I took a break. I needed to. Besides, it was summer! Kids were off, and we were travelling. Break taken.
I decided it was time to re-evaluate and look at how I handle things. Always one to say my peace, it was a way of deciding if what I said was being received, well-received that is.
I watch the Bravo reality show “Ladies of London”. (http://www.bravotv.com/ladies-of-london) If you follow the show, you know the Ladies. One of my favorites is Caroline Stansbury. She is quite cheeky, and I love her wit. It’s dry, sometimes a bit on the harsh side. She’s not a hugger, she is distant. I love her. I love her honesty, like it or not, she says it like it is. But let’s not mince words, anything said with that British accent, can sound sexy. Caroline can tell you to take a flying, freaking leap, and I think you might just do it; maybe even ask her how high of a flying, freaking leap. Sexy I tell you. But here’s the thing, she said something in one of the shows that stuck with me. It was in an earlier episode, I think Season 1, where she is talking to Juliet, the dark-haired American cast in the show.
Here is the gist of her comment – “Most people would tend to agree with your point, it’s just in the method of delivery.” Now, let that sink in for a moment. <pause>
Why do you think this stuck with me? Hmmmm…oh, I don’t know. Method of delivery gets me every time.
So, while I was taking a break this summer from writing, I thought about method of delivery – my method of delivery. I am usually the loud one, sometimes hard, sometimes energetic, and often times, gutter mouth. I typically have no filter.
I thought about method of delivery first with work, with clients. Then I moved on to method of delivery with my husband, with my kids, with friends, with extended family. Then I moved onto volunteers, on social media, with just about everyone. I then thought about my motivations in method of delivery, whether it was maliciously intended, whether it was motivated from self-indulgence, or my own gratifications and how those desired outcomes changed with the method of delivery. Lots to think about here.
Now here’s the thing, if you know me, like REALLY KNOW ME…then you know, if I’m loud, and talking, then I’m an open book…I’m comfortable with you, with the situation. If I’m quiet…watch the F*#%$ out. This is where hubby can usually gauge the severity of an argument. If I’m still battling, and still talking, then every little thing, it’s be a’ight. If I’m quiet, that means I’m thinking. Things are probably not too rosy if I’m taking time to really think about what’s going to happen. I’m either contemplating your slow, painful death, or I’m soul searching. So…now you see, vacation meant I was thinking. I was quiet, I was reflecting.
One of the things that started this time of reflection is a Facebook exchange where I gave an opinion, my opinion, a differing opinion, a “con” to what someone was saying. Yes, I know, ugh…Facebook drama. How boring is the world if we all agree? Right? Well, for sure not boring that day.
I won’t go into deets about the conversation, but I will go into how quickly the method of delivery was questioned. Ultimately, I ended my part in the conversation by apologizing for anyone thinking that I had malicious intent, because the comments weren’t meant mean-spirited; it was only meant to play Devil’s Advocate. I went further to say that if someone honestly thought I meant to call into question anyone’s method of doing something; well then, they really didn’t know me, or my intentions.
It was gut-wrenching to me. To think that someone really thought I was judging them. It made me think more, more questions, less answers, more time thinking, even more questions on my method of delivery. In this particular situation, I wondered if my Devil’s Advocate side of conversation was even warranted. I wondered if I went in with malicious intent, ready to fight a battle where I didn’t even have an argument. I wondered if I played Devil’s Advocate because I was standing up for someone who was not allowed to address their own situation, if I was fighting for the underdog, with not even having a dog in the fight. Somehow, maybe I was being protective. Maybe somehow, it was my way of being Momma Bear.
Notice all those ways listed above could have a negative connotation…Devil, battle, argument. I thought, how much easier it would have been to walk away and say nada, and not even engage. Well, that’s not me.
Hubs calls it the age of everything being titled “appropriate/inappropriate” or political correctness and tells me “F*#$% ‘em and feed ’em fish heads”. That’s easier said in a man’s world. Men can handle “F*#$% ‘em”, most women can’t. I’ve always worked in male-dominated fields, always been better at dealing with men. Maybe I’m supposed to be a man? Sorry, digressed. Women, for the most part, don’t do arguments well. Everyone loves your big opinion while it benefits them, but the minute it differs, you’re an asshole. Double standard?
So, with all of that said, I’m trying to watch my method of delivery. Realizing and learning that not everyone knows how I operate, or my intentions. Most of the time, I do not operate with malicious intent. Notice I said most of the time. Most of the time, I’m calling out for discussion, questioning because I want to learn more. I really do want people to offer different opinions, opinions that I may not have thought of, versions that I haven’t considered, perhaps even hoping that I will opt to change my own opinion on an intelligent point of view that I haven’t heard.
This time of reflection is not changing me, just trying to learn to be a bit more sensitive. I am learning that while some find my openness, my honesty, my candor refreshing, others find it bossy, demanding, and pushy. I really wish that while some call it “passion” and really mean bitchy, that some might find it intriguing rather than offensive. I am hoping that as I learn and grow in the process of self-realization that others might think about their own method of delivery. After all, just as in birth, where there are different methods of delivery, we all end up in the great big world, kicking and screaming…some just a little louder than others.