Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here's Something to Think About

Why do people so often not tell the truth about how they feel? Like, when you get asked a question that has to do with someone doing something that involves you and ends with "how do you feel about that," why is it that so many people will say it's fine or give some other kind of answer that masks how they really feel about it? Why can't you (in general) just say how you really feel? You wouldn't have been asked if they didn't want the answer, right?

What are we (in general) trying to hide when we do this? Other than our feelings, I mean. Or is it just that we're hiding our feelings, but then why? I know you, gentle readers, know the situation I'm talking about. You've done it, it's been done to you, I've done it, and it's been done to me. Why do we do this?

Like:

"I invited so-and-so to come along, that's ok, right?" They ask.

"That's fine." We say, but we really mean, 'no, that's not ok, but since you've already done it, I feel like there's no point in telling you how I really feel about it, which is that I'd rather it just be you and I.'

or:

"Why don't you want to do this thing that you used to do a lot?" They ask.

"Because it ends too late and I'm always tired." we say. This may be true, but why don't we say the rest of it, that we don't want to do it because we don't feel like we belong.

Ok, I have an answer for that last one. The last time I said I didn't want to be involved because I didn't feel like I belonged got a lot of people really angry with me and I still don't know quite why.

I don't think I've answered my own question though, that's only part of it. (That answer, if you missed it, is to save people from getting mad at me for reasons I don't know.) But still, why do we do it? I mean, someone cares about you enough to ask the question, I guess it depends on the person, but they wouldn't be asking if they didn't want the honest answer, right?

I didn't tell either of my parents the feelings that are part of the reason why I don't want to sail this year: that it isn't very enjoyable to me because of some of the people involved. But I don't know why I left that part out, and only talked about how tired I always am and how I don't wake up early to exercise. Why the half answer? I mean, it's not a lie, but why do I feel it's best not to say it?

This all came about after I talked to my coworker last Wednesday and today and he reassured me that one of my reasons was exactly what I had been feeling. And I said I didn't mention that part and he said "Why not?" Well...I don't know.

Humans act so strange sometimes.

It does feel strange to not be planning on going tonight. But when I think that I could go, I remember why I don't want to. The missing anticipation isn't enough to make me want to do it again. This is only the second week. I miss it and I knew I would. But not that much to go right now.

4 comments :

Willow Goldentree said...

Hmm...it makes you think. I know the types of situations you're talking about because I've done it and had it done to me. Is it because we're trying to be the most polite, compassionate, and understanding person? Because in the end, we (the people trying not to hurt the other) will get hurt, because we didn't let our true feelings or reasons out.

It's hard to play the part of the rational person and hope all parties involved will be happy. And it's also very confusing to be on the receiving end of that rationally thinking person. We think we're helping these people by not telling them the real reasons for quitting/not going. I think we're hurting ourselves more (if we're the people not sharing the whole truth) but it does soften the blow for the people receiving our reasons.

Oh boy! Does any of that make sense? Or did I just repeat myself in two paragraphs?

Anyway, enjoy your time off. You made the best decision for you, the others involved will just have to deal. Hopefully your new happiness will help them understand where you were coming from in the first place.

Fyrecreek said...

Maybe we're trying not to be selfish. As my first example: that happened to me on a birthday once. Yes, a friend of mine invited one of his friends to my birthday party (which has been spent at the MD Renaissance Festival for more than a decade). I really had nothing against this person coming, except that she wasn't really my friend and her brother was an ex-boyfriend. But I told him it was ok. Would you like to know how that turned out? Another friend was coming from a long way, and I was busy looking for her and worried about when she would get there. My friend who had invited his friend took that to mean I didn't want her around, and so spent the entire day spending time with her and not with me, who's birthday was the purpose in going in the first place. And then what that said to me was that he didn't care about my birthday at all and just wanted to spend time with her. (It should be noted that even though he's a he, and I'm a she, and she was a she, it was only about spending time with friends on special days, and not about anyone trying to hook up with anyone else). That clearly was not the problem or the solution. But, in this case, I said it was ok because I didn't want to sound like "me, me, me!!" You know, on my birthday, it is all about me. I won't make that mistake again!

But that might be it. We're trying so hard to be flexible and kind and unconfrontational (is that a word?) to the people around us, we end up putting ourselves in the miserable position we will inevitably find ourselves in for not talking about how we truly feel. In sparing others, we hurt ourselves sometimes.

I don't think this is going to come back and make me miserable, though I do miss the nights on the water. But if I go, I will be miserable, reminded why I didn't want to go despite all the wonderful things one can experience on the boat. Even though I didn't say the whole truth, I'm sticking to my guns on this one!

Willow Goldentree said...

*sigh* I wish it was as easy to tell people these things as it is to tell kitties.

I totally know what you're talking about when you mention your birthday. Last year for my baby bro's high school graduation, all I wanted to was to spend time with my family who I hadn't seen in years. My sis made the mistake of telling my ex, Al, about the graduation and the party. Poor Glen spent the entire afternoon keeping Al busy so I could hang out with my brother and Grams. I couldn't tell my sis what was wrong..until I got drunk and it just kinda came out. *wink*

That's how you do it! Get drunk, then tell the people your real feelings! Hopefully they'll be drunk too and you'll all still be best friends.

Willow Goldentree said...

Oh, and get to work Missy! This is why I'm not sending you 30 PMs in one day!