When Assessing Becomes Obsessing
I think that self-assessment is a truly positive behavior. I believe that it is healthy for us to look as deeply as we can into our feelings, our reactions to situations, and our motivations in life. If we are willing to look deeply enough we usually learn a lot about ourselves. There is a very thin line that exists between assessing the things in our lives, and obsessing over them, however. It is important that we learn where that line is so that we will notice if we cross it.
Kind people are particularly venerable to obsession, especially when it comes to conflict. When someone says something to us that hurts us or puts us down, we tend to come back on ourselves. We question over and over what it might have been that we did to cause someone to lash out at us. Usually, the simple answer is that they needed to lash out at something, we just happened to fall in their crosshairs that day.
I sometimes sit and read through lists of book reviews on Amazon…books that I have read, and books that I have not, just the same. I have figured out that some people just seem to enjoy putting authors down. I really do not understand this. I even have a hard time even offering constructive criticism. I did get pretty ticked off last night when a trilogy deeply disappointed me at its end, but I certainly did not go straight to Amazon to rant about it. Some people just feel that they need to, and that’s okay for them if that’s what they need to do.
Building ourselves into strong interdependent people definitely means learning to take criticism well, and to get over it. It always sucks; that never changes…only our reactions do. We can help ourselves out a lot, by eliminating the self-criticism that we add to the equation. I need to understand that I will get a lot further in my self-development if I look at my actions and look deeply. Then I simply accept them and move on. Dwelling is obsessing. It is best to keep moving forward with the confidence that I will do better when faced with the same situation once again. The way life works, the situation will keep arising in my life until I master my response to it, plain and simple.
I think that the most reasonable answer is to trust your gut. When thinking through something at length starts to make me feel negative feelings, I am stepping over that line. One time, the solution was as simple as me realizing that the behavior I kept having in response to someone I knew, was coming from their intention and not mine. I was mimicking their negative behavior towards me, and I didn’t even know it. If I had kept marinating in my disappointment with myself, in regards to dealing with that person, I never would have figured it out. I gave myself a little room, remembered who I was, and the answer came clearly. Piling guilt on top of ourselves, simply makes the solutions harder to find.