Day 3: Self Confidence
No Big Deal
I remember my mother in law saying these three words a lot.
She had a stroke in her 40s and eventually ended up in an alzheimers home with dementia.
She became a bit of a social butterfly there.
Going from room to room, visiting friends.
She seemed happy, although in her own world and often not able to remember the details of who we were.
She smiled a lot.
She said “no big deal” a lot.
I think sometimes it was prompted by the look of concern or worry on our faces.
I started then to really think about what that phrase means.
For me, I remember thinking it when something really was kinda a big deal. (Or at least a big deal to me)
As a way of not feeling disappointed. Because disappointment felt terrible.
Or as a way of reframing somthing that I perceived as “negative”.
As a way of avoiding the bad feeling that was sure to follow.
Sometimes when you have adhd tendencies, it can feel like you experience things differently than most people.
It can be hard to regulate emotions. We can tend to react quickly, overreact or make things mean something negative about us. We can take things personally. Be overly sensitive to criticism.
I used to ask myself “what is a big deal to most people? Is this a big deal to most people?
What does a typical day feel like to most people? What does planning feel like for most people?
Is this an appropriate reaction? Am I normal?”
Those questions were an attempt to make sure I fit the mold of being reasonable, acceptable. Fit in with what was expected.
When I’m trying to decide if something is a big deal to me or not, if I want to speak up or not, I use different questions now. Questions that feel more personal to me.
1) Is it a big deal to me, yes or no? Why?
2) Do I like my reason for speaking up?
3) What is my motivation behind speaking up?
Ultimately you’re the only one that can decide if something’s a big deal or not. That will vary from person to person.
What if there is not a “typical answer”? Or a correct response?
Guess what? There isn’t!
In the realm of people pleasing, there are times something will bother us and we will choose to speak up.
There are times something will bother us and we will choose not to speak up.
Both are ok as long as we’ve checked in with ourselves.
If we’re not speaking up because we don’t want to “rock the boat” we’re probably operating from a fearful place, and worrying about what others may think of us. We may want to notice that and decide if that’s really how we want to respond.
If we’re not speaking up because it is truly not worth our time and is actually not a big deal, we may like that reason and stay quiet, and just let it go.
If you find yourself feeling anxious from time to time, like you’ve got something to say but would rather not “cause a scene”, or step into a potential confrontation, it may be worth exploring.
If you’re afraid that what you want to say to someone may hurt their feelings, let’s talk. There’s another way and it feels so much better.
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