Don’t Tell Me What To Do
I’d never realized, until now, how incredibly difficult it is to find people who understand the importance of holding space for another person. Many people are, by nature, fixers. They want to offer you their opinions of your situation, their advice about what you should be doing, their ideas about how to fix yourself. In other words, as the saying goes, they listen to respond rather than listen to understand.
I remember watching this in action with someone else earlier this year and completely empathizing with the person in question because I knew that having all of these people in a room telling her what she can’t do, what she needed to do, how she needed to do it, etc. did nothing but make her feel pressured and insecure. What she really needed was for someone to support her and encourage her to make her own decisions, instead of attempting to make them for her.
The same goes for helping a person heal. They have to fix themselves. They just need a safe space in which to do that.
I became incredibly frustrated when I continually explained to people what I needed and they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand it. They continued to tell me, in various ways, what I can’t do, what I need to do, how I needed to do it.
After it happened so many times, with so many people, I began to wonder if I was missing something. Was there some reason why I couldn’t find what I was looking for? Even with a professional therapist? I kept attempting to explain to people what I wanted, but it seemed like no one understood it, or else they weren’t listening. This led me to question why I felt the need to explain myself at all – was there something wrong with me? Lately, when I attempt to explain myself, it seems like people feel as though I’m arguing with them or being defensive when all I’m really trying to do is help them understand my perspective. I just want to be understood. But it’s not working.
I found myself pondering all of these things yesterday. Somewhere toward the afternoon I started to throw my hands up and say, “Fuck it. I’ll do what I want.” I thought, “Maybe I should just handle this the way I’ve always handled it. I’ve always done it myself, I’ve never relied on someone else to help me.” Indeed, this year is one of the few times I’ve ever asked for help. Maybe I was seeking answers from outside of myself instead of from within.
But then, per usual, doubt set in last night and I was sitting around thinking about whether or not I’m missing something, and maybe I SHOULD be doing what other people are telling me to do… and it reminded me of one day, last year, when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and there was a barrage of inspirational quotes that were essentially telling me (and anyone else reading them) what we should be doing. And it pissed me off. And I wrote a post about it.
Low and behold, as I open up my Facebook memories this morning, there is that very post, along with one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs.
So with that, I say…. FUCK IT.
I’m the type of person that when you tell me I can’t do something the way I want to do it, I’m going to go out and do it my way just to prove to you that I can.
I have to do things my own way – not your way. It’s in my DNA (just check my hand analysis profile.. “Innovator.”).
If it’s too much to ask for someone to just sit with me while I vomit all of my emotions out onto the floor and sift through them without judging me or telling me how I should do it, or how long it should take me, then I’ll just stop asking and do it alone in true Virgo fashion – the way that I want to do it, without anyone else’s help. If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.
And for my readers out there, don’t be afraid to go your own way. Always remember, when someone wants your opinion, they’ll ask for it. Otherwise, they probably just want you to listen and understand. That’s all.
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