Mending Fences (Or trying to anyways)

Are you happy with who you are currently? What are some areas you would like to improve? Perfection is impossible, but is there an image of yourself that you would like to achieve? My ideal self is a cool, easygoing chick who is well-liked and doesn’t worry about petty things or people. She’s in control of her life and emotions and things just slide right off her back. Rather than freaking out, she laughs things off.

As much as I’d like to say that I am my ideal self, I’m still not there yet and I’ve made some mistakes with people which I kinda wish that I could fix. Over the past few years, some people have said things that offended me and instead of telling them directly, I said nothing, stewed over it and then cut them off. It was passive aggressive and caused my ideal self to scream “What the hell are you doing?!” across the gap of our differences.*

Or I let things get personal-too personal-when I should have kept it professional. It’s a fact of life that you’re not going to like all your coworkers, but I should have kept a stiff upper lip and just ignored their craziness. Instead, I became stubborn and petulant and spent too much time letting them get to me. They were being jerks, but by reacting angrily to them, it resulted in me justifying their opinions of me and definitely threw a wrench into getting shit done at work. (Of course it is tougher to stay cool at work because A)Unless you’re really lucky, you don’t usually want to be there and B) You don’t choose your coworkers)

So, I’m considering reaching out to a few who I hastily closed the door on too quickly. Now don’t get the wrong idea: I won’t be reconnecting with people who were very toxic or who it is abundantly clear, that I’ve outgrown. Some social connections definitely have a best before date.

I’m just tired of my sometimes obsessive, kind of paranoid, overly judgemental, grudgeholding self and want to try and see if I can clear some misunderstandings that I have had over the past few years. It isn’t fair to completely disregard someone over one little comment or two(Unless the comments are very hurtful or racist/sexist/homophobic, etc), and I certainly have said some boneheaded things in the past too!

My “experiment” might end in disaster or it might end up o.k. It may even result in silence on their end, but hey at least I tried. I won’t be bringing up their previous comments, since that will probably result in them becoming defensive, I’m just going to ask how they’re doing and try to press the “reboot” button on our connection.

How about you? Have you ever tried reconnecting with people who you previously shrugged off?

Photo: http://kwjersey.com/?page_id=35

*I should mention that I’d also like to reconnect with some people who I’ve fallen out of contact with due to other issues, ie. computer problems, lack of time, etc.*

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16 thoughts on “Mending Fences (Or trying to anyways)

  1. Jen

    I stand by my earlier advice of “Back away, not today, Disco Lady!” 😉

    I’m very careful who I invite into my life, but when I do make the decision to break a connection, there’s usually a very good reason, and I’m not likely to want to reconnect. So, not sure how valuable my opinion in this is, but I would just be very careful not to invite crazy into your life! Sometimes your initial reaction is the right one.

  2. omawarisan

    I admire you for taking that on. I struggle so much with that. I disagree with someone, then feel so awkward following the disagreement and never know how to approach that person again

  3. pattypunker

    i so needed this post today! i need a power switch on my emotions so i can turn that shit off when it’s not necessary. i’m going to keep your words in mind the next time i have a knee-jerk reaction to something/someone. especially at work!

  4. Laura

    Wow, honest post Pauline. I think it’s brave of you to try to reconnect with your old pals.

    One of the best things about being in 40 (cough cough) ish, is that I finally have a solid circle of great people around me. It’s a much smaller circle than even 10 years ago, but it is full of wonderful, kindhearted spirits that want good things for me…and vice versa. I have no time for petty, caddy, highschool antics. Life is to short to be around energy suckers. I wish you good luck with your attempts…good things will come of it. 🙂

  5. Pauline Post author

    Jen-That’s why I included the line :” I won’t be reconnecting with people who were very toxic or who it is abundantly clear, that I’ve outgrown”. That person who you’re thinking of fits into that category and I’m trying to be careful about it. But in other cases, I was too hard on people and I’d like to change that.

  6. Jen

    I figured that was the case, I mostly just wanted to make you laugh with “Walk away, not today, disco lady!” 😀 Because I also agree with Zhu — you worry about being too hard on others, but don’t be so hard on yourself.

  7. Pauline Post author

    Zhu-I’ll try. It can be hard to figure sometimes if it was you or them. Did I overreact or are they the ones with the problem?

  8. Pauline Post author

    Laura-Yes, I hope I don’t lose too many blog readers by confessing my craziness! LOL. A solid circle is a beautiful thing to have, that’s great! Thanks, I’m hoping good things will come of it! 🙂

  9. Pauline Post author

    Pattypunker-Knee jerk reactions are never good, sometimes they’re unavoidable, but it’s best to take a breath and try to get away for a minute before reacting. (Or at least that’s what I’ve read. LOL) My husband had a Blackberry with the message “Don’t Panic!” on it (He worked a stressful job), I’m trying to take those words to heart.

  10. Pauline Post author

    Omawarisan-Disagreements can be unpleasant but everyone is bound to disagree at some point. For me, it’s if they respect my position and what they say. If they say something really crazy, then I kind of wonder about them. LOL. But some people get caught up in emotions and don’t really argue logically. (I have done this on more than one occasion!)

  11. Finola

    I would love to hear how this works out.
    For me, I have often thought I wasn’t good enough for other people who I really liked, and so I didn’t pursue friendships with people who might have turned out to be good friends. It’s something I have been working hard on though and I already see positive changes.

  12. Pauline Post author

    Finola-That’s great that you already see positive changes. Sometimes the only thing holding us back is our own self doubt. 🙂

  13. Lynn

    Lovely and thoughtful post, Pauline…I’d love to hear how it all works out. I’m one who almost never gives up on people, so in the handful of cases where I finally did have to walk away, it was forever. I’m interested to know if that was a wise choice or not…so keep us updated!

  14. Kate

    I’ve only reconnected with someone like that once in recent memory. We hadn’t talked for a number of years and then ended up in the same graduate program together. We became friendly again, but then I realized why I stopped being friends with her the first time. Essentially, it takes me a long time before I will totally cut someone out of my life unless they’ve done something completely unforgivable. By the time I’m sick of someone’s shit, they’ve proven more than once that we shouldn’t be friends. I like what you’re doing, though — I think it’s a really healthy way to go about things. Keep us posted!

  15. leashieloo

    I’ve reconnected with people with some success. I’ve also had experience with old friends not reciprocating and not helping the situation. It’s always worth a try though.

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