitations.
I just hope that this new pledge to be more “wide open” in my actions and my words leads me to less freak outs and less time spent worrying.