Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Perpetual Availability

I have a problem. Recently, it has become painfully obvious to me that I am too polite. We all know that I am all too ready to express my opinions on politics, religion, literature, and the like… but when it gets personal, I clam up. I’m scared to death to say something which might offend somebody.

One of the areas in which this weakness is most painfully obvious is my willingness to be perpetually available to people. I seem to constantly find myself at the disposal of others who do not consider me a priority. He never calls, she always cancels at the last minute… you know how it goes. While I may realize that they’re using me, I practically never actually say something to them.

Sure, I may get upset. I may even discuss my frustration with someone else. However, I’m usually too frightened to express my resentment to its source. I end up making excuses for that person: he doesn’t know what he’s doing, she’s just has a choleric/sanguine personality, etc.

Sometimes, I think that more people should be like me and politely let things go. The truth is that I’m not so much polite as I am scared. A few times when I have explained my grievance to a friend, I’ve ended up losing that friend. Now, I can never decide whether my injured feelings are worth risking a relationship, so I end up getting walked all over.

I know what I would tell someone else with this problem: GET OVER IT! It’s so much harder when I have to give that pep talk to myself. My polite, perpetual availability is emotionally exhausting, but I can’t stop. I still can’t say no when a “friend” asks for a favor. Does that make me a good person, or just a coward?

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