I absolutely hate when I catch myself paving a road to hell with good intentions. Perhaps the worst part about this is the sheer earnest resolve that comes from good intentions. Having purposefully made choices explode like a frozen bottle of Drakes IPA is disconcerting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is wondering if you’ll ever be able to trust your own judgement.
Several, if not all my good intentions, stem from an overarching sense of compassion. “Empathetic to a fault,” as my friend Brian noted recently. I was busy heaving and hoeing over a date who at first wanted to go out with me, then didn’t, stating he felt as though the intent of going on a date while clearly dating other people was “cruel.” As I pondered how I had managed slip on an unintentional Cruella DeVille persona, I also wondered just how much I was doing this in my life outside of the dating world.
Part of my hope for being on the road has been learning to curb my impulse to be overly kind to people. However, that’s a very simplistic statement of a problem that is much larger. I think it’s more accurate to say that I tend to be flattering, silly, and willing to overexplain if I think it will make someone feel better or good about themselves. And occasionally, I’m even willing to omit parts of the truth or bend truths to keep conflict or negative feelings at bay.
Which, funny enough, all was actually round-a-boutly discussed with Kristin and Erich back in Ohio and then delved into deeper in a later post. I admit clearly that “…it’s not in my nature to make someone, even a first class crunchberry, feel badly about themselves.” What does that mean for people that are business class cocoapuffs, then? Really, what chance to they have for sincerely stated (though in a kind manner) honesty?
Time and time again, I find myself in a pickle of my own brine. Communications have led to misinterpreted conclusions based on a fine number of examples to the contrary, such as suggestive body language and verbal cues. And now it’s clear that not only is this sense of compassion towards others happening in person, but it’s happening over messaging, texting, and phone calls.
If my compassion is what is getting in my way, but my compassion is also a defining characteristic of who I am, how do I temper my impulses (or even begin to recognize them) while maintaining who I am? Of all the things I thought going on 50 dates would highlight about me and my flaws – and in some ways my sheer stubbornness to changing my mindset about how the experience the world – it was certainly not this.
Also…if I’m interpreting incorrectly how my actions and words are being received in my dating life, how often is this happening in my social life? At work? At the grocery store?