I felt fewer and fewer people were relating with me. Perhaps it had been like this for a long time, but it was now that a new emphasis was shed onto the subject to make me reevaluate the “why’s”. I was quiet and only shared my opinions on a few occasions, but there were also times that I had to stand up for my beliefs. I called it the warrior side of myself that fought for the rights of innocent others and my own unique nature. I did so in a non confronting manner, more through sharing, but by not allowing my values and beliefs to be swept under the rug or to be labeled as unimportant and false.
I remember a performance evaluation at a prior job and it was narrowed down that I needed to work on my interpersonal savvy. Interpersonal skills are used by people to interact with others properly. “Properly” it said, leaving me to believe as if I didn’t know how to get along with others and clearly the fault must have been with me. It was nagging on me for a long time. How could it be, I always wanted to contribute and help others, I just wanted to be a part of the team and claim my rightful spot! Where was that and what did that even mean, to contribute and help others? Where was my spot? Maybe they didn’t need my help and clearly they didn’t viewed me as somebody they wanted help from. After all it was me who had to work on interacting with others “properly”. I contemplated the varies of the subject and learned about what I believed to be my part and what I thought could have caused the divide. I didn’t know if it was truly a fault of mine or was the world just not accepting of my individuality? Was the goal to change me, to lose my unique identity so I could join the herds and masses of it’s followers? I once heard that the “M” in masses is sometime silent and while I thought it was funny in the moment, I also felt a certain level of sadness from the quote for those that might find themselves in the midst of the masses, unable to pursue their identity. Here are a few thoughts that came to mind and what I believed to be the contributing factor as to why I didn’t play well with others.
* I was unwilling to join the gossip wagon. I stayed away from harmful conversations that expressed the hurtful opinions of others. The ones who did all the talking and knew little to no facts, the ones that were still eager to share their “perceived truths” at the cost of others. I knew how painful and unjustified these comments could be and I wasn’t willing to form an opinion without the facts. Even if my own opinion was present, it wasn’t meant to be displayed for the cost of ridicule, for the expense of somebody else. In that case the victim of the conversation that wasn’t here to defend themselves. It is normal to have impressions and opinions, we all have them, we all are human, but it was not somethings I wasn’t going to verbalize in a group and publicly share.
People couldn’t relate with my reaction, did I not have an opinion, why was there nothing to say? I walked away from the conversation so I would not expose myself to the temptation of forming a negative opinion about the ones shaming another human being. I avoided confrontation, not because I was afraid of it, but because it was a battle that wasn’t to be won in a group setting. Being one against many, I believe in the power of one and know that each and everyone can make a difference. Yet timing is everything and this was not the time.
That was back then and I know that more has changed since then. I learned to choose my battles while staying true to my beliefs. I no longer feel the need to explain as to why I don’t want to join the gossip wagon. I have lost the drive to fight for acceptance in explaining my opinions for the hopes they are to be understood. It’s a given to show compassion for each other, to help each other along and lend a helping hand. And while I will never give up, I know that this is an endless battle that is perhaps not won in numbers but by influencing one person at a time. It is my mission to lead and influence, one person at a time, to create a movement that promotes all good in humanity. A huge goal that seems daunting but is also simple as it requires nothing more than to be myself. You can love me or leave me and I hope you shoot for the first part.
I am grateful that I achieved that level of freedom while reminding myself that we all are in different parts of our own journey.
Conclusion…Sadly I will never have interpersonal savvy if it requires me to lose who I am in order to find my spot amongst today’s common behaviors. Happily I accept this as my truth and continue the fight for my inner warrior to be free from those constraints. And as Ellen would say…”Be kind to each other”.