Thursday, April 05, 2007

the last word

Maybe this is an addendum to the last post, but I don't know how really good I am at not being the center of attention. How good am I at patting someone else on the back without needing a return high five, or at least some verbal recognition? Yesterday evening I was at a leadership meeting of my Celebrate Recovery comrades, and really without knowing it, we acted out what the instructional time of the meeting was about-unity. It was one of those things that just sort of happened, and the person facilitating the group sat back and let happen what was happening. I give him great credit for that. He went further to praise another member of the team for something that happened on Saturday in a rehab setting where the two guys hold meetings. Then that individual responded with some funny and self-deprecating comment. This went on like a fun match of verbal compliment ping-pong, and I was glad, but I found myself almost automatically saying or doing things that drew attention to myself. Not in a disruptive way, but I realized I feel like I have to be the wittiest or silliest person in the room.

Something else happened today that once again made me very conscious of this. The situation was one where I feel I've gained victory over those "look at me" emotions. But in recognizing this, I sort of felt a sense of loss even as I knew it was right. In being willing to stay in the background, you sometimes feel forgotten. It is so hard to be anonymous. At least it is for this prima donna. I want to want to be. And I'll have to admit, in this, the wanting to be overcame the feelings of "I'm being ignored". I wasn't at all. The comments I made seem to have the intended effect. And only the other person involved needed to hear them (or read them). We talked about this in our meeting-if one person has something against another, only those two individuals should know, unless there is a serious problem. We banned gossip and backtalk.

I need to always be of this mind in relationships. If I go after another person's company or affections because of a lack on my part, it's wrong. If I serve somewhere because I want to be noticed, I'm out of line. I was talking to my youngest yesterday, and my comment to her was that she seemed to me to be a complete person. She is very social and loves people, but she isn't needy. She has a string of broken heart behind her already, but not because she's a cruel person. She just likes being a friend more than a one and only, and gives every boy she meets the "friend test". If they don't want to hang with her friends, they're out. I wish I could have said that at 16. All I wanted then was a boy to notice me. Chuckle. And if I couldn't have that, I wanted the world to bow at my accomplished feet. The people that made me the angriest were the ones who told me the truth. I try to find those people now, and when I do, I strive to not need the last word.


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