Finally! After years of being a guest columnist here at AllOnGeorgia, the opportunity has finally arrived, and I will be beginning a monthly column posted on the first day of each month.
The articles will be designed with kind of a “feel-good” style and will hopefully get you, the audience/reader, off on the right foot each month. There is so much negativity in the world right now, we can all use some uplifting words.
So, why “Walking on Eggshells”?
Let me tell you a story……
A few weeks ago, I was having what was eventually considered an unproductive phone conversation with a person who used to be a very close friend. It was not an argument; no voices were raised, and no feelings were hurt. That was just the relationship that we had with the respect we always had for one another. It was a simple disagreement of ideas and ways of living one’s life.
At one point, this person told me, “Shane, you simply can’t live your life walking on eggshells and worrying about other people’s emotions”. (The actual quote may have substituted “I” for “you” and “my” for “your”…. I’m not sure exactly how it went but the sentiment is the same).
The phrase obviously means to “move cautiously and carefully”. Ironically, I had been doing exactly that around this very friend for many years. And not just this person specifically, but for many other people as well.
See, part of my personality is defined as that of an “empath”. An empath is constantly tuned into the emotions of those around them and tries to make sure those people receive what they need. Scientists disagree on whether this type of person actually exists as it seems to be inexplicable as a genetic trait.
For example, if I am walking around the mall with a friend, I am constantly noticing what items they are looking at. I (the empath) will then either try to buy the item outright or make a note of it as a possible birthday or Christmas gift. For the most part this is constantly going on my brain if we are at dinner, in a store getting snacks, having a conversation about politics or whatever.
My memory is not perfect, and I forget things but that does not take away from the fact that the process is still occurring. On an even more personal level, my role as an empath sometimes clashes with my desire to never give up or quit. I may see people’s emotions/feelings but may misinterpret them intentionally to fit what I wish would happen. Yes, that is deep and has caused me quite a few difficulties. It also may be the topic of a later article.
This ability was useful as a classroom teacher of 27 years. My strength was never in lesson plans or curriculum design, but I think most students would agree that I always tried to look out for their best interests. I always wanted them to feel comfortable and safe in my classroom. I’m sure I made many mistakes over the years but virtually every administrator who evaluated me complimented me on an excellent learning environment.
Time now to go back to the point being made by my friend. Their sentiment rings true to a certain extent. We definitely can’t put our own emotional health at risk by constantly worrying about what other people think. However, if you are my friend and you tell me something is bothering you, then guess what? I am going to stop doing whatever it is that is making you uncomfortable. I will totally “walk on eggshells” around you and put your feelings above mine at that point. I will “do unto you as I would have others do unto me”.
And that my friends, has become the inspiration for a monthly column. I’m looking forward to sharing some ideas and insights with you. For the most part, my social media accounts are now inactive as I have pulled away from 99% of them for my own mental and spiritual health. The negativity (even in the ads I see) seems to make my day worse the longer I spend time there and, as election day draws near, I am expecting the negativity to multiply tenfold. I have found the real world a much brighter place now and have decided to value my privacy over likes and comments.
I guess I have decided to literally walk on eggshells……around myself. 🙂
Thanks for reading and I will see you next month……