When I was a kid, I coloured really hard. I didn't like when other kids coloured lightly because you couldn't really get the full colour that way. I pressed hard so the colour would be as vibrant as the wrapper around the crayon.
I broke a lot of crayons. But thats when you simply peel back the paper and get on with it.
I've always been "hard handed." I slam car doors with the best of them. I stomp. I twist tightly. I yank. I plunk. I slam. I'm wound up tighter than a tick, as they say. I think tighter than a clock makes more sense, but I didn't start the saying. It's just how I am. I don't do this intentionally; it doesn't reflect my mood or my attitude. I just do things powerfully. I break crayons. I prefer to think of myself as vibrant.
I'm strong spoken, too. I say what needs to be said that no one is saying. I wouldn't say I'm blunt, but I'd say I'm honest. Extremely. I yell if it is necessary. Sometimes I don't realize I'm yelling. I think I'm just speaking. But people tell me I'm yelling, and I guess they'd know. I fight sometimes, but sometimes people have to fight. If you don't fight, you don't fix things, and if you don't fix things, life gets complicated.
But this has gotten me into trouble numerous times. Needless to say, teachers didn't like me breaking their crayons, even if I had the prettiest colouring pages out of the class. Amanda and Scott always scold me for slamming the car doors. Downstairs neighbours hardly appreciated my heavy steps around the house. And people certainly have not liked me in the past because of the way I speak. But it's something I can't seem to change, and where the honesty comes in, I don't think I should. I don't do things forcefully on purpose, and when I think about it, I try extra carefully to be softer. If you point it out to me, I'll see that I did slam, and I'll try not to do it again. But the thing is, I will. I will do it again. My body is stiff as a board, and I dream about punching people. I'm a forceful person. It's in my marrow. How does one change something so indigenous to one's entire being?
But today I was told it must end. No ifs, ands, or buts. And if I don't stop, I'll probably get fired.
My boss had a talk with me today after work. No one likes to be called aside by one's boss; it always means you are doing something wrong. He asked me how I felt I was doing at the job. Sheepishly, I answered, "I think I'm doing well. Does this mean you don't think I'm doing well?" Indeed, it always does. He told me then and there he can't stand how heavy handed I am. "It just has to stop. No trying. It has to."
I sat there speechless as he told me how all day long I slam mugs down, drop dishes in the sink, stomp all around, and speak bluntly. But-- but I-- when do I do all this? And how exactly am I to stop? I told him I was completely unaware of all this and that I'd do my best to catch myself. He said that wasn't good enough. I told him he'll have to tell me as I'm doing it because I have no idea I'm being forceful. He didn't respond. That was it.
And the ironic thing? After that, he went on to scold me for not telling them when I am upset about something. After telling me I'm too blunt to customers (which I didn't think I was--I just try to speak clearly because they're all old and can't understand my "Australian" accent), he tells me to speak up if I'm upset. I won't go into the details on that one, but the one time I've gotten upset with the management, I decided to just let it go and then I got in trouble for letting it go. Sigh. Today's a rotten day.
I shall go now and practice being soft.