It has been said, by several people including my husband and my best friend, that I am never satisfied.
I never took this as an insult. In fact, I always approached it as a positive part of my personality. I think that striving to be better, constantly wanting to improve on what you are, and working and looking towards future goals are all very admirable traits to possess.
I understand however that it isn’t meant as a compliment. What they are really saying is that I am never happy with what I have and I cant ever be satisfied or appreciate the present. I am unable to stop, and be thankful. I can rarely be present because I am too busy looking ahead. I focus on what still needs to be done and not what has already been accomplished.
There are several parts about this situation that are difficult to address. The first is the basic differences in world views. How do you resolve something so ingrained in your personality with your spouse or loved ones? Being raised with HUGELY different parenting styles we both have traits and characteristics that compliment one another and also challenge one another.
My MIL is a role model for positive behavior. She has a knack for speaking only positive things, for making the best of each situation and for never vocalizing the negative. While it is often difficult to know how she really feels about something-it is very enjoyable and pleasant to spend time with her. My Mother on the other hand, has a special ability to be honest and forthcoming. She always speaks her mind and you know where you stand with her. She doesn’t often take things personally and has a tough skin. Of course, her honesty is one sided, and can often hurt those who are more sensitive than she is.
So when resolving a marital issue–do you ask the other person to change (assuming that a person can change) and moreover is it fair to even ask them to? Do you accept this as part of their personality or do you work towards a common goal or compromise and if so, how and what?
Is this simply about perspective which can be resolved with a word choice. Is this about manipulating the words to affect the desired result. When you are comfortable speaking your mind, is it worth taking the few extra moments to pause and think about what you are going to say and how it will perceived; and potentially alter the phrasing. Or is that compromising your true self to satisfy others who have more fragile personalities.
In disagreements where both sides feel they are justified — who is ‘right’ and how do you decide?
All of these are subjective, I know. Each relationship is unique and one can not possibly advise on how to resolve a situation like this for another person. I realize that I am asking questions that can not be answered by any another except the parties involved.
I also realize that when our words are hurting people we love, regardless of how or why, that we need to alter the phrasing and delivery.
So, what I am asking is that you provide suggestions for how you ‘make the best’ of situations even if they aren’t going as planned. How do you see and vocalize the positive when the first thing you see is what is wrong, not what is right? How do you keep your mouth shut when something goes wrong, and look on the bright side? Is there a way to offer suggestions without sounding like you are criticizing the progress. For the ladies–how do you power through hormonal periods of your life and still remain positive and upbeat?
I hope that like parenting, if my arsenal is full of suggestions and ideas, then I can be better prepared to handle the pitfalls challenges when they arise. Being prepared is a good place to start.
One thought on “Striving for more or never satisfied?”
“I also realize that when our words are hurting people we love, regardless of how or why, that we need to alter the phrasing and delivery.”
That is poetry, my dear.
I wrote a looong response to this post last week, because reading it deeply moved me and made me tear up.
But I deleted it.
Trying to remember now what I wrote and why your lines moved me so much, I guess, it was the familiarity of the struggle, the conflict, the arising questions, philosophical in nature, but yet concrete every-day hurdles when living with people who “tick” so completely opposite from us.
And the fact that “the American” shines through so beautifully – ever striving and never being satisfied: like we all should, for that is said to make us better people, striving for more,… bigger, better, faster…
What we might lose in all this striving, or are in danger of losing, if we ever had it, is contentment. Full. Simple. Easy.
Contentment in ourselves, in each other, in love, loving, joy, en-joying the moment, bliss, surprise; that and appreciation for the uncertainties in life, the ability of being spontaneous, adventurous, for living and NOT planning ahead (“irresponsible”, “Slacker!”)…
I guess the reason why I deleted my earlier writings was basically because the answer to many of your questions boiled down to LET GO.
And, when talking relationship (NOOO! DON'T LET GO!), that this is far too complex of a post, with too many underlying “deepness”, to be dealt with here. Over coffee would be a wonderfully engaging afternoon!