When I met a group of people the other day I felt nervous but I also felt that it was a very good day. There are not many of those for me but when they do happen it makes me feel like I did something right. A good day is when you seem to have a small but positive impact on the people you meet.
Now, I do have a double standard when I compare myself to others. Other people deserve kindness, respect, compassion, humor, attention, validation and a decent chance at life. I can’t quite make the argument that I deserve all those things. There is no logical reason why this is so. I have simply been habituated to think this way. The double standard was enforced all throughout my childhood and now my brain automatically does it without any external force dictating that I should feel this way.
I noticed something odd about this issue though. When one of my new friends disclosed a personal incident to me I felt sympathy for her. It was brave to talk about this particular problem with someone you’ve just met. I knew that many other people had been through the same sort of problem. I had been through that same problem. I felt like I wanted to find out why this had happened to her, how had she dealt with it, did it happen again?
I felt like I wanted to help if she needed it and at minimum I wanted to listen. She deserved that at least.
As I started to disclose my own experience with this issue though the double standard immediately rose up within me. I felt like she should not feel any sympathy for me. She shouldn’t want to know more about my life, after all no one wants to hear about my problems. I should just shut my mouth. This makes it difficult for me to communicate with people. It makes it difficult to communicate even with a kind and sympathetic person that might want to listen to me. I might make friends but I often barely know them…
I really hope I did not bother her. I’m sorry if I did.