Canadian Down Under

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Be Yourself

One of my favourite songs (and yes, its Canadian) is Good Mother by Jann Arden. Its just one of those songs that sticks. Some of my favourite lyrics are near the end, and go:

Heart in hand,
Feet on ground,
Facing forward,
Be yourself.
just be yourself.
just be yourself.

And I think she's right. Its really important to be yourself. But damn - it can be hard sometimes.

You know, I have some really good friends - but sometimes even they are trying to change me (improve me is probably a better way of saying it). For example - I've had a friend tell me that I should no longer communicate with anyone until I 'come out of the red zone'. All very good advice and all - but seriously - I'm part Irish and I have the hot headedness that goes along with that - so if I forever remain calm - will I really just be being myself?

I've also been told that sometimes I just need to let things go. Again - good advice - though if I forever drop things and don't tell people when I'm upset, why I'm upset or how I feel about things - am I really just being myself?

Besides - shouldn't your friends and the people in your life be able to accept you for who you are?

So again - I think both above points are valid - its just I can't do them 100% and remain myself. I am outspoken. I am animated. I am expressive. So I've tried a compromise.

An example is something I recently emailed to someone I know. I know email can be a bit... I don't know... lame - but with email as the medium its way less likely that I'll spontaneously go in the red zone and do/say something stupid. Note the word spontaneous - because I can truly do red zone emails - but I took my time with this one. I wrote it quickly - but then reviewed. Actually sat on it for a few days before sending.

I hesitated and thought about this one for quite a while because the person in question I wanted to send it to has always reacted to me being myself by running away. So the risks associated with my chosen action plan was that this person would run and hide and I'd never hear back.

So was that what I wanted? Well, I think what I really wanted to do was to say what I needed to say and explain how I felt. What I didn't need to do was lash out and say something hurtful to even the score. If this person ran - then the person ran - but I could still be myself while taking on board the advice given to me.

I think I found my compromise. I'd waited long enough to let the immediate hurt and anger go - but I still said what I felt I needed to say.... but calmly. Not completely without emotion - because there is still some there - but in a more level way.

And now maybe I'm in a place I can just let it go....

I had my heart in hand,
my feet on the ground,
I think I was facing forward....
....and I was definitely myself.


  • As an outspoken opinionated person myself, I can understand how these things can get you in trouble. At the end of the day, when it comes to letting things go or biting your tongue, it should only be done if you're at risk of saying something disrespectful, rude, or otherwise inappropriate. Otherwise, speak your mind. Even if your opinion isn't always the popular one, share it! Then again, if you feel like it's just you being you to be rude, disrespectful and inappropriate and you're ready to embrace the consequences then I suppose you could go that route as well. But there will be consequences....and you might have less friends at the end of it all. ;) If you can say it in an email, I think you should say it to their face or over the phone at least though. Email's quite frankly a cop out and can lead you to saying things you wouldn't be brave enough to say in person which is a bad idea no matter who you are.

    That's just me being opinionated and outspoken. ha! ;)

    By Blogger emseedubya, at 1:18 AM  

  • While I generally agree (and generally practice) talking to people in person - sometimes you have to take into account how others like to communicate. In this instance the direct approach would not have worked. I realise you probably didn't mean it this way - but just for the record - I'm generally not rude, nor do I cop out....

    By Blogger lala, at 9:21 AM  

  • I agree with you about emails. Sometimes it's necessary. Sometimes what can't be articulated spontaneously in words can be thought out carefully in an email. I've had one specific situation where communicating through email was quite successful. (I ended up ending the friendship).

    Here's a blog post that touches on the topic of anger and what you call 'the red zone'. I really think it's a good post and it's really down to earth in it's approach and is extremely relate able.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:29 PM  

  • Saw you link - wow - you did realise I was exaggerating when I was talking about the red zone right?

    By Blogger lala, at 5:05 PM  

  • 閒來無聊逛逛blog~~跟您打聲招呼~~........................................

    By Blogger chat, at 2:31 PM  

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