I recently had a conversation where I was explaining my neutral feelings towards a topic. As the words poured out I thought I was almost on a bit of a high horse.
But as the conversation went on I realised that my neutral feelings were just a defense mechanism or a coping strategy. Turns out the topic did bother me after all.
However, instead of working to overcome my feelings I’d masked them in neutrality. I think sometimes it helps to be neutral instead of negative but you can take it one step further and have more positive or uplifting feelings.
It really surprised me to find out that I’m not quite there yet but now that I’ve realised, I think it’s something I want to work on.
When you interact with someone that is in a bad mood or is angry you might find at the end of it that you feel bad too.
That’s what happens when you take on other peoples stuff.
It might seem that when someone directs anger and frustration towards you that you have to take it because what else can you do. But you always have options.
If someone asked you if you wanted to feel bad I’m certain the answer would be no. You have to keep that decisiveness when interacting with someone that’s angry.
When you learn to do that you’re not so effected by how the other person feels because that’s not your stuff and you don’t need to take it on.
I recently had an unexpected conversation that I didn’t expect to have yet at the same time it was exactly what I needed.
It can be difficult to let people know that you need a little bit of reassurance once in a while. However, sometimes maybe it’s not even really reassurance but instead just to talk about your vulnerabilities and the things that scare you. It turned out that my situation I was discussing in conversation wasn’t as unique as I thought but that’s a good thing.
It made me understand that the challenges I was facing and the things I was struggling with we’re just life. That’s not to say that life is about challenges and struggles though.
I realised that in thinking my current circumstances were not the way things were supposed to be, I was pushing against them and filling my mind with fear when really what I needed to do was embrace them.
And after that conversation, the challenges and struggles didn’t seem so bad at all. I guess it’s like I always say, talking helps.
I remember a time when I had one of those ‘What did you get up to at the weekend?’ conversation.
I reeled of a few things but overall I felt like I hadn’t gotten up to much.
However, to my surprise the person I was in conversation with thought that my weekend was actually a busy one.
At first I thought it was a little odd but the more I thought about it the more I realised that my ‘baseline’ is what some people would consider busy.
I work a 9-5, I study part-time, I have a daily blog and a lifestyle blog. That’s my life at a minimum which doesn’t include spending time with friends or family, attending events, reading, sewing and other hobbies.
I don’t always have a lot of free time but I make a conscious effort to do the things that are important to me, like this blog.
It’s like a keystone habit but for moments.
A keystone habit is a term created by Charles Duhigg that was featured in his book The Power of Habit, in Duhiggs words it is ‘small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives’.
But what if that could be applied to moments that we experience.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to create a shift in perspective and if you follow that feeling it could end up changing your life for the better.
Imagine you’re pretty frustrated and uninspired by life then one day you meet someone and have a conversation about aspirations that moves you. So much so that you’re driven to make changes like start a project, spend more time with friends, make time for the people you live, go for that promotion at work, volunteer or pick up a hobby you’ve been meaning to try.
Chances are you have at least one conversation everyday so that perspective shifting moment could come at any time. However, it’s also important to not be too reliant on external factors in order to drive change in your life.
If you’re not happy with where you’re at you probably have some idea (no matter how vague) of the way you’d actually things to be.
You don’t need a stranger to prompt change in your life.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, talking helps.
When used correctly it’s an excellent tool for self exploration where you can walk away from conversations and gain insight into aspects of yourself you hadn’t yet uncovered.
The beauty of it is that you don’t have to even need talking about the thing. However, you do have to be open and vulnerable to allow things to rise to the surface.
Yes, it might feel scary or uncomfortable but you don’t have to hold onto those feelings.
Do it, because you believe that by exploring your mind it’ll help you figure some things out and that might lead to a breakthrough.
For some people there are certain conversations they’d rather not have.
It’s the difficult ones that we avoid where we have to be vulnerable. And maybe you get that swirly feeling in your stomach that you take as a sign not to go through those conversations.
But when you avoid them all that stuff just builds up and eventually comes out in unideal ways. It’s like not repairing a crack in a wall and all of a sudden the wall caves in.
In these situations you have to be responsible and admit that you’re the one that avoided the very thing you needed to do.
And that’s okay at least you know for next time. The conversations you’re afraid to have are difficult but necessary but like all life situations.
We can’t go over it.
We can’t go under it.
We’ve got to go through it!
From the 1989 children’s book We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen