Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I am not a passive person.

There, I admitted it.  But, it's true, I'm not.  I'm just not a stand back and let the world happen, while I just stand there and whistle a little tune to pass the time kinda lady.  There are times I wish I was, life would be simpler and I'd hopefully be a better whistler.  Instead, I'm passionate, opinionated, vocal and not afraid to get to the bottom of things.  Sometimes that is observed as creating drama or being dramatic.  But, I disagree.  (Shocker I know)  I define drama as the overreaction to something.  Or the desire to create conflict for funsies.

I love differing opinions.  I strongly believe that you can be best friends with someone who has a completely different viewpoint from you, even though I am incredibly conservative, I think it's important to have friends who are also liberal.  I think this is how we learn and how we grow as people.  We learn things by the experiences we experience, hear about and talk about.  I have learned that some of my view points were not realistic by talking to people who have different thoughts than I do and why they do and it made sense.  I think one of the huge differences between having a difference of opinion and just being dramatic is your ability to debate just the topic and not make personal attacked against the one holding the opinion.

I am also not shy at getting to the bottom of things.  If I have been told something second hand, before I assume anything about it, I'm always going to ask.  Of course, if it's over something trivial, it's unlikely I'll waste my time, but I would rather know the truth and go from there then make assumptions and fester over something that wasn't historically accurate.  If there is something being discussed that offends me (and really, there is only one topic that does), I will not hesitate to ask you to stop.  You obviously have the option of not, and I obviously have the option of calling it a day if the request isn't honored, but that's just how life is.

As a constant thinker, I was beginning to think maybe I should just train myself to be the whistler in the corner.  Maybe I had life all wrong and that was the key to everlasting happiness.  Then, I read a blog.  I read Etiquette Hell a couple of times a week.  I love it.  I love the stories, I love the advice given and I especially love the different opinions in the comments, it is a really good way to see so many different sides of the same story.  Yesterday's post was entitled When Defamed By Family and is basically the story of a girl who didn't attend the wedding of her cousin after a falling out and then was ostracized by that side of the family.  Years later she found out that it was rumored she had said some unfavorable things about the bride at the wedding.  The wedding she didn't attend.  She cleared it up with much of the family but questioned whether she should ask the mother of the bride why she would begin such an awful rumor.  The blogger gave her advice (which basically was, she knows her best, is the outcome worth what will be asked?) and also gave another amazing piece of advice.

 One way to insulate oneself from becoming the family pariah based on gossip is to have an impeccable character.   If one is known for being excruciatingly honest, this works in one’s favor to cast doubt in the minds of those who hear slander.  Sometimes it takes years to achieve that level of perceived character but since family relationships last for decades, it is well worth the investment.

What amazing advice, and how true it is!  I can admit that I have been bitten by the angry bug and voiced my opinion in an unsavory manner more than once, but I have invested the last couple of years in doing my best not to, but I'm going to work a lot harder at it.  I also believe that your actions are the loudest voice that you have.  Nothing you can ever say will be louder than your actions.

Another belief I hold true is that birds of a feather really do flock together.  Recently, this was used against me in a way that I think was supposed to be offensive, obviously said by someone who wanted to be mean and hurtful.  But, I was being thrown into a flock of 2 amazing mothers who are honest, dependable, fun and actually put forth the effort they commit to.  Which led to me resuming my role as Troop Leader for Girl Scouts, but that's a different story for a different day...

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