This evening I went to my monthly book club meeting and, as usual, had a great evening with some fabulous women. The books we read generally tend to be a jumping off point for greater discussion and tonight was no different. Our conversation quickly turned from the book to our experiences and beliefs about much broader topics. One of the really great things about our discussions is that we don’t always agree but we are always respectful and, in my opinion more importantly, open to really hearing the other point of view. We recognize that we can learn from each other without having to completely change our minds or concede to the other person. I love this about this group and consider myself extremely fortunate to be a part of it.
I’m sure it’s because I understand the nature of this particular group that I found myself in a position tonight that I rarely allow myself to be in- as the odd woman out. In this group of seven women, I openly disagreed about something that it seemed everyone else had some kind of loose agreement. Not 100% agreement, but more-so with each other than with me. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me it was. Keeping quiet about my true feelings is one more dysfunctional tool I’ve used to protect myself. I don’t like to openly disagree because I don’t want to feel judged or marginalized. I don’t want people to think I’m misguided, naive, unintelligent or that I just don’t ‘get it’. In short, I don’t want to be dismissed. I don’t want people to have a reason to reject me.
Tonight, in spite of all of those inner voices telling me to be quiet I spoke up. I didn’t change anyone’s mind and no one changed mine, but we were honest with each other and didn’t feel the need to censor ourselves. And we have, in my opinion, a stronger connection as a result.