You want to know one of my failings? I’m eager to please, and so I have to fight myself to tell someone what I really think because I’d rather make them feel happy and comfortable. I need to be loved, and when you’re a trans, pan, communist, that need can be at odds with reality.
So I try to tread as lightly as I can, don’t want to make anyone feel left out, don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t be 100% safe and warm around me, even the people who are almost wholly at odds with me, it’s part of my nature. Love, love, love, defend, defend, defend, be the peacemaker, be the negotiator, be the one who resolves conflict and brings people back to the table so they can see each other eye to eye and understand.
It is immensely stressful, because so many of my friends are at odds at times. I have friends on a message board who are very liberal, and I love them, but at the same time there are areas, mostly political and social, where there is a chasm between our ideas and practices. I try to walk the invisible path from one side of the chasm to the other, all of the time, and marking my place like Indiana Jones leaving behind the scattered sand to help guide his path.
I really shouldn’t. I mean, it’s one thing to give your friends all due consideration. I do it because I care about them, and I respect their experiences, but at the same time I know I need to be firmly in my own court on something, even if others disagree. I have to be willing to back me up in the face of overwhelming adversity, and that gets difficult, because I want to be the person people like, the one anyone can come to and confide in, and those two ideas can be at odds when it comes to the beliefs I hold about so many things.
I haven’t really figured out a solution for it. As of now, I just tell myself that my friends have every right to disagree. It doesn’t help when they base their assumptions off of the bad data of others rather than asking me directly, but I also remember they’re just as human as I am and prone to mistakes. So I usually step past those issues, and try to focus on where we agree.
That is not a solution, of course, because sidestepping the worst of the disagreements doesn’t fix anything, it just allows it to fester and come back again. Then again, if I engage them, it begins a prolonged back and forth that will go nowhere and will only make them either angrier, or more justified in their errant assumptions.
Such a thing to have to deal with all because I just want to be liked. I guess that gets us all into a hell of a lot of trouble from time to time, doesn’t it?