Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kinda Weak

I really don't like conflict. I'm always afraid I'll be wrong, or at least blamed. So, I do what I can to avoid confrontations. This doesn't mean that I don't stick up for myself. It does mean I observe situations before I react. I'm also usually quiet when I meet new people - because I'm watching and learning about my new friends.

Relationships can be tough, but in general, I find people are worth the effort. While there will always be people who take advantage of others' kindness, I believe there is good in everyone. If I thought otherwise, I'd have to shut myself off from the world, which I refuse to do. 

Most of the time, that attitude and kindness goes a long way. Sometimes, it's mistaken for weakness. People think that I avoid confrontation because I am afraid, or that I am unable (or unwilling) to stand up for myself. The truth is, over the last few years, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons.

Always pick your battles. No matter how "right" you are, some people can't (or won't) see your point. You won't have good interaction with these people. You will get sucked in by the negativity. Being right shouldn't be about convincing others. Let it be enough that you know you're right, and move on.

I'm not always right. I used to be that person who came out swinging and asked questions later. It caused more problems than it solved. Now, I prefer to let things sit for a minute. Like Abraham Lincoln once said, sometimes it's "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

While I'm choosing my battles and my words, people think I'm being weak. As one friend put it, a "doormat." That's okay - because when push comes to shove, I know I'm doing the right thing for me.

That's all the strength I need.

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