“Having a passive personality, is a soft way to live a dead life.” – Omar El Kadmiri
Saturday, May 3rd
Today I confronted my tendency to be passive head-on…or, well, I kind of did…in a passive sort of fashion.
If there is one character trait I watch in myself, it is this one. It is so easy for me to let miscommunications escalate and retreat behind my introverted label. Calling myself “introverted” can be the biggest excuse to leaving situations unaddressed and festering, when I know that I have the ability to set things right.
This all started weeks ago when I went to a friend’s art show. I was with another mutual friend and the artist mentioned that her daughter’s birthday was coming up, but that there was limited space so not everyone could come. I thought it was a slightly odd conversation, but then the other mom affirmed that her daughter would be able to come. Oh, so my kid isn’t invited and that is how you’re breaking it to me gently. It felt a little gritty, but I moved on. Then several days ago, a friend asked if I wanted to carpool to the birthday party. Umm, no, my daughter wasn’t invited. This friend had seen my name on the online invitation, but it was misspelled. I figured there was a possibility that the artist knew another person by the last name. I’d already let the awkwardness of the situation go once before, I could do it again.
But was this really the best tactic? If this person had invited my daughter then shouldn’t I try to iron it out? Underneath it all, I started to see that if I didn’t make an attempt to clarify what was going on then I would end up making assumptions and putting some level of negative energy onto this person. That would certainly cloud the relationship in some small way and I didn’t want that. So I sent a brief email to the artist explaining the third party’s awkward carpool invite. And indeed, it was a cut’n’paste error of my email address. Problem solved.
Yet, I find that I bring a little or a lot of passive behaviors to the table each and every day. I try to keep them out of my marriage, but when it comes to someone I don’t know so well then I start feeling self-conscious. Being aware of this in myself helps me to see when it might be present in others too. The goal: be a more active player in this game of life.
If there was a character trait about yourself that you could change, what would it be?