I have been thinking. (And somewhere at least a few people are saying “oh no, not again…)
Unless you are a giant narcissist, among the hardest things for women to do is put themselves first.
Putting yourself first is a form of a boundary, and it’s hard sometimes to stick to boundaries.
With me it’s hard sometimes. People are always messaging me at all times, and even with Do Not Disturb set up on my phone, it doesn’t always work.
I like to be available for my friends and family in particular. I am always willing to listen and more. But not everyone reciprocates. I discovered that the other day and it actually stung a bit. So that got me to thinking, if I don’t put myself first even with friends and and family, it won’t happen.
I rarely am the one who reaches out and wants to talk. Usually, I am the one who listens or is a sounding board. Well, I have made the decision that I am slowing my roll there. I reached out and it made me want to be an island going forward. I understand life happens, and we all get stressed out, but still. Now it was nothing terminal to any sort of friendship, but it was something learned for me. It made me pause.
The other thing is this: women are sometimes not clear on expectations. Basic things. With themselves and with others. And if you aren’t clear, and someone doesn’t get it and then you get annoyed, whose fault is it really? We don’t read minds, and I have been guilty of this as well. I don’t like asking for help, for example, so when I do ask for help with something it feels awkward. Just like the occasional need to lean on others for whatever reason. There is the feeling of not wanting to stumble and fall, but we need to reach out at times.
Being clear can be on other things like an invitation. If you aren’t clear it leaves gray area and someone ends up with hurt feelings. Which is why I always include an RSVP request when I mail out invitations. And when people ignore an RSVP, it’s just not good no matter if it’s yes or no. Or when someone invites you to do something and then they fall off the face of the earth and evaporates. You don’t want to follow up and feel like you are imposing yourself, but it does get annoying when someone calls and asks you to do something on X date, you tell them you are free, they say they will follow up, and the follow up? Never happens. I have had this happen quite a bit with a couple of people, and I don’t want to be rude, but they asked me to put the time aside and then it was “poof.”
Also working from home, or for yourself. That is a tough balancing act some days. Especially when someone who is not work related calls and you really want to talk to them, but you know you really don’t have the time. It’s hard to say no and establish and maintain those boundaries.
And expectations. If you aren’t someone who keeps mental book, you don’t necessarily guess what someone expects from you or when. But that is also in that category of reading minds. It’s like giving gifts. I give them because I want to, not because I expect something back. Some literally keep track. Even I do it sometimes with family, and I don’t mean to. But when you agonize over buying someone the perfect present, and they don’t reciprocate, it is hard. So then I have to remind myself to knock it off because I got them a gift because I wanted to.
And this is all women, right? If men do this we read them the riot act. But women? We seem to accept and perpetuate these things. Part of why we don’t say anything is we don’t want to seem like a bitch, which then of course leaves to storing up little bits of hurt like squirrels with acorns.
I have the bad habit of storing up hurt acorns like a squirrel. I don’t want to offend people and sometimes it is simply so hard to talk about these things.
So I have decided to go back to not storing all these things up. It is not healthy. I would like to think we all try to do right by people, but it is human nature that doesn’t always happen.
We can learn thing from narcissists, and that is to put ourselves first or at least not sacrifice our sense of self. It’s not an exact science, sadly, unless you are quite selfish by nature. We don’t want to all become utterly narcissistic, just learn not to feel bad for putting ourselves first sometimes. It’s o.k. to do this and to tell people they could have done better with you, because they would probably tell you the same thing.
Well that is all for this mental ramble. Enjoy the beautiful day!
TRUTH!! That’s all I got.
I really like the painting you lead with. Very peaceful…