Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Controversy and Confidence...

I'm not in the habit of behaving controversially, especially when the sense of controversy is mainly due to me going 'against the grain' (eg: against the way I was brought up, my family's traditions, established christian or cultural values, etc...).

I've always seen myself more as the kind of person who conforms and shuts up instead of speaking up about my own opinions. As a child and teenager it always seemed to be my sister who had "opinions" and stuck to her guns. I somehow didn't allow myself to form my own, or to voice them if I had some..., preferring to be the peacemaker instead when any controversial questions arose, in order to keep the boat steady!! I know I still have this tendency now, especially when I'm back in a sibling/ child role, or indeed whenever there is conflict brewing around me!

But increasingly I'm becoming more and more assertive in who I am as a person, and more comfortable to not necessarily agree with everyone just to 'keep the peace'!
God has done a lot of work in me in this area and I have to be honest: I still falter all too often, because I really hate conflict, and am terrified of losing an argument!

An interesting side-issue here could be the discussion of the following: 'when is perceived lack of self-esteem actually just pride'?? Is it really just my pride which is preventing me from getting into a debate where I might lose face and see my arguments dismantled one after the other? Maybe this is something I could try and discuss some other time but right now I don't have the time nor the inclination. (- and I can hear myself thinking, 'WIMP!'; but my response to that for now is 'shut up'!!!)

This really IS going somewhere I promise - but will be continued in the next post.
For now I want to finish by asking you: am I alone in experiencing these feelings or can anyone out there relate to what I have shared here? Please do feel free to tell me where you're at, especially if you're in a similar place. There is no judgement here; only grace.

4 comments:

  1. Perceived lack of self esteem as pride... this is a real thing. I deal with it, I'm sure, but I see it daily in the one next to me. We've gone through many trials due to just that. I have talked with therapists about it, and it's an idea that many people haven't considered, yet when presented with the concept and time to think, it's funny how obvious it seems. I pray often for God to do what it takes to make us who he wants us to be, in spite of ourselves and our pride.

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  2. I totally agree! I am very similar and hate feeling that there might be any conflict arising from a conversation or situation. As a child, I used to get very anxious when someone else got told off!! I still feel that rising panic if there are harsh words being spoken around me. I think there is also a part of us that wants everyone to like us and is afraid that standing up for oneself will put people off. Hmm...interesting!

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  3. i'm finding it's a less a matter of i'm right your wrong but much more whether i'm good, kind and loving even if we disagree...

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  4. Paul: I wish everyone was as sensitive and open minded as you are...

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