In my previous post I touched on the idea of not acting a different way depending on your relationship status, and instead to try altering the focus to being true to yourself, and going one step further, to be true to yourself in every situation. This is not always easy, or even possible, as I have often found in the workplace especially. My language and interests, including my blog and book research are not workplace appropriate conversations. For the most part though I am focussing on developing myself as a whole person who can look back and feel that no compromises need to be made, no matter the role I need to play.
I had an interesting discussion to this end with my partner. Often I have found myself watching everything that goes on around me. I miss very little as far as body language and social interaction goes. This is a skill I have refined and tweaked over the years to be as precise and accurate as the situation calls for. I had completely missed out on the art of being oblivious. I thought this concept was odd at first hearing as well. The art of being oblivious or purposefully ignoring things that just may not matter seemed bizarre. What could possibly be gained from having a white noise filter when at a social event? Just thinking of all the conversations and interactions that could be missed gives me a little social anxiety. But is there a peaceful centre to be gained from this?
Let us say that you have a friend who always says the wrong thing, is socially awkward or is just perpetually nervous giving the vibe of a social nincompoop. Do you A) follow them around nervous and on edge preparing for damage control. B) Stop hanging out with them because the stress it puts on you could potentially ruin your time as well. Or C) just put a filter on in your mind and become oblivious to all the things that do not affect you. I without thinking have always picked A, but what if the best answer was C? In the quest to find ways to increase my personal happiness, one of the components is to not allow other people to add stress in my life. Learning to live for myself and be responsible for my own thoughts and feelings is so important. And looking at the little multiple choice questionnaire, it is obvious that the first two answers involve giving my emotions over to someone else. I have been putting myself in position geared to react, versus having the control over my own autonomy.
Now although the example here is to do with friendship, I can apply this to so many facets of my relationships. Having dated someone in my past who loved to get drunk, I rarely took control of my own emotions. I allowed myself to follow the rollercoaster of his drunken adventures, which would often result in negative feelings at the end of the night or the next morning. It was incredibly stressful. By opening myself up to his destructive behaviour, I saw his actions as a reflection of myself. I felt we were a team and his actions reflected poorly, especially when he drank, on me. I shifted the power, so to speak on him, instead of understanding that I could only be responsible for my own thoughts, feelings and actions. Had I known about having an oblivious feature, living life for me alone, I believe two things would have happened although I am not confident on in what order. I would have been a lot happier, as my stress would have significantly decreased. I would not have felt this intrinsic bond which resulted in negative thoughts every time he would go out drinking, preparing myself for the worst. Also, having separation between his actions and my feelings would have potentially allowed me to see a little clearer into what I really wanted in a partner. I would have allowed myself to view my thoughts and feelings on my own merit, rather than an extension of his. I may have made adjustments sooner in our relationship and who knows what that result would have been.
I have sought out real and true connections in earnest, with the ultimate goal being joined at the hip with someone else. With the new thought that I can turn blinders on when interacting with certain people or situations, I potentially could allow myself more self control, and ultimately be solely responsible for my own actions instead of reacting to the actions of those I love. Happiness can truly be in my hands with a little blissful oblivion.