Too Much Confidence

Post by Adrienne Hodges

Paper folding fun.
The other day I had friends over who, like me, enjoy being creative. The idea of our get together was to encourage each other by sharing ideas and teaching something of our own ‘specialities’. While the pumpkin soup was warming on the stove I went upstairs to fetch a quilt I have been working on to show them. This was duly admired. Then I remembered I had played with another medium – folded books. I had spent a happy hour making the said piece and wanted to share my enthusiasm with them. Although my friends seemed to want to see what I have been making, a further reaction made it clear to me that they felt overwhelmed and a little phased by my enthusiasm and confidence – I can be quite enthusiastic at times! Someone said something that pointed to a feeling of competativeness. The atmosphere changed, if only temporarily, and I realised that both of my friends were either measuring themselves by my seeming achievements and felt inadequate or they thought I was showing my stuff in order to feel better myself. The knowledge that I managed to ‘put down’ my friends, however unintentionally, keeps coming back into my mind. I feel disturbed to realise that my actions caused such a result.

I have both rationalised and wriggled around in order to avoid my part in their discomfort; they were both feeling disturbed by conflicts/inadequacies of their own, it’s their stuff, they misunderstood my intentions, stop stressing, it’s and not important etc, etc.

But the awareness and knowledge remains. What should I do? How should I change in order to avoid this reaction in the future?

I learned years ago about a piece of research in the field of psychology (sorry, can’t reference this at all) that demonstrated that when people were asked to notice and bring into their awareness a behaviour that they wanted to change this behaviour diminished in frequency, sometimes to the point of extinction. It was enough just to notice . So… no pushing away…… no necessity for rationalising, deliberate thought or forced behaviour change. To those of us that know Rules for Meditation this will sound familiar.

So I will do nothing. Or rather I am not going to get caught up in or dragged around by circumstances, thoughts, feelings and emotions. I will continue to be aware and notice what is going on to the best of my ability and trust my intention to avoid future harm in this way. And for now, I will just get on with the next thing. And along the line of next things, perhaps a simple apology to my friends.

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3 thoughts on “Too Much Confidence”

  1. I hope the matter settles in peace. If the feeling of discomfort might still linger ‘along with the line of next things’, then maybe to simply talk it over and share it with your friends might help? What can happen?

  2. Hi Wick,

    I can report no lingering feelings of discomfort. The process of writing seems to have acted, as it can do, as a form of ‘offering up’ or ‘letting go’.
    However, it does not mean that I won’t do what I said I might do when we next get together – a simple apology. I will see what feels good to do.

    thanks for your comment
    in gassho

  3. Thank you Adrienne for responding. I really wasn’t aware what the effect of the writing had on you, but I am glad to read this resulted from it. Thats beyond words.
    in gassho

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