On a Friday, I was at a table, and someone sat where I was, and I mentioned something to them, but they weren’t paying attention. Then, a guy comes up and notices the Bible I was reading, and then the first person comes in on the conversation asking about some ancient texts. A guy, who works at a library, gives a little information, and I say “smart.” The first person says, and I paraphrase, I didn’t have to put down the people at the table, and I replied I didn’t say they were dumb, and I was hurt by saying that word because I don’t call people dumb or stupid. I continue to us my voice at the table, and some of what I said was misunderstood, and I could have been more careful. This wasn’t like the Brandon I knew a few years ago, because in the past, I didn’t really say much. I didn’t have a voice because my confidence was low. I observed people and situations, allowing things to happen, accepting what happened without any participation. As I became older, I had more confidence. I wanted to do some things, even though they were behind the scenes. I didn’t want to be passive.
I think it started when I was little. I would watch people be active, and I would just sit where I was. I think that’s how I was sent to special ed. Well, I don’t recall much incentives to participate in conversations. I watched how the people around me had fun, but I didn’t get the sense to join in. The attention I received was when I was drawing something in class. This carried over into adulthood. I could sit at the same table and not say or do anything unless I had the green light to do so. I needed someone to say it was okay.
I think my passive behavior had its ups and downs. I can’t recall, but there may have been times where it was good that I didn’t take action. Also, there are times where I wish I would have spoke up when things felt uncomfortable. I feel Mr. Passive is this guy who lets things happen. Whatever comes his way, comes his way. He doesn’t take the steps to go forward, and it may seem that he needs someone to push him in that direction. That’s why I think Mr. Passive must be put to sleep.
I know there will be situations that will go on, and I may not have any power over them. I would feel insulted if I am pushed aside as if my voice doesn’t matter, especially if I’m involved in the situation. There will be times where I must accept what is going on, but I would feel discouraged if I’m not counted for when I was a part of the progress. That would have me go back into Mr. Passive, just letting life fly by, hoping to get caught in a breeze.
If I’m to change or make a change, I can’t do it by letting things slide. I would have to be encouraged and take action. I learned a good chunk of that from a dance teacher in college. One day, the guys had to find a dance partner, and I was just looking around. She saw this, and she told me to be assertive, and I got it. Now, I need to apply this to other things, as I need to be assertive in some areas that need it, like finance, relationships, and dieting. I also learned that from experiences where I needed to say something, but I didn’t because of fear. And this fear can be so little- the fear of rejection. I can’t imagine how some of my heroes’ lives would play out if they succumbed to their fear of rejection. Therefore, I need what they had.
I may be an introvert, quiet, sometimes weird, and observing, but I don’t want passive on the list. In order for that to happen, I am going to be a little more assertive, even when I’m wrong, misunderstood and/ or the odds are against me. Some may want me to be like I was before, and some may want something completely different, but too bad. I would rather discover how God wired me, and it may take some assertiveness to do so.
And I’m just getting started.