How nice is too nice?
By now, hurt and anger has been replaced by determination, but perhaps with some confusion still. Forgiveness, maybe, isn’t actually something that I can do after all Or maybe I can do, but just do differently. I can forgive him, perhaps, for who he is and why he did what he did, but not what he has done to me. Something about that feels better. Sometimes, we don’t have to forgive people for what they have done to us.
Something that has come up time and time again lately is that I’m too nice. I thought my ‘nice’ was sort of at a level where it’s workable with my more assertive side, but even then, it seems as though my nice could be even more not-nicer. Nice people do get taken for granted, we get too much asked and too much expected of us, and we end up exhausted, overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. Then, when we do finally snap, people just assume we’re having a bad day and try again tomorrow.
But as of late, a few things have happened that have told me that I do need to change. Not into a nasty, vicious piece of work, but into somebody who is not so afraid to say no. Somebody who sticks to her wants and needs, as well as to her values.
I suppose that it all started with visits to the family. My family are great and I love them dearly, but they have one or two things that make them a little bit not so healthy: Poking jabs at me (and ones that aren’t kind to my most sensitive spots), talking over me, ignoring me to run errands, unsolicited advice, arguing with me to the point of exhaustion if I dare to differ from their own point of view, that sort of stuff. Nothing major, but still enough to leave you feeling like you want to retire to bed early after each visit.
For too long I’ve put up and shut up. I see them once a fortnight, if that, so a few hours’ sufferance should be no big deal, right?
Well, maybe, but that doesn’t mean I have to sit around and let myself be mistreated. So instead, I’m thinking about implementing a few new rules.
For one, once a month, they can visit us instead. They never stay long anyway, it’s obvious that they feel like a fish out of water here. That’s okay though, still it gives me a chance to turn the tables and to sit smug while they marvel at all of the great things that I’ve done or been up to, because I too am capable of great things, it’s not exclusive.
For two, if they mistreat me when we visit them and don’t stop when I ask them to then I will simply get up and I will walk out of the room. It’s not hard to respect people and I don’t ask for a lot from anyone. Respect, though, is one thing that I do ask for, and I keep tabs on who does and who doesn’t give it.
Then there’s little Hugo, who has been pushing his luck and growling at us as of late, probably because he’s been ignored so much during working from home. He’s now been sentenced to what can only be defined as “dog borstal”, named so, bizarrely enough, after the series, Dog Borstal. Dog borstal in our household has discussed and agreed rules – no dogs on the furniture, strictly no jumping up or on people, no sitting on the floor with Hugo, humans step outside/inside before the dog does, no food between meal times, nothing happens until the ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘wait’ commands are followed. So far, I’m pleased to say that he’s been very responsive to training. He’s an eager to please little boy, he just needed a Mummy and Daddy who remembered that dogs don’t do favours, they need orders and, perhaps, even a schedule. No going full throttle Cesar Milan on Hugo will be another rule, Mum. It never works.
But wherever there’s rain, there’s usually a rainbow.
In my last ramble, I introduced my new friend, Misty. In a cruel twist of fate, Misty told me his real name – the same as my ex. It feels damning in a way and yet, Misty also feels a lot like the healing balm that a girl didn’t really know she needed. He’s kind, empathetic, smart, playful, someone that I can hopefully really bond with. Of course I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a twinge of nerves because I know that Misty switches, but it also feels like there’s a deep trust building. There’s dozens of common interests too, from fish to roleplay games and, of course, candle wax and humiliation. It’s not romantic, no, but it is endearing and it is healing. He’s also awakening a long-dormant Dominant side of my own. Watch out world, Mistress Elena could make a return yet!
I’ve also had a few collaboration opportunities this week. It’s nerve-wracking in a way because these are companies – not just other bloggers – coming to me, who want to work with me, and who are effectively treating me like my own boss. I knew that it was something that I always wanted when I came to be of working age anyway (some of us just know that we were born to lead), but now that it’s actually happening and people are coming to me, crucially because of nothing other than the things that I know and the way that I present myself? It’s a bit scary! It sort of feels like I’ve unintentionally become something, something more than the casual writer I tried to be. I’ve never wanted fame, and yet, it sort of feels like if I’m not careful, fame will come for me anyway.
Maybe I should just stick to being my kind, awesome self, after all.