Chasing Contentment

Tuesday, August 2

Despite my emotional, from-the-gut general responses, I tend to be a very direct person. I want to deal with the facts - good or bad - as they arise. This is one of those traits that is either a blessing or a curse, usually depending upon the day and how I respond to things.

If something difficult is approaching, I want to know about it up front so that I can deal with it. If a friend sees something in my life that is harmful - to me or to someone else - I want her to approach me with it. I want that kind of openness. It took me years (and some unpleasant interactions) to discover that not everyone is that way.

Mike has been known to say that no one asks for my opinion until they're really stuck and want to know what I view to be the truth of the situation, from my perspective. Because if asked, I'll tell. But I do try to reserve my telling for those times when asked. In no way do I believe that I have useful advice to give on a regular basis, so I refuse to go about spouting advice anyway.

Now that I'm older, I understand that everyone operates on different planes and that what works for one, won't work for another. My children have helped teach me that. I am now far more respectful of other people's basic personalities and of what would be best for them in our interactions. If I am concerned about something, I try to base my responses upon my friends' personalities and what actions would best serve each person. My hope is that those around me would do the same for me.

But in the learning curve of all this, I've become more cautious about bringing up delicate subjects, even with friends. I've become more hesitant to approach a friend with a personal need in my own life, which is a shame, I think. While I know they want to know and share in my life, it is sometimes difficult to find a place in one another's lives. I'm thankful to be old enough to recognize the ebb and flow of life as just that... things change constantly, and our friendships need to be fluid enough to change with us.

I just sometimes feel as if it's a delicate line to walk between being involved and being needy or clingy (things I dislike when I see them in myself), between being concerned and being overbearing.

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, August 02, 2005  ]


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