You Do You
By: Faith Pearce
(3 min read)
For as early as I can remember, I was aware I felt a little different from those around me. I liked my own company and was never afraid to do things alone. But as I grew up, I developed the skills to merge in and be what was expected. To play nice with others. Being able to shape-shift and mold myself into different situations to fit the company I kept. Most of the time, I focused on them and learning what they needed. Being a people pleaser.
As I’ve gotten older, I have sometimes vocally broken the mold and shouted my opinions and have also become aware of how others manipulate you if you generally have no boundaries.
Going off on a tangent, one of the things I have been learning about is flirting. It seems, especially with being single for so long I am a little oblivious to when people are doing it. I decided to research why people flirt. Is this an attraction towards me or something else? Being an area I am not very observant; I needed to understand the motivations behind it. So I went down the Google hole of information, and interestingly there are many reasons. In a 2014 review, sociologist David Henningsen identified six main motivations for flirting: sex, relational development, exploration, fun, self-esteem, and as a means to an end. Most flirting interactions involve one or more of these.
With this data it allowed me to take a step back and see what was going on. It allowed me to see how I was being manipulated. Now I don’t see this as a negative because I believe everyone uses manipulation in some form. The key is how you respond to it. Previously with no boundaries, I may have been so flattered and been caught up in the interaction. But it gave me fresh eyes to ask myself, do I really want to engage in this energy?
I have been doing a lot of inner work recently on not just old thoughts but how my engagement in the current situation can make it worse or better. Not just for those around me but for how I feel about myself. What are their motivations, and do I want to join their game?
I also read something very powerful that hit home for me. It was talking about a tiger and donkey arguing over whether the grass was green or blue. And they took the argument to the lion to decide. The lion agreed with the donkey that the grass was blue and punished the tiger. Why? Because he wasted time arguing with someone who didn’t care about the truth and whose only motive was to be right.
This really resonated with me on a different level. When I am in my ego and come from a need to be right, I will always be wrong and closed off from learning and growing. Wasting energy in the wrong direction will hurt me in the long run.
I started to pick my battles. I asked myself, “Why are you doing this? Does it help anyone? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Are you being true to yourself?”
It has given me the space to not react emotionally at the wrong times. I’ve stopped engaging with donkeys; if you think the grass is blue, good for you. Have a great day.
After having my doors wide open, there is nothing more important to me now than to protect my own peace. I don’t need validation to accept myself. If you feel the need to be right, congratulations as you won the jackpot, but know my silence means I care more about me than I do about you.
All Things Wellness, LLC
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