A few months ago, someone told me that they found me difficult to be around, and I could feel that this was true. She always did seem to be tense when we got together, and even though we’d known each other for years, she hadn’t ever said this before. I also felt a sense of relief as I realized that for a long time, I thought I was doing her a favor (no ego here !?) by getting together. She’d always struggled with relationships, never had a close friend she could confide in, and I thought I was helping her to grow emotionally….and here she was telling me that she didn’t really enjoy it!
I loved this because now we were both free to spend our time with people that we didn’t feel we were in an endurance contest to connect with, and it helped me to get honest with myself about why I’d been getting together with her. Years ago, her comment would have sent me angrily scrambling to either defend myself, or try to change to be more the person she wanted me to be, or both. When she told me what she really thought, I just felt grateful for the clarity.
What someone else thinks about me is none of my business. My only business is my thoughts about them… and about myself.
“You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it’s just complaining.” Joni Mitchell