Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Weakness and Strengths...and everything in between

I'm feeling a little drained today. It didn't start out that way though. I actually was feeling pretty darn cheerful this morning. But somewhere along the day, it changed.

I think I've pinpointed what it is that was the turning point. I was having a discussion with one of my co-workers, who is a good friend of mine - he is also my military supervisor. As we were discussing an issue with one of the projects my team is working on, I guess my mind was racing. I was thinking ahead of our conversation, trying to determine where we (my team and I) could go from here, how we would reprioritize our workload, how long of a wait before we could pick it up again, etc. My friend stopped talking and said "You're red from here (pointing to the opening in my vneck sweater) to here (pointing to my forehead). Are you okay?". And I said "no - no, I"m fine...really? I don't know why I'm red, I'm not upset or anything". And we continued our conversation. About 15 minutes later, I felt like I was exhausted - like I'd worked for days on end.

About an hour later, he was in my cube and we were discussing something else, and I said to him "you know what, when you asked me if I was okay, I was okay - but my mind was racing ahead to how I could fix the problem and what the potential delays might be and how they may affect us, etc..." and he said "I knew you were upset, and it's funny because no matter how close we are - you still don't trust me enough to just tell me "yeah, this really bugs me, I'm ticked off". You're just like "no, I'm fine, I'm fine"..(and he makes all these deflecting hand movements). He said "you're the most guarded person I know".

You know what, he's right. I'm totally guarded. Always, all the time. And it's alot of work.....and clearly, it's catching up with me. Or at least it did today. I'm so guarded, that sometimes - I don't even realize I'm upset about something. I just sort of tuck it away and ignore it because I won't let it get the best of me.

I'm not dishonest - it's not that kind of a guardedness. And I'm not guarded with other people or unaffectionate, it's not that kind of guardedness. But I do have an issue about letting anyone know that I'm not 100% and ready to take on the world.

There's a lot of vulnerability that I'm guarding. And every time I've let my guard down, it's blown up in my face.
But I do think I need to find a happy medium. Strength is good....but acceptance of other people knowing your vulnerabilities can be a strength too. And while I've had people use my "weakenesses" against me - maybe I just need to slowly determine who I can and can't trust with that information.

One of the many things in life I need to do. I'm so not a finished product...clearly, a work in progress.


Lance said...

I can never see you gaurded.

McSwain said...

I understand this completely, Rebecca. It can be very difficult for a woman to get ahead out in the workfield, especially if you work in a traditional "men's" field, as you do (and I used to). Admitting you don't know it all can be deadly to your career. It's hard to know when it's safe to let your guard down. Really, I wouldn't worry about it.

naive-no-more said...

Once again, we are alike in this way. When you said you often don't realize your angry or upset until later, I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about.

Very reflective post.

Kodijack said...

Being as focused on as strong as you can be leaves a weakness. You are weak in the backdoor because you are not relaxed and okay. Relaxation is okay, its not a weakness. If I were you I would focus on relaxtion. Only when we are relaxed can we possibly turn completely around see everything around us. A type personalties continue to push forward, never watching their backside.

Mellissa said...

I am the same way Rebecca. It seems like when I roll over and show my vunerable side someone invaritably uses it to hurt me..

Even those who were "close" to me. You get burned enough that you just shut off the stove ;-)

You are who you are and you do what you do for a reason, and sometimes that is just enough.

I am Mellissa and I am sometimes guarded, deal with it. Full stop ;-)


Lori said...

I can understand this too, Rebecca. A lot of that is who you are and where you have been..and there's nothing wrong with that. I've found that as I've gotten older, that part of me has mellowed out more.

Relationships have different variances, and that's ok. You learn who you can trust and who DESERVES your trust. There's a difference in being guarded and being standoffish, and sometimes when you feel the gates close, there is a reason for that. Be just who you are. There's a reason we all think so much of you! :-)

chesneygirl said...

I so know what you're talking about!

I'm terrible about this and have not figured out how to work on it.

Kristi said...

Well, you've recognized it, so I guess it depends on if you're okay with who you are and what type of person you are. Sounds like it can be exhausting, but that's a call only you can make.

Rebecca said...

Hey all -
Thanks for the input! I am okay with who I am, which is good - but I do need to work on trust. It doesn't hold me back in life, just some days it will hit me, sort of like yesterday. :) Maybe someday I'll be able to revert back to when I wasn't so guarded. But it will most likely be a long road. ;)