THINGS MY THERAPIST TOLD ME
THINGS MY THERAPIST TOLD ME.
For more than a year, I have been seeing a therapist. Within this time, I've noticed some recurring themes. Whether it be boundaries, criticizing myself, or sugarcoating uncomfortable situations; I've learned that I have a tendency to fall back when I need to stand strong. In recent times, I went on twitter and read tweets from women about having similar habits or being in similar situations.
As a feminist and a woman, I know for a fact that women are bosses. The role of "female boss" has been renamed "bitch" in recent times by people who fear they'll lose their masculinity or those who don't understand what it is to be woman. Everyday I learn something new as a woman and feminist. For example, a lot of people think a person can't be kind and take control or put their foot down. It's called multitasking. A woman can be kind while being the boss in her life or a boss in general. I think New York called it HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge).
I'll admit that I've struggled with being kind and not taking crap from people. I've struggled with being my own boss and not wanting to hurt anyone in the process. I don't really want to hurt anyone's feelings. Sometimes I rather walk away and avoid drama instead of standing up for myself. That Latina fire can come out when pushed too far, but I rather have peace and harmony around me. *Queue rolling of the eyes* As I tried to sort out how to make sense of it all, I asked my therapist for some advice. Here's what she told me:
- You are your worst critic. She and I can't stress this enough. I know that I am extremely hard on myself. I always want things to be perfect and sometimes nothing I do feels like it's good enough. Give yourself a break. We do our best. We try our hardest. We live. We learn. When applying this to situations, don't tear yourself apart. Allow yourself to be honest with yourself. Therefore, translating whatever you need to will be easier.
- Don't minimize situations. I do not like to hurt people's feelings, but I also believe in telling the truth. I was recently in a situation where someone had crushed my feelings. Instead of letting the person know that I was extremely hurt by what they said, I took some of the blame when the blame wasn't mine to take. Sometimes it's hard to tell someone how we feel when we really want to tell them off. Sometimes we find kinder synonyms to take the place of the harsher words in our head. Either way, DO NOT downplay the situation. It's important to communicate true feelings. You won't get a desired response if you don't.
- Set boundaries. Whether it's in a relationship or just with yourself, boundaries are important. Boundaries keep us safe. Boundaries lets a person know what you will and will not tolerate. It's important to know yourself and communicate that with the person you're dealing with. Boundaries can help avoid bad situations and give a person a piece of mind.
- Be impeccable with words. When communicating a person's words should be transparent. I know a person who throws out every word in the dictionary when they're trying to express how they feel. I'm all for vocabulary. I think it's wonderful, but everyone isn't a walking dictionary. Sometimes we're not as clear as we thought we were. Don't complicate the situation anymore. Just say, "*Insert person's name*, you made me feel _______ when you ______" Even though it's not as simple as it seems being clear is better than the alternative. Make sure to choose words wisely. A person doesn't need to be a grade A ass to get their point across. Be mindful. Be in the moment.
- Be self-aware. Sometimes our days feel cloudy and nothing goes well. Been there. Done that. A person should know what they're bringing to the table. How a person feels can set the tone in their interaction with another. A bad mood can cause things to be lost in translation. We want to avoid that all together.
- Openness. Keep an open mind. In many situations, how something is perceived will determine how it is handle. As humans we do our best not to judge. Wait until you know everything before you slam your gavel. Too many times we've jumped to conclusions and find out that we were wrong all along. Openness also has to do with different types of people and where they're from. I hear people say "that's not how we do things in _______." Honestly, no one cares. We may find that a new way can be a better way. Try new things. Live a little.
That's all for now. I hope all is well and this list of advice helps you along the way. I've been practicing some of these and they've worked out well for me. Let me know what you think or if you have anything you want to add. Remember to always choose love.