Why are we expected to avoid conflict by hiding our emotions?
I saw a meme today that said, “If you avoid conflict to keep the peace you start a war inside yourself.”
When you are feeling unseen, unheard, unwelcome, or even unloved, why isn’t it okay to have a temporary yet bad reactionary moment? Why is it not okay to stand up and say out loud, “I am hurting and this is what I need from you”? Why do we have to tiptoe out of fear that if we don’t eloquently display our disapproval and disappointment, they will pack their bags and leave? Since when do we have to be, and do, and say the exact prescribed monologue written for us 100% of the time?
Not even one of us is a perfect Human specimen. We are expected to make mistakes. Mistakes and flaws, and yes, honest apologies, make us Human. We are allowed to have emotional relapses where we aren’t fully and completely in control of how we react to an unfortunate situation. No, this shouldn’t be our resting state, our normal, all-day, everyday state of mind. But who the hell invented this notion that you must always say the perfect thing and hide your true feelings about something just because it may potentially piss someone off? Why must we hide who we are?
Why is it okay to openly say, “I love you” or “I’m so happy with us,” but it’s not okay to say, “I’m disappointed. The last-minute change of plans, without considering how I feel, really frustrates me.” Why do we have to put on a happy face and pretend we aren’t disappointed? Why can’t we be imperfect Humans?
We can not be expected to constantly spew rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. That’s not real life. That’s the kind of performance pedestal we’re bound to fall off of.
A boy may be as disagreeable as he pleases, but when a girl refuses to crap sunshine on command, the world mutters darkly about her moods. ~ Scott Lynch
Well, you got that right, Scotty!
Disappointment is inevitable in any kind of relationship, so why do we, especially as women, feel the need to apologize for expressing that disappointment? For Christ’s sake, why can’t we all just be real with each other 100% of the fucking time, even when it’s absolutely uncomfortable?! Those are the very moments when we can truly see each other and work together on our problems as a team. Why can’t it be “You and me against the problem” instead of “You against me”? Jesus, we teach our children that Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. Why can’t we as adults, embrace the same?
How can we say we love each other, when we expect the other to hide their true feelings? In my world, that’s not love; that’s called Conditional Approval. That’s the agreement that I am worthy of your love, when I display only your preferred and pre-approved emotions. That is not love. That, friends, is fucking control.
When I love you, I love all of you. The good, the bad, the ugly, even the messy. I will love it all… until it kills me. Just as I will never half-ass love you, I will not accept half-ass and conditional love in return. Be all in or get all out!
Anyone who knows me knows I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t have a big wardrobe, but I do own a lot of flip flops, and a lot of boots, and I’ll tell you this right now: Neither are suitable for walking on eggshells.
This warrior spirit of mine will move on. No one needs to climb to get beyond the walls I’ve built around my heart. Hell, I’ll probably toss them a ladder. I will let someone in again. I will fall hard, and I will fall fast because that’s what I do. I’ve been hurt a lot, but I always get back up. That saying, “I know what I bring to the table, so trust me, I’m not afraid to dine alone,” damn, that speaks volumes, and this self-made woman isn’t taking anymore shit!
The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem
~ Jen Troyer, July 2020