Quiet Strength & Confidence

image

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

A few days ago I wrote a blog post but never got around to posting it. It’s about how inner strength & self confidence aren’t always “loud” or “outright bold.”   It can be but isn’t always.   Not all strong, confident people are outgoing and not all of them speak up over every unpleasant incident. Sometimes strength is letting trivial things slide.   Sometimes strength is kindness and forgiveness and gentleness. Not all strong, confident people come off that way. Some people have more of a quiet strength and confidence about them and it’s no less of a strength or confidence.
Today I was looking up some quotes that are relevant to my post that I was going to post today and I found this!:

“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”
C. JoyBell C.

image

I couldn’t believe it because it’s so similar to my original post, in concept and in choice of words! It’s amazing. It’s uncanny! I have never read this before. Until now.  So I decided to revise my original post and share the above quote, which says it better than I originally did! 😉
In the summer I wrote about an incident I had at work with people being liars, backstabbers, and not caring about anyone but themselves, betraying and causing unnecessary trouble for me. I wrote about how I handled it and provided a list of of positive suggestions for how to cope with betrayal and other people’s negativity.  
My problem in the Summer cleared up but recently the same people have been being shady and sneaky again. I’m very trusting and forgiving in general and after the summer I wasn’t expecting this.

But I am not taking it personally. I know that when people take advantage of me and do/say things to me because they think they can get away with it because I’m quiet, it says more about them than it says about me.

When people take advantage of quiet, gentle, shy people, often, just because they think they can it shows who they are, not who the quiet person is.

For my whole life I have generally been a quiet, shy girl and I open up when I’m around people more often. And I have Often helped people over and over, even people who take advantage, until it seems there’s nothing left of me or for me. I have said “Yes” to others and “no” to myself so much it wore me out.  

There were days when my self esteem was low and I did not speak up for myself because I felt I deserved the mistreatment or I was afraid of what people would think of me. But many days that I don’t speak up, it’s not that but the fact that I’m a simple girl and don’t like to blow things out of proportion or have chaos where there doesn’t have to be any.

It’s not an indication that I’m weak or scared or a “pushover” like some people think. My mom often says I let people get over on me. And while that has been true in some cases, it’s most often not true now. No matter what I do or don’t do or say or don’t say and no matter what it looks like on the outside to others, if in my head I’m still at peace, still calm, still know my worth, still know they have the problem, not me, then no one got over on me.

But some things are not better left unsaid or forgotten. Some things really should be brought up and some people need to be confronted about certain issues in a calm, civil manner. So that’s what I did recently. I confronted one of the people forever dragging on and starting the nonsense.  I was friendly about it. I’m in no mood to make things worse for everyone or to be angry more than necessary.

These people are often very unreasonable, selfish, sneaky, and just negative and caring about absolutely no one but themselves.   They live and breathe the victim mentality and act as if they are more important than everyone else. So confronting them usually does nothing more than show that I speak up for myself.   Or they say that I am the wrong one for speaking up and not dropping it. When a person speaks up often no one thinks much of it but when someone who is typically quiet speaks up, it stands out and some people claim that the person is wrong and dragging something out or turning into a “bitch.”

But even when speaking up to someone gets me just about nowhere with the people,
At least I don’t let them get away with it without saying something.   I show me that I will speak up when necessary.

People suggested I get revenge on them. But I don’t get even. I get even more FABULOUS. I forgive and move forward and wish them the best.   

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, generosity, helpfulness, forgiveness, warmth, gentleness, letting trivial things go…are not necessarily weaknesses. In fact, some of those qualities can be great strengths.  

I help people because I want to, not because I’m fearful of saying no for some reason. I forgive because it’s better for all of us. I let frivolous issues slide because often I just really don’t care and sometimes I know just letting it go is better for everyone.  

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, and simplicity are a combination that looks, on the outside, as if someone is a pushover or not strong or confident. But I believe it’s what’s on the inside that matters.

“We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.”
Joel Osteen

I don’t generally let people disturb my inner peace. I don’t feel like they are getting over on me. So I’m still confident and strong. 

Along with my shyness and quietness and kindness, I’m also very simple. But in a good way. Lol. I’m easy going. So many things that get others fuming don’t even faze me.

Kindness and generosity and helping others can be used how we choose. We can choose to make it a weakness by taking it to the extreme until we are so worn out or we can choose a healthy balance of it. Helping others and being very kind but still being dedicated to self-care and saying “YES!” to ourselves enough.

I have struggled hard with where to draw the line with helping people who ask excessively and are sneaky and shady, causing trouble and confusion for me.

I want to help them still. I know they are people with desires and needs but I also know it’s not good to wear myself out to do so much for people who take advantage and intentionally cause trouble. And the more I help, the more they’ll ask and think they can get away with anything they want.  I have been struggling to determine when excessive kindness actually becomes a weakness. Predators treat us how we let them. When they see we constantly say “yes, yes, yes, and YES!” over and over to them even after they cause trouble, it reinforces their decision to keep asking for more, more, more…..and to keep causing the trouble.

In the summer I decided to help out and give still, to the people who did me wrong but mostly only when it doesn’t put me out too much and exhaust me and let them get away with way too much. But I went back to my old ways of giving and helping excessively to the point it wasn’t good for me. I like the people who do this to me and I want to help. I don’t think they’re bad people but they sure have very bad habits!  

But so do I, just different bad habits. And bad habits CAN be un-learned and replaced with healthy habits.

And then they pulled this again. So I decided to develop the habit of saying “Yes” to me more often and “no” to the predators and actually stick with it now.

Another thing I have struggled with before when people would take advantage of my quietness and kindness is feeling low about myself instead of realizing it’s their problem and not something fundamentally or intrinsically wrong with me.  

I have had thoughts like “If I were better she wouldn’t have done that to me….” and “Since she said that to me, there must really be something wrong with me…” and “A better person would not have had this done or said to her…”  “if only I were perfect….or loud…or outgoing….””Since she doesn’t like me, there really must be something wrong with me…”

But none of that’s true. No matter how great, beautiful, strong, amazing, kind, confident …someone is, certain people will say/do bad things to that person if they feel they can “get away with it” or if they are jealous of the person.

Through the years I have strengthened my confidence, my self esteem, and self love, and my own life philosophy.   I know what people do shows something about them, not me. Unless that person has helpful suggestions or constructive criticism for me to help me better myself, I can take what they say/do with a grain of salt and leave it at that.

But sometimes I still feel my confidence faltering. But I catch it before it gets worse. I remind myself that what people say/do to me, when it’s uncalled for, is their issue, not mine. That’s not to say I’m never wrong and never deserve criticism and that everyone who criticizes me is definitely wrong.   But when they are wrong and intentionally trying to cause trouble or just being excessively selfish not caring about anyone else, it’s them who are wrong.

So, remember if you’re quiet and shy and very kind and generous, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re weak.  You can use and view your qualities as strengths.

There’s nothing wrong with being shy or outgoing or quiet or outspoken or loud, being bold or having a more quiet, gentle kind of strength.   There’s nothing wrong with being very kind and helpful and selfless and there’s nothing wrong with being selfish to a certain extent and practicing a healthy dose of self-care.   Quiet doesn’t automatically mean weak and loud doesn’t automatically mean obnoxious or “bitchy.” We are all different and all are ok. It’s just that it’s not good to take advantage of anyone just because we think we can. We should all embrace our own unique qualities and traits while also embracing and building up other people’s.

Thank You so much for reading and if you have any thoughts to share, I would love to know.   
When do you think kindness becomes a “weakness” or is it never a “weakness?” Do you view helping predatory people less as a form of revenge or merely as self respect? Do you have any other thoughts on this topic? I would love to know! 😀

Xoxo Kim

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Quiet Strength & Confidence

  1. I agree with your observations. Eckhart Tolle notes that the ego, in demanding recognition of its specialness, will resort to behaviors which draw attention, but that an overactive ego thereby deprives us of comprehending our underlying connection with the rest of the world. Maintaining a quiet demeanor allows us to observe. But being the observer does not prevent us from interacting with those around us.

    In contrast, Derrick Jensen sees interactions through a lens of class distinction, and, often, those classes are abuser and victim. Seeing ourselves as a victim isn’t necessarily beneficial for us (because that’s often the ego’s backdoor route of emphasizing our separateness and specialness), but sometimes it is factual. The trick is in objectively assessing the situation so that, if we’re being victimized, we can take real action – not simply maintain victimhood.

    And some people are simply energy vampires, who deal in drama in order to gain energy from us. Those of us who are very empathetic are prone to having our personal energy sapped by such vampires. There is nothing selfish in it if we actively separate ourselves from such people.

    • I love your response!! Thank You!! I have read some of Eckhart Tolle’s writings and they are great thoughts!
      I believe that it’s best to not think of ourselves as victims even when we are the target of other people’s negativity, cruelty, and viciousness. Thinking of ourselves as a survivor is more empowering. And I like to think of difficult situations as challenges that help us stimulate creativity and develop strength instead of seeing them as afflictions that I am helpless about.
      It’s possible to be the target of other people’s nonsense and have chaotic situations but still remain calm inside.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s