Tuesday, December 7, 2010
the new discrimination
She said, “I think you are simply getting better at discrimination.”
Who would have thought that I would need to narrow my viewpoint?
I am the one who teaches others to widen theirs.
And yet, it makes perfect sense. I have been and still am in some sense, attached in a very unhealthy way to the world. I have heard about it my whole life.
My mother used to say things to me like, “Why are you always helping everyone else?” or, “Why don’t you focus on your self more?”
And she was onto something. I have always been a people pleaser. A helper. A Hero.
I have traditionally been the go-to person for those in need – or I made myself the go-there person to those who I thought were in need.
And I certainly did not like to be anything but liked by people.
And so, I have had this self-awareness lately that I am shutting off certain connections with others, or not allowing them to happen altogether.
I asked my friend at lunch today what she thought about it and what she said was perfect.
She told me a story about a time in her life when she realized she did not need to reach out to others for their approval all the time, then started standing at a more healthy distance from others and found that she, like me, was sad about the loss of relationship that followed.
I was judging myself this morning for not being the perfect person with everyone I know. I strive for being great with so many all day and then there are certain people who are just harder to impress (or perhaps it’s harder for me to be impressed by them). There are times when I am out of energy and I just don’t want to converse and converse and vent and get caught up in drama.
All I want is real connection and meaningful relationships. And alas – I am learning to have them by backing off the charm and small talk and becoming more real. This is not an entirely new concept to me, but as my friend pointed out to me today – I am fine-tuning the discrimination [verb: recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.], not to be confused with judgment [verb: to have an opinion about someone/something as good or bad].
And although I am not fond of the word discrimination because of its implication of treating people badly – I am so on board with this thought process of discriminating between the people with whom I can totally trust and become vulnerable and the people with whom I will end up in drama. It allows me to more accurately decide which people are most healthy for me to be around and which people are likely not, which is not something I have always been very good at….
[note - this was originally posted on 11/18 and then I accidentally deleted it - so here it is again, recovered from a friend's email in-box!]