Oh, no! I’ve been struggling, the last day or so, with certain types of judgmental, uncomfortable thoughts running through my mind. (See how the title of this blog is deceptive? Maybe a more accurate title would be “A Year of Living Judgmentally, AGAIN, But Maybe A Little Less So, I Hope, Because I’m Paying More Attention To It.”)
Anyway, this increase in judgmental thoughts are — I assume — bred by my fears about putting myself out there in new ways. I’m referring to my writing this blog and — during the last couple of days — inviting a lot of people I know to follow it.
These lovely thoughts have included the following questions (with a certain recurring 3-letter word that starts with “t” and ends with “o”):
Am I posting too much?
Am I getting too caught up in how many friggin’ views I’m getting here?
For that matter, am I getting too few friggin’ views?
Are people going to get annoyed because I’m posting too often?
Are the “motifs” I’m using so far in each blog entry (e.g., calling people “dear reader”) too goofy?
Have I invited too many people I know to follow this blog?
That last fear — about inviting too many people to read — led to quite the snowballing of “TOO” questions. I’ll put them in parentheses to try to contain them: (Have I made those invitations too indiscriminately? Are people going to feel too obligated to read what I write? Are they going to start avoiding me because they’ll think they’re reading too little? Are they going to get sick of seeing too many e-mails about this? Am I being too much of a bother? Am I deluded and think I’m too important? Will my fears and expectations be too much for people, and will it damage my relationships?)
Arrrghhhh! Shut up, all you “TOO” thoughts! You’re too annoying!
And too painful.
The Fear of Being Too Whatever. Yet another rampant Psychological Epidemic.
When I facilitate therapy groups, I hear this at almost every meeting: “I feel like I’m talking too much.” At the end of a session, if I invite people to say how they thought they did during the meeting, almost everybody thinks they said either (1) too much or (2) too little. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say “I said just the right amount.”
It’s like there’s a razor-thin territory of Just Right, which is so difficult to reach and impossible to stay on. That territory seems especially skinny in interactions with other people — I guess — where (1) there are no clear rules, (2) we don’t really know how we’re coming across, and (3) we don’t know what other people expect.
Have you had any fears lately about being TOO something, dear reader?
I’m planning on taking a vacation from those thoughts for the next few hours, or however long I can pull that off. That’s going to be great — vacationing in a land where the word “too” does not exist. While I’m sunning myself there, I won’t worry about whether this post was too long or too short, too shallow or too deep, too anything!
I hope that vacation doesn’t end too soon.