Ok, I think this definitely belongs in the Not-Exciting-and-of-Interest-to-me-Alone category, but it was a mark of progress for me, so I'm sharing in.
In keeping with the trend I started the other day being direct and honest with my friend, I had a minor confrontation with a co-worker today after I called her on something she'd been doing for a while that was causing a lot more work for me. I expressed this to her, and then worked uncomfortably by her side in the silence that followed.
The 1.0 version of me would have immediately apologized or softened what I said with a "hey I wouldn't normally mind but," (even though I would have totally minded and have often in the past) or "sorry I hope that didn't come across as rude, but..." (even though I wasn't rude at all, just direct) Wishy washy! The thing is, I don't like wishy washiness in other people. Why have I been this way for so long?!
Today's New Activity: Letting the Honesty Sit
I'm telling you, this progress happens slowly, and very painfully. I stood there biting my tongue for a full half hour, trying to keep myself from apologizing (even in an implied way) when I knew I had every right to be upset. I've always had a difficult time with people being mad at me, and I have been especially prone to guilt trips and manipulation on the part of people who knew this about me and exploited it. I have never, ever in the past allowed myself to express my own anger and to just let it hang out there all raw and exposed.
And I don't like anger. It's ugly and unpleasant, and not something I feel very often. But once in a while I feel angry for what I know is a good reason and I find myself apologizing for even feeling it. On the incredibly rare occasion that I dare to express it, the guilt I feel is unbearable and I have to do something to alleviate it.
Well, that's how it's been in the past, anyway.
Though I had a really hard time with it, I did manage to keep myself from withdrawing my original remark and kept reminding myself that normal people are not always happy with everything that happens in life, and normal people know it's not only within their right, but actually healthier to express it when they're upset.
Now I want to be clear that I think it's always important to be fair, tactful, sensitive, and mature when expressing anger--inasmuch as that's possible, and when speaking about adults it does not seem too much to ask....there's no need to just go off on people or lose control or be cruel. But all that said (and I know this is a tall order), I am truly challenging myself to stop feeling guilty about being honest when things are upsetting or hurtful to me. It's the craziest thing to feel angry and then feel bad because my anger has upset somebody else. That's just a double whammy I no longer feel the need to take on and carry around with me.