9.17.2011

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

I was going to take a Day Off today, but when The Lightning and The Lightning Bug picked me for their writer of the week, of course I had to join in with their Dare to Share link up! In case you don't know about it, each Saturday, Katie picks a topic for the weekend. You write on the topic, post it and link up HERE. It's one of my favorite link ups, since I frequently blog in "laundry list" form. It gets me out of my laziness comfort zone and encourages me to write about topics I may not explore otherwise.


This week's topic is: Fight For Your Right: write about something that involves standing up for something you believe in. You can stand up for a cause, support your opinion, or just rant about something that makes you mad.



I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things, but generally I do not voice them. I do not fight for as many rights as I should be fighting for. I would rather seethe with anger under my skin than say anything. Actually, I wouldn’t rather seethe, not really. I would like to know how to effectively stand up for what I want, to voice my opinion without getting unnecessarily angry. 

My boyfriend and his family are very vocal. If they have something to say, they say it, and in my mind, sometimes it’s a little much. To them, this is the way they are, honest, sometimes brutally so. To me, it is scary. This is not to say that he or his family are wrong in the way they express their anger and opinions, they just do it differently from my family, which probably has a lot of un-spoken issues, just waiting to explode. 

This makes for an interesting relationship. There are many instances where he is yelling at me to, “tell him what I want” and I am silently staring him down with the evil eye and my mouth drawn tight in a line and my hands clenched in my lap. He thinks I am thinking what an A-hole he is, while really I am thinking of all the things I could have said or should be saying. I am crafting a discussion in my head, as if it were an essay. First I will say X and then, he will say Y. If he says Z, I will say W. But he will probably say V instead. 

So when I finally squeak out my answer from my clenched lips, which of course NEVER comes out the way that it was playing in my head, I never really feel as satisfied as I thought I would. It usually comes out gruffer, more hurt or angrier than I really am. Why can’t I just say what I mean, and say what I want, and say it nicely? Why can’t I stand up for myself without making it a big deal? I don’t know. Maybe it would work better if my relationship were letter based, like in the olden days. 

“My love, I have missed you so much. Perhaps when we finally see each other, we can go to that brunch place I have wanted to try. Love, your sweetheart forever. “

Did those people fight over nothing when they finally met up for brunch?

I am learning, however. Learning that it is better to just say what you want, what YOU need. This may not avoid an argument, but at least all bets will be on the table and you can go from there. You have to SAY what you want to even come close to working to get it. It’s like winning the lottery; you are never going to win if you don’t play. 

As Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” 

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Also on a totally unrelated note, I have a race tomorrow and here is the weather forecast. Bummer. So please everyone, cross your fingers for clarity (and lower humidity) between 7:30 and 9:30 tomorrow morning! Thanks! 


8 comments:

  1. Ah, I see you have the same affliction as I do. It has taken me a long time to realize that if I don't speak up for myself, no one else will. Avoid conflict at all costs, right? Wrong, because then your wants and needs become lost and then they can be difficult to find.

    Very thought provoking. Thanks

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  2. Hey, Writer of the Week! Congrats!

    I read this post with much interest. You see I am the outspoken one in my marriage. I can be just making a point (from my frame of reference) and he thinks I am angry and yelling. When he is silent he frustrates me to no end. But you....you have given me some perspective that he has been unable to. I need to read this post once a week for the rest of my life!

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  3. I have the opposite problem. Sometimes my fiery temper gets the best of me and I blurt out the first things that pop into my head. The problem is, once those words leave your mouth, there's not taking them back.

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  4. I used to have a problem with making a distinction between my anger and my passions. I can get really into a conversation to the point that the other person thinks I'm angry, but I'm not. I'm just really into the discussion.

    I think I've gotten better about staying calm while still saying what I want to say and not offending people or causing confusion.

    And you're right about saying what we need. It might not always work out, but at least there's no questioning what someone is thinking when they just say it.

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  5. I used to have a problem with making a distinction between my anger and my passions. I can get really into a conversation to the point that the other person thinks I'm angry, but I'm not. I'm just really into the discussion.

    I think I've gotten better about staying calm while still saying what I want to say and not offending people or causing confusion.

    And you're right about saying what we need. It might not always work out, but at least there's no questioning what someone is thinking when they just say it.

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  6. I have the very same problem! I once even took 3x5 notecards with me when I had to have an especially important conversation with my husband so that I wouldn't have to "say" anything. I could just read it! How lame am I? ;)

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  7. I so related to this part of your post..."I am silently staring him down with the evil eye and my mouth drawn tight in a line and my hands clenched in my lap"...did just that last evening during a discussion with my hubs. He remarked "Boy, Patty, if your looks could kill..."
    I just walked away before it became "game on!"

    Excellent post and many Congrats for being Writer of the Week!!

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  8. Great post. Depending on the situation, I'm either exactly like you described or I'm overly outspoken. Too bad I can't average these out to good old assertive.

    It sounds like your race went well--your pace on your race page impressed me anyway! I ran a 5K on Saturday and was hoping to PR but I couldn't quite manage it. I haven't done a lot of speed work (read: any) in a long time. Need to get back on that, I really want to be faster.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!