I am a recovering explanation whore. Basically, I would explain my reasons for not doing something to make everyone feel comfortable. What I found through my excessive need to explain myself, is that the other party wasn’t going to change their feelings and so my breathless attempt at making everyone happy was lost. Plus, the idea that I can make everyone happy is a big pile of bullshit.
My realization that I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness was eye-opening and it unburdened me from the idea that it was my job. For years, it was exhausting trying to keep up, but slowly, I am getting the gist of being free from other people’s expectations on what I am suppose to do to make them feel better.
Loving from a distance has given me the perspective of simply allowing others to feel the way they are going to feel. Feelings aren’t facts, but everyone has the right to experience a situation from their perspective. One’s perception can easily be distorted, but that is the process of walking through something uncomfortable and coming out the other side, hopefully, with a different outlook.
In several situations, I have taken the role of a non-participant. What this really means is that I don’t engage in the following……passive-aggressive emails, triangular conversations (this is when a well-meaning individual tries to explain another person’s perspective) and volatile exchanges. The bottom line is by not participating, I am not adding fuel to the fire.
Life is hard enough without everyone being so easily offended. The less we engage in toxic situations, it allows us to exist in a world where it is possible to not always understand each other, but to at least be at peace with differing views and opinions. Of course, that is my hope, not an expectation. After all, unrealistic expectations are the root for resentments that grow into grudges. Let go of the bullshit and let’s only focus on the good shit.