“You’re too soft”

I was just thinking about a sticky situation right now with my housemates and our new landlord. We all have the same fundamental issue with him and we’ve been writing emails together to uh, make it clear to him (great way to bond with flat mates, 10/10 recommend) On the one hand there’s me wanting to take a diplomatic approach and cut out the threatening tone and some of the word choices that they’re punching into the keyboard (“hey, save the over analysis for the poems you do in English lit”) and the other three wanting to go in there (and duly doing so) with pitchforks and fire (law students… 🙄).

I was thinking about how much I hate confrontation and how according to common belief that’s supposed to be a major insecurity but then I thought… is it though?

[A] I can see how in some ways it can be unhealthy. Like if you’re terrified of confrontation (and I must own to getting a lot of adrenaline and a heart rate which I could almost hear echoing back while simply reading our landlord’s most recent reply.)

[B]But on the other hand, is it necessarily a weakness to value trying to get along/ take a peaceful approach to tricky situations?

Also isn’t keeping the rapport as strong as possible in all parties’ best interests?

I think in my personal case, both A and B are in play here. But thinking in non-personal, general terms, how about the idea that people are too quick to assume that disliking confrontations is weakness?

I hope that doesn’t sound ranty. I should have probably left the writing of this post until I was a bit more detached from the event that inspired it. But oh wells 🐸

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Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness

So I was just doing some research on Western and Eastern ideas on “shyness”. Although the terms “Western” and “Eastern” might be a bit reductive, as no doubt individual countries and even regions have slightly different ideas about things, the impression I’m getting is that in Western cultures we usually see shyness as anti-social or rude, whereas Eastern cultures tend to see it as thoughtf Continue reading “Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness”

Faith, Worry, and Anxiety

One thing I felt really guilty about until recently was the fact I worry so much, even though the Bible has a clear message of “Don’t worry”. I was scared of what this says about the strength of my faith. And I can’t say I’ve figured it out yet.

But when I was messaging a friend of mine who also has Anxiety recently and we were talking about this, she said something that I couldn’t believe I’d missed. When Jesus said not to worry about things, he didn’t say that as some kind of be all and end all command. He meant it more as a comforting sort of “You don’t need to worry because I’m here”.

So I can stop worrying about the fact I keep worrying, because my worry isn’t exactly disobedience. By all means, it’s something I need to work on, but it’s not something I have to feel guilty about any more; that’s certainly not how God would want me to feel about it.

Thoughts about how I Think: Past, Present, Future

There was a time when I was very stuck in the past at the expense of the present and future and by the time I realised all this it had messed with my thinking. Nowadays I don’t think I live with a thinking bias in any of these directions; I think about each one of them in a lot of depth.

I’ve got an insanely good memory when it comes to things that happened even a very long time ago; I can think back to things that probably should feel blurry now but actually I can remember vividly exactly how I felt and experienced consciousness in that moment. I attach a lot of emotional meaning to things I remember, even the smallest ones. I’ve a weird knack for remembering the exact year when a lot of memories happened without trying to- maybe I have a really chronological mind like that.

I’m acutely aware of the present too- I take in an insane amount of information about subtle things that are happening in a social situation as it’s playing out. It’s like I have a constant radar for figuring out how the people around me must be thinking and feeling. This is a useful skill but also can tend to hype up my social anxiety because sometimes it would be better not to know all these details… or have so many speculations about them, whichever it is.

And I don’t know if it’s starting to become obvious but I’m very much thinking about the future at the moment too. I seem to be having a mid-uni crisis where suddenly it’s going to be my final year of uni starting next September and I’d rather stay right here in this moment and ohnoworkexperiencecareersanxietyohno…

So does this make me well balanced or do I process all three far too deeply?

Something I Realised

I just had a eureka moment while I was thinking about how my social anxiety developed. I already had detailed ideas about it but this feels like the last piece of puzzle.

So I’ve always been very much a peace-loving person. When I was little, people described me as the “peace-maker” among other kids. I never set out to cause controversy or offence but still somehow managed to do that (I’m on about getting bullied, which worked mostly on the level of social exclusion- ie: the bully turns the other person’s friendship group against them, they all make up, but then it happens again and the cycle repeats and repeats)

But I guess when you think of that kind of person you think of someone who’s unflappable and calm (At least I do). But I’m also the type of person that’s always been prone to worry and stressiness.

So maybe these two traits added together + experiences eventually produced social anxiety.

Because when I internalised the bad experiences I’d had with people, despite never trying to be provocative (I blamed myself for these things when I was like 12/13) , then maybe on a subconscious level I ended up paranoid about the way I could disturb the peace with people without even trying. So I got shy and anxious about speaking, fearing confrontation. And I basically conditioned myself to have these anxieties before I realised what I was doing.

I don’t know, it’s interesting isn’t it? I’m sure it starts differently for different people, but maybe some people can relate to this. I don’t know what practical use I can really put this information to, except to urge people (esp. teachers) to take bullying seriously… Please don’t see it as something you can ignore because it’s just kids being silly or whatever, because the experiences they have now affect how they will operate when they get older.

Sorry that wasn’t meant to turn into a preach. I do so strongly feel this is important though.