Yesterday I attended an Administrative Assistant Conference. While I have attended quite a few conferences over the course of my career, I’m always looking for an opportunity to learn something new. I attended sessions about leading without a title, creating a partnership with your boss, being assertive and my favorite topic, emotional intelligence. I’ve probably attended at least five or six seminars on emotional intelligence and each time I learn something new. Not about other people but about myself.
This time around I learned that I have trained certain people in my life to treat me the way they do. Family members, friends and co-workers have all been taught by me that’s it is okay to infringe upon my “me time”, that it’s okay to say they will call and don’t, that it’s okay to come to my desk and stand there while I’m on the phone. I taught them how to do it by accepting the behavior and not lovingly or professionally correcting them the first time they displayed behavior. I didn’t tell them that wanting time for myself is not selfish, it’s necessary for my emotional well being. I didn’t tell them that I was disappointed when they didn’t keep their word. I didn’t tell them that I would appreciate it if they didn’t just walk up to my desk and start talking without first checking to see if I was busy.
Changing what I accept and allow will definitely raise eyebrows and ruffle some feathers and I am comfortable with the uncomfortable feeling that I might feel during this process. The process will be a little more difficult with the people I love. When you are not allowed to fully express your feelings because someone finds fault in them or tries to negate them with explanation, you are essentially robbed of the satisfaction of trusting a person you love with your deepest fears. I’m hoping that those who claim to love me will listen to what I have to say with their heart and not their selfish ego. I will admit I’m little afraid of how my personal relationships might change. However, what I know and believe in my heart is the relationships that have a strong foundation will survive and those that are superficial will wither under the weight of me standing in my truth. And I’m okay with that.