I’m sorry I let you down…but please speak up and don’t assume intent…


I live my life in the moment, but try my best to be considerate of others.  But at the end of the day, I can’t take the world’s perspective into account or I would never be able to experience this moment fully.  I could second guess every step, every move and miss the opportunity of being fully present.

Unfortunately, this sometimes means that others may feel excluded because I don’t reach out “in the moment” to share the experience.  As a “recovering people pleaser,” I’m trying to find that balance between connecting considerately and being fully present in the moment, being more fully aware of my needs.  Sometimes I “get it right” for all parties; sometimes I worry too much what others think, feel or want and “miss me;” and unfortunately,  I sometimes inadvertently overlook others’ needs and upset or hurt them.

If I’m lucky in the latter case, the other person will express their feelings to me in a straightforward manner that allows me to understand the impact I had on them. It doesn’t lessen their pain or change their feelings, but it allows me to be aware, to apologize and hopefully strike a better balance the next time.  Sometimes, I get an emotionally charged response, which is really a lose-lose situation because I’m left feeling manipulated, or hurt with spiteful attacks…and it still doesn’t lessen their pain or change their feelings.  Instead we are both left hurt, simply because the other person “lashes out” or lets their past hurts, issues or unmet needs be perceived as as a personal attack (which for me, is rarely the case…). And then, sadly, there are those times when the other doesn’t voice anything…which for me is the worst of all situations, because their pain is still real and I’m left without the opportunity to be aware, seek forgiveness and (hopefully) act differently next time.

I share this in the hopes of raising awareness of a couple key points. First, like most people, I’m trying my best, with good intentions – but am imperfect and will fall short sometimes.  Second, at least for me, I rarely intentionally hurt others – so please don’t assume intention, but express your unmet needs and valid feelings in an objective manner that allows me to hear and receive your feedback. And finally, silence is by far the worst of all choices.  Passive-aggressive behavior I can work through; silence robs us both of a growth experience and an ability to connect.

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ctfuqua

At 42, my life is in transition. I have always been a “glass half full” sort of guy. Now more than ever I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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