I had a conversation with a co-worker today that has kind of shaken me just a little bit and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Because the truth behind the conversation is kind of hurting me. A lot.
I think sometimes people don’t like who I am.
Maybe that’s too broad or vague a statement.
I know people don’t like me. Probably lots of people. I’ve never been a stranger to people not liking me.
I’m just really struggling with how to say this without…without…well, without screwing up. Which it seems I’m good at.
I’ve been opinionated my entire life. If I have an idea to share about something, I want to share it. If you have a problem, and you are trying to figure out a solution, I want to help figure out that solution by offering ideas. If I think there’s a way that things can be done better or more efficiently, I have a hard time not saying “Hey! There’s a better and more efficient way to do this.”
I am outgoing and go-getter-ing. I am not afraid to speak when it comes to things I know about. In fact, I LOVE talking about what I know.
For the most part, I think I’ve got some tact about this sharing thing. I try to be tactful in my interactions with people, carefully choosing my words. At least most of the time.
I love words and their power.
But today I was called “bossy.”
I’ve been called bossy before and it hasn’t really bothered me. At times, I probably said “Yeah, I am. That’s me.” And rolled with it. Because if I had to be described in a word, maybe “bossy” is it.
But today? It hurt.
I think I laughed it off, but that’s the way people see me.
Not any of the other things that I see as positives about myself.
I learned earlier this year that when I started my job, some dismissed me as just a know-it-all. And I am kind of a know-it-all. Because I WANT to know and SEEK to know. Not because I inherently THINK I know. I think.
(In my defense, I was fresh out of college and ready to “make a difference” and “change a life” and all that other stuff people graduate college ready to do. Now? I know a little more. And I DO actually know a great deal of stuff.)
Today I learned that I’d been asked about in regards to how I’m handling a new role at work. When I was asked if I wanted this role, the conversation went something like “but in this role, you can’t be…you.”
“Oh, she’s doing great!” was the reply given to today’s question.
Because I am.
At least I think I am.
Sometimes it’s hard simply because I want to talk. Sometimes it’s hard because I like bouncing ideas around.
But I’m entirely capable of not speaking when I know my opinion isn’t wanted or needed. Or when giving it will do more harm than good.
(I will say that in this particular instance, I am so aware of other people’s perceptions of how I’m handling this role that I’m almost afraid to say anything at all or ask questions or even a simple “Oh! Yay!” Seriously. I feel like my role is to be seen and not heard. At all. For fear of saying one thing too much and being given a talking-to.)
The bigger issue, I suppose, is that there even had to be that conversation at all. Like everyone had doomed me to failure from the word “go.”
I know I’m negative. I know I complain (mostly just for the sake of complaining). I know I’m a gray-haired, cantankerous, 90-year-old, cat lady trapped in a reasonably-well-coiffed, cantankerous, 29-year-old, Boy-Mom body.
But I also know that’s not all that I am. And it hurts that maybe other people don’t.