“You have profound rules of interaction”

“You have profound rules of interaction,” observes a friend.

The immediate thought: Wow. No one had described me so accurately.

And this causes a flood of awareness.
– I do. She was referring to, and I knew that she was, my rule, “Everyone gets the podium, and s/he decides when they are done. No one else.”
– I’m frustrated that no one seems to share my rules.
– I’m embarrassed that my rules are too strict for anyone to share.
– Who do I think I am to apply such strict rules.
– People can sense how unimpressed I am when my rules are broken no matter how hard I try to hide it.
– People may not know what just happened, but they are left feeling uncomfortable about it.
– As a result, I try to hide even harder and relax my rules where I can.
– “Where I can” means I’m basically relaxing rules where they don’t really matter to begin with.

And then it leads me to these conclusions.

– I need to respond with empathy to those that break my rules.

– I need to respond with empathy to the public that does not share my rules.

– Do not compromise my integrity based on the resulting popularity (or lack of). Remember that we live in the society that can’t stop posting on social media about self-esteem and self-love while they’ll make you feel like shit for not self-loving and they’d shut you down so fast if someone compliments you on your body and you respond, “Thanks! I like it too.”

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