Penelope’s Soft

I was reading Penelope’s blog who recently asked, “What can you soften?” And it was one of those moments when the right message comes at the right time.

Recently I had a personality conflict at the office that I wasn’t aware of. What I mean is, someone had a personality conflict with me without my knowledge. When I was confronted with this, I was really taken aback. I was immediately thrown back to my first year of college, when my sarcasm came out in its fullest to offend one and all. And I had to learn how to communicate without it. Believe it or not, to someone who was raised with a snear and smirk, this wasn’t so easy.

It’s a defense mechanism, I suppose. But I really feel like I’ve mellowed out in the intervening years. Regardless, when I’m stressed out, not feeling well, not up to my best, I fall back on a terse, distant attitude that, apparently, chills. I hate to think of myself this way. It’s an ugly side of me that I don’t like to admit exists. I’d rather be buttercups full of sweetness at all times.

But I’m not. And it is sitting right here in front of me, staring me in the furrowed brow while I read the words: What can you soften?

I’ve had my moment of defensiveness. I took a walk around the block to take deep breaths and try not to cry. (So angry sensitive, aren’t I?) And now, I think, it’s time to soften. To take that extra deep breath and get out of myself just enough to see things from someone else’s point of view.

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