Anxiety and Confrontations
December 28, 2009 1 Comment
Today I was able to overcome some of my lingering fears about public places and went to meet with my friends. It ended up being a great success, but I was slapped in the head with the realization that I’ve had a lot of baggage where my friends are concerned and that there were things that I needed to get off my chest. I met one on one with my closest friend and was able to heal some old wounds and make some progress towards new depths in the relationship. Several times during the three hour long conversation, I was on the verge of leaving, not out of anger or sadness but out of a desire to escape having to deal with it. I would rather walk away than deal with real emotions. It wasn’t until I found myself actually crying that I realized how far I will go to avoid dealing with confrontations of any sort.
People with anxiety tend to be out of touch with our emotions. We allow ourselves to feel just a few things – fear, sadness, and anger tend to be the three most comfortable emotions we deal with. Yes, I just said that fear is comfortable; how, you ask, can I possibly think such a stupid thing? Well, the truth is, we are used to feeling fear. It becomes such a constant in our lives that we look for it even before we actually feel it. It is familiar. We are comfortable with the familiar in at least some ways, so that’s why I say it becomes comfortable to us to a certain degree.
As difficult as it was for me to sit and stay through the meeting and work things out, the rewards have already been more than enough. For the first time in six months I feel like I can have a clear conscience and move on. Isn’t that a good enough reward for facing a fear of confrontation?
I, like others with this issue of anxiety, tend to bury my feelings because it’s easier than dealing with them. In the end, however, this is a completely absurd way of reacting or acting; we tend to become swamped all of a sudden with a rush of feelings and issues that we have no idea what to do with or even where they came from, because we are simply overloaded with feelings. This can happen at any time -out of the blue, or when one more thing happens, the straw that breaks the camels back. The saddest part – at least, to me – is that at the time I am busy burying, I don’t even realize what I am feeling! That makes it really hard to examine the situation that caused the distress.
For some reason i can’t quite figure out how to say what I am trying to say, the words aren’t coming out the way I want them to, so I think I’m going to wrap this up for now and maybe add/edit later.
But the main thought I want to leave you with is this: Don’t be afraid of your feelings. Don’t be afraid of the confrontation. You don’t have to lose your mind in a temper tantrum to get your feelings out and expressed. Be assertive, without being overly aggressive, and see where it gets you. The rewards are worth the effort, I promise!