I bloody love going to see my shrink. Ok don’t get me wrong, the bastard still makes me cry, and remember how it feels to feel things I thought I’d put long behind me, but he’s also some kind of ninja counselling genius who picks out ridiculously profound patterns from my what-I-always-assumed-were random thoughts. Which is kinda mindblowing in a how-did-you-even-see-that kinda way, as well as in a more personal understanding-how-my-head-works kinda way. Which is kinda the main point I guess.
So basically I’m learning lots about me. Conveniently I really like learning new things, and I wanted to share a few of them here:
The phrase “A smile costs nothing” is bullshit. True, sometimes it doesn’t cost anything, but then again, sometimes it does. If you’re in the mood for smiling, or not too bothered one way or the other, then sure – give it a whirl. But if you really want to do something other than smile, then it’s a little lie. You’re hiding your feelings, sparing other people’s feelings, avoiding reality. Stuff having a brave face (or a calm face or a supportive face) – I’d rather be in touch with what’s real. I don’t owe anyone a smile – I give smiles when, and because, I want to.
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is also bullshit. True, if you have to break bad news or broach an uncomfortable subject you might want to err towards choosing your words reasonably considerately, but I’ll take being honest and listening, instead of clamming up and pretending everything’s fine, a thousand times out of a hundred. I have no right to assume that people want me to “protect them” from uncomfortable discussions. Equally if I don’t feel I’m being listened to, then I have no duty to stay in that situation – I have a choice of how to deal with it. And that can include taking a step back or taking some time, or taking my ideas elsewhere. I choose not to be defensive or jump to conclusions, and I can choose not to be around people who do. And that’s Ok. That’s my right.
“Always put other people first” is bullshit too. Consider other people, yes; don’t be unethical or take advantage of others – but always put them before me? Always leave myself with the shitty end of the stick? Always compromise, always give in, always carry other people’s burdens even if they’ve not asked? No. Do other people always put my needs first? No. I have a right to my own boundaries, just like other people have a right to theirs. And I don’t have to give up my boundaries to be accepted as a helpful and charitable member of society. Bugger it – I don’t even have to be seen as a helpful or charitable member of society – I just need to be me.