Taking a little break from some of the beauty content you all have seen on here lately and switching gears back into my thought-provoking, analytical diary entri– I mean, blog posts.
I felt compelled to write on this topic not only because of its relevance to my life, but also to kind of… brag a bit? That’s confusing without context. Let me explain.
The last couple months this summer have truly tested me in some of my most important relationships and friendships.
I tend to be an easy-going person. I am not difficult to get along with, and I don’t have any enemies (that I’m aware of). The thought of calling myself likable makes me want to vomit, but I kind of am.
So, if I get upset or angry with someone for their actions and behavior, it tends to be for a pretty good reason. (And that reason usually means someone f*cked up and it wasn’t me.)
Upset and angry are not feelings I have been strangers with the last couple months. No, not strangers. More like annoying neighbors that I hope to avoid as much as possible, yet by the will of a cruel universe somehow always manage to run into.
The reality of the situation is a lot of people incredibly close to me lately have done things that hurt, upset, or just completely disregarded me. Some of these people have repeat offenses.
And that’s a difficult thing to navigate when we’re talking about an individual relationship, but imagine experiencing those negative emotions and feelings of betrayal coming at you simultaneously from every corner of the room. It brings about a new type of loneliness.
And some of the hurt that I have felt the last couple months is so multi-layered with sub-feelings of anger, betrayal, abandonment, disappointment, and just pure rage.
It’s so good to let yourself feel all those things and in doing so, give yourself the validation that yes, you have the right to be upset and react the way you do when someone does something that (whether intentional or not) is upsetting!
But emotions can be so powerful and easy to get caught up in when they’re so fresh. You have to be careful.
The initial event that kind of kick-started this summer series of hey-lets-all-break-jessica’s-heart had me filled to the brim with absolute rage. When I tell you I haven’t been that mad in a while…
And I’ll be honest. My initial reaction once I had reached a complete understanding of the situation wasn’t the greatest and actually quite immature. I took to social media and ranted, and while I defend that it’s healthy to write and let off steam, doing so on a public platform is not always so defensible. Some things just do not need an audience. Sometimes the only audience you need is a trusted friend or family member with a good ear. Not all of Twitter.
But beyond that… this is the part where I get to brag. As I said, emotions are easy to get caught up in and sometimes leave little room for rational thought. In the past, I’ve approached confrontations and conflicts immediately and emotionally charged because I hate conflict. And I suppose part of me subconsciously believed that the quickest way to resolve it is to get the fight over. Get through it as fast as possible and get to peace on the other side. I’ve never liked existing in that state before you make up with someone that lacks closure but is filled with fighting words. I don’t like having people mad at me, and I don’t like to be mad at others. It hurts.
This approach tends to blow up in your face. You’re tackling the problem when you’re mentally and emotionally unequipped to. In my experience, things will escalate quickly, hurtful things that could have been avoided get spoken aloud, and you just feel lousy at the end with no actual solution. What could have been just a battle becomes a full-on war.
But that was the old me. Or it sure must have been. Because I can honestly say that I am so proud of the way I have handled the issues I have had with people lately. Am I perfect? Of course not. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are things I would do differently now, but one thing I think I have been doing a beautiful job of is recognizing when I am too emotionally charged and worked up to have a constructive conversation with someone that upset me. Being able to see that instability of feelings in yourself and say, “Hey, you are in no place to hash out your issues with them right now because you are in such an intense state of hurt that things you say could get nasty and out of control quick.”
Once I was able to speak these things to myself, I then made it a point to communicate that to the other person. Being direct is important so that they understand the place you’re coming from and that it’s not a place of cowardice or timidness. Because while recognizing and communicating this is a sign of respect and courtesy for the both of you and the problem, it is not a sign of weakness, an excuse to flee, or an opportunity for anyone to walk all over you. And it shouldn’t leave room for you or the other person to draw importance away from the things that are bothering you because they need to and will be revisited later on when you’re in a better head-space.
I’m sure you’re curious about the end result and how it all went down with this initial situation. This person respected that I was too angry to talk to them about how they upset me and gave me a few days to take a break and cool down so that I could revisit the problem with a clearer head. The next time we saw each other, we stepped aside and had a healthy, honest conversation and reached some sort of understanding of the opposite party! Mind-blowing. Beautiful. Unbelievable.
As I said, these months have been filled with many conflicts with many people. And while this is only one aspect of one of the challenges I have gone through lately. I choose to celebrate it because knowing when to step away and let yourself calm down before proceeding is indicative of personal growth, healthy management of emotions, and effective problem resolution. I am going to challenge myself to continue to listen to my heart and mind when they are facing distress and respond to myself and my dilemmas in a constructive and positive way. I encourage anyone who can resonate with these experiences of mine to challenge themselves to do the same.
Leave a comment down below about how you think I handled this or about a situation you were in recently and an effective (or not so effective) way you handled it. Would you do anything differently?
I would love to get into these deeper discussions with you guys about relationships as well as the problems that can arise and how we navigate working towards a solution.
As always, don’t forget to follow @aspostedbyjess on Instagram to keep up with me!