I just got off a tele-conference with a university textbook publisher and I can totally tell this person or representative was annoyed. They messed up the time change (but probably think it’s my fault for not “knowing”) and I can almost guarantee that they think I’m an idiot for not understanding their “very simple to use” software and e-textbook package….and I definitely wanted to (or unconsciously did) apologize for myself. Compulsively apologize.
The resounding, overarching theme that keeps coming up over the past 2 or 3 months in my life is:
If you are constantly feeling apologetic for your behaviours, maybe you should find a place to be who you are. Stop saying ‘Sorry’ all the time.
Generally when a person is annoyed with me I immediately cave or feel shame because I think I am ignorant or didn’t put the time into understanding the situation….but I think perhaps that is incorrect sometimes. Generally I ensure that my customers and supervisors are well informed of meetings, time changes and I am more than willing to answer “dumb” questions or re-iterate something that I’ve told somebody more than once in the past. If you are going to serve a person or a client who is busy with many tasks and juggling responsibilities, it’s your job to put them in the right frame of reference to have a productive chat or meeting….not theirs (although if it’s mutual it does help).
But if you are constantly feeling like you have to significantly alter who you are, compromise your identity to sort of blend into the system you are working in (or even your family system) then something has to change. I’m just not sure what exactly. I think that humans should be contextually sensitive to the perspectives of others and willing to question their own behaviours and values…..they should be malleable but also firmly rooted. That’s a balance I just can’t quite get a grip on because whenever I dig my heels in….there’s always a surprise later on that I didn’t realize. It’s like you can never just 100% win most situations.
Side Note: I’ve been off of running for a couple of weeks due to a Peroneal/Arch injury (which totally sucks) and last night I went for a little 5 km to see if it works or not which reminded me that I haven’t written anything in a while. Feels good to get running but I’m going to have to change my shoes or do a lot more foam rolling and foot massage to get back into 10-15 km range. *sigh* Plus the sailing race was cancelled last night….gah. Talk about first world problems, right?