Is It Fake?

Posted February 7, 2018 by Prairie Wife - 15 comments

I let you guys know last month that I’m going back to school. I didn’t give many details about the classes…but I have to tell you this first one is causing a bit of a stir.

teacher and parentsIt’s called “Engaging Parents to Increase Student Achievement” and I picked it for a few reasons. I thought as a parent it would be good for me to take a look at this so I could then apply it to how I work with my kids’ teachers. Also, I whole heartedly admit that as a teacher, this is one of the trickier parts of the job. I can teach just about any kid how to read, but telling a parent their child has behavior issues…that’s rough.

The class is taking way longer to do than I thought, yet I’ve been learning more than a few things that apply to my every day life.

In one of the lessons I was introduced to Brene Brown with this video. I was captivated, intrigued, guilt ridden, and left wondering how have I not heard of this woman? This video is all about trust, how you get it, how you keep it, how you break, and IF you can ever get it back. Holy cow did it make me think! I thought of all the times I had inadvertently broken the trust of parents in the past when I was a teacher, family members, friends…it was a bit of a guilt spiral for a while after I saw this.

I felt like I needed to follow steps 8 and 9 of AA and make a list of all persons I had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all, and make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (yes those are the actual steps)

I calmed down after a bit, realizing that my intentions were usually well meant, and made a better commitment to be reliable. I am the worst at making big plans, verbally agreeing to follow through and having EVERY INTENTION of doing what I said and then finding myself simply unable to do it in the planned time frame. This lead to my post about “It’s OK to say no to good things

Then this last week it was a video on crucial conversations. It’s really worth the time to watch it or listen to it as you’re doing dishes or driving…

But the gist of it is, that crucial conversations and how you handle them will determine your happiness. A crucial conversation is that conversation that you know you need to have but you really REALLY REALLY don’t want to have because you know there could be some huge repercussions. It could be telling your boss they are a poor leader, asking your spouse to step up to the plate and be more present, or letting a friend know they hurt you.

At one point he talked about a survey they did where they asked everyone if they could have a consequence free crucial conversation (so nothing bad would happen as a result of the talk)…who would they have it with and what would they say.

Think about that guys. If you could have a consequence free conversation…who would YOU talk to? What would you say?

He explained that even if you aren’t having that conversation and saying how you really feel, you’re still showing them how you feel with actions, subliminal messages etc.

Another huge pause here for personal reflection and thought…

sad womanA lot of times I admit that I call up a bestie and vent and blow off steam, with no intention of actually trying to solve the problem…if anyone heard these rages they’d think I’m the worst person ever! Thank goodness my friends know that it’s just me over reacting and working through things. 9 times out of 10 the problem is resolved on it’s own and it’s not even really a crucial moment (what me dramatic, never)!

To make it worse I’ve had about a half dozen opportunities for crucial conversations in the last month. I know I’ve handled some of them well, some of them terribly, and frankly side stepped and avoided at least one.

Twice for two different Cowkids, I had to ask their teachers for help because I could see my child was struggling.

I talked to a family member I haven’t communicated with in over a year.

I reached out to someone that I don’t normally chat with because I saw they were in pain.

I went public with the news that we are pulling our children out of the private school they’ve been attending for almost a decade.

I’ve had several friends come to me and share heartfelt information about deep personal struggles.

The Cowboy and I had to have an honest talk about finances.

Here is where I am…and where I’m stuck….and where I’d love to hear your input.

Those crucial conversations that I avoid. Those relationships where I choose to breathe and forgive, to get over myself and continue to treat them with the same smiley attitude as always…is that being fake or is it rising above and picking your battles? I am continuing on my journey to be “enough” and as I do so I am seeing more and more how damn important it is to me to have everyone like me. I just deleted a whole paragraph about that topic…it’s going to need it’s own blog post….

filterLast year I was torn apart online, called every name in the book and had the blog and my moral character and parenting ability ripped apart on social media. I was utterly and completely blind sided, didn’t see it coming at all because I had no idea that what I had done would be offensive in any way to anyone. My friends who came to my defense were torn apart. It still hurts me to think about it. In the moment, I wrote a ragging blog post about it, that was full of some pretty great points and was prepared to take the world by storm. I showed it to The Cowboy before I hit post and he looked at me and said.

“Is this really going to help anyone, will this go along with your mission?”

I looked at him, rolled my eyes and hit delete. Because he was right (yes that hurt to type).

And I’ve contemplated no less than 10 times editing that same story out of this post…but I decided to include it because…

If I were to see that person, or any of the other people that went along with the bashing on the street today, I wouldn’t do anything at all other then smile and keep going.

Is that fake or weak, or simply keeping calm and carrying on?

Is that avoiding a crucial conversation that needs to be had? 

How do you decide if something is REALLY a crucial conversation?!

Obviously I’m still processing all this and mulling it over as I type so help a woman out….what do you think?










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15 thoughts on "Is It Fake?"

  1. Molly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I think most everyone struggles with this all the time. At work, we are trained to be open and honest and give constructive criticism. Holy cow was it a 180 from every other place I had ever worked. I’m almost a year in and I am still struggling. But the workplace is so much better for it. We know what they are saying is coming from a good place and it helps that we are all on the same page. Not everyone works like that and it can definitely make it difficult when you are trying to have those crucial conversations. I don’t feel you are being fake and in your own time you will be able to find a way through those conversations. Until then, don’t be too hard on yourself.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I am sure that it makes for a much better work environment when you can do that…I know in my past experiences it would have helped. Thanks for you love and support xoxo

  2. Lish says:

    I feel like one you can’t be so worried about everyone thinks. The other is some crucial conversations should be had and others if they aren’t eating at you or you don’t mind then what’s the point. But if it bothers you and continues to bother you then yes you should be having the conversations. Ultimately the crucial conversation may only end up helping you.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Oh how well you know me lol! And I love your last point how even if the conversations does nothing other than helping someone to move on it’s worth it.

  3. Valerie Dusing says:

    Good blog post. You bring up a lot of great points and you’re not fake and yes, you should be choosing your battles. Crucial conversations. It’s one of the new catchphrases. Or is it speaking your truth. I think you should be able to be honest and have those conversations that have meaning and do it in a kind manner.It’s OK to write out when you’re angry or upset, the differences you don’t post you delete get it out of you even print it out and set it on fire, but don’t post. You just continue to stay true to your mission to your believes keep your head high In your ethics strong. As for the people in the anonymous blog a spare who felt that they have the right to pass judgment, or be brutal, or as people like to say be haters let it go. The best three words ever let it go. Or as I’ve been known to say many a time rise above, rise above, rise above. The people who love you Will always have your back.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Rise above, love it and great advice!

  4. Robin DeSpain says:

    Because every situation and person is different there is no one answer for this experience. A thought that has helped me is something I learned from my husband. “What is more important, winning the argument or the person?” This has helped me realize that the people I love are far more important than being “right” or having my POV be THEE POV. It’s helped me a lot in my family & with my kids.
    The next is not something that is easily summed up, though I’ll share some points that have stuck with me. It comes from Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Buddhist monk (and refugee) that has spent his life trying to help folks learn to be mindful and at peace with life. I highly recommend his book “Peace in Every Step”. It changed my life when I hit rock bottom emotionally & spiritually. And for me it helped me put Christ’s teachings into real every day practice.
    Do not run from your emotion the good & bad. Observe them, learn all about them, & what sets them off. When we lean our anger, pain, resentment & all the positive things we can then transform them, we can use them a tools of change to make peace with ourself. We can learn to love ourselves.
    Anger & many of the negative emotions are rooted in a lack of understanding or empathy. They are is also rooted in pride. We can learn to recognize that when people lash out or cause us pain they are in pain themselves. Because we want to not feel the hurt/pain we have developed defense mechanisms (fight or flight). So the natural response is often anger or to hurt them back or to hide (physically and emotionally). I think that’s why the scripture says “the natural man is an enemy to God.” When we practice empathy, it becomes our first reaction we learn to love ourselves, our neighbors, & our enemies. It’s not easy, but when we cultivate kind thinking we will have more compassion/charity. “Charity is the pure love of Christ.”

    Compassion not a thing that happens quick and as humans we have to keep practicing at it. A good place to start is pity. When someone hurts you, pity them. They feel the need to lash out. It reflects on them, not you. How you react is the refection of you. So perhaps smiling is what you need to do – even when it feels forced – in order to learn compassion or to not let their negativity into your mind & heart. Ya, that’s a hard one. Don’t we all stew stew stew over our feelings of pain/hurt.
    I like to think of emotional reactions like muscles – when you stretch them, they grow strong. Smiles more at things – big and small. I think of the phrase “God bless their sweet little heart” that I heard a lot when I lived in the south. Lots of older ladies used it while smiling at something a young person did that was dumb. *laugh* Practice recognizing and changing emotions from negative reactions into compassionate ones is a step to finding everyday peace. The actions of others will blow over you like wind. Sometimes it’s a breeze & sometimes it’s a tornado, but it’s still just wind.

    “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron

    I would also like to share one last thing an Apostle of my faith said just this last week. His name is Dieter Uchtdorf & he is amazing.

    “If you find yourself worrying about what other people say about you, may I suggest this antidote: remember who you are. Remember that you are of the royal house of the kingdom of God, children of our Heavenly Father, who reigns throughout the universe.
    You have the spiritual DNA of God. You have unique gifts that originated in your spiritual creation and that were developed during the vast span of your premortal life. You are the child of our merciful and everlasting Father in Heaven, the Lord of Hosts, the One who created the universe, spread the spinning stars across the vast expanse of space, and placed the planets in their appointed orbits.
    You are in His hands. Very good hands. Loving hands. Caring hands.
    And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has said about you.
    You are His precious child. He loves you.”

    I hope this helps *hugs from a stranger who gets the struggle*

    1. Carol O says:

      I love this!

      1. Prairie Wife says:

        🙂 She was so thoughtful in her response!

  5. Sam says:

    Hi! <3 I did not catch the post you're talking about, and I didn't see it in a quick scroll…
    So offering more general thoughts, based on my experience with similar situations.
    Everything has it's time and place. I don't believe it's fake to pick an later time/place to address a position or opinion, if you it's necessary. I add the necessary part, because we won't always have the same opinions as everyone else, and it isn't always necessary to address those differences later. I personally tend to want to react emotionally and fire back, but if I just delay my reaction a bit, it will many times fade in importance. And sometimes it doesn't. Questions I find myself asking might include the following:
    An I reacting emotionally? Am I taking it personally, and was it intended that way? Did that person react emotionally regarding something that may be going on in their life at that moment?
    Do I still disagree? Will my remaining silent delude them into thinking I agree with them? What result do I wish to see, by speaking up? Am I likely to accomplish that result? Am I being true to myself/my beliefs by remaining silent? Or will bringing it up be further advertisement for whatever agenda the other person had when saying/doing whatever it was.
    I tend to think, rethink, overthink, breathe, and then react. Is that Fake? I don't think so. I really think if you want to, or feel you need to address it later, you will. <3 🙂

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      SO thankful for all those great questions for me to think about. In the end it all goes back to pause and think, breathe, step outside and be a witness to the situtaion and don’t react emotionally.

  6. It’s not always black and white. It can depend on where you set your personal boundaries. I deal with all of these same issues myself and have realized that not talking about an issue is damaging to my relationships. And those conversations are SOOO hard to have, but the more I step out in faith and have them, the easier it’s getting. There are amends I’ve made to God regarding certain issues or relationships because talking to the person would do them more harm than good. I take responsibility for my screw-ups, make amends if I can, FORGIVE MYSELF, and (with God’s help, because I’m a Christian), move on. I, too, have been seeing things about myself in the last couple weeks that I know I need to work on. I don’t think it’s fake to choose to forgive, but part of showing someone grace is holding them accountable if the issue is reoccurring. Sometimes it’s hard to have clarity about my feelings, my motives, but I do the best I can. Finally, I would say to you to not be too hard on yourself! Relationships (of every kind) are complicated! Don’t beat yourself up. Show yourself some kindness and keep working on being better. Change does NOT happen overnight!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Wonderful thoughts, it’s hard for me to go easy on myself (hence my whole softening journey lol) and I appreciate your gentle reminder that the journey is indeed that…a journey not an instant arrival!

  7. Karen says:

    Moving forward and being the awesome mom/woman/wife that you are, sends the message that their words are powerless and can’t hurt you.
    I honestly feel, that negativity from others stems from insecurity, feelings of inadequacy etc. So many times, those same people judge and insult no matter the situation and so often, that you realize it isn’t personal. Eventually, others around them will start to see the same thing too.
    I feel like people who are vocalizing negative thoughts and being judgemental need to ask themselves, “Who is this helping?” If their words aren’t productive or constructive, who are they helping, and what is the intent behind their words other than to make themselves feel better about who they are?!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Such a good question for me to ask myself when deciding if I should even have a conversation, “Who is this helping” thank you 🙂

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