i recently received some pretty harsh criticism for how i handled a situation. i had talked out how to navigate what was a very complex dynamic with my therapist, as there was a long history of the person i had to set a boundary with not taking such things well. the people who were so very judgmental and upset by how i handled it didn’t know the last three years of context that led me to make the choices i did, and without asking me any questions as to why i did what i did the way i did, they hurled some serious disapproval my way loaded up with a whole bunch of inaccurate assumptions.

it was crushing when it first happened. i noticed my impulse to defend and explain myself and my neediness for them to understand… and i took space and time first. it’s a practice for me to take space in this way… it’s hard when the emotions are running so strong… but i know it’s best for me to wait till i can breathe and i am not just reacting from that anxious, panicked place… because from there i simply cannot think clearly… my metabolic energy rerouted to fight or flee… i simply have less brain capacity.

so i waited and as i breathed something new happened. i decided i didn’t need them to know… i didn’t need them to understand. i knew why i made the choices i did and i feel clear it was my best for the situation given everything that had happened.

and then i realized i really want people in my life who bring curiosity first. sure, assess my choices but ask me some questions… make sure you know what you are judging… and i decided i wasn’t going to do what i always do, which is try and make it good… try and have them see my side when they were not asking to see, they were most interested in what they thought they saw and well that is fair, we all get to choose how we move though the world but i am clear that, that just isn’t for me.

i prefer friends who ask me what my options were and why before they decide i did the wrong thing… what about you? have you had an experience with this?

❤️ emily joy rosen

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