What is it about myself that any kind of argument or confrontation causes me to shed tears?
I have been a cry-baby ever since I was a little girl. What I ask myself though, is "Why is it, that at age 48, I still feel an instinctive urge to shed tears the moment I am being confronted?"
There are a few things I do know about myself.
1) I feel guilty in any kind of conflict or tense situation whether I am or not.
2) I feel like I have let people down more often than I feel I have been clever or useful to them.
3) I feel like I may have done the "wrong" thing in any situation where my integrity or intelligence is being called into question.
4) I always feel like my integrity and/or my intelligence is being called into question.
5) I consistently doubt my intelligence and abilities. Sometimes my integrity too (I have a memory that isn't that pragmatic when it comes to facts or details).
6) I feel too much.
7) I categorically, never want anyone to think badly of me no matter what I do.
Now the big question, in answer to all of these is "Why?" Why should I feel any of the above when it is neither necessary, convenient or apparent I should do so?
My simple guess is this: At some point in my formative years, I intuited that I am not capable. As a result, my inbuilt pride barometer rebels at this core assumption and triggers a violent emotional reaction within me resulting in those embarrassing tears.
There must be some kind of internal revolt switch going off the moment I am in any kind of situation that, I believe, demonstrates my incapability.
My pride says "You are not wrong", whereas my conscience quavers, fusses and fumes that I might be "wrong" perhaps, because the details are blurry, and the facts are not at ready-reckoning distance in my mind. Ergo - I'm "bad" to have let someone down. "I am unreliable, unintelligent, unwise, imperfect". All my wanton flaws are exposed and I rail within, in a maelstrom of emotional factionalism between self-hatred and the primitive rage of an abused pride. And I cry!
This is no easy thing. To change my propensity for weeping when confronted will take an enormous shake-up of my mental landscape. It may well be that the very synapses, that formed during the early development of these core beliefs, will never be entirely eradicated of this pestilence! But accepting it? I am not sure I can at this point.
I DO get angry when I feel my integrity is being called into question! But I very often squelch that anger because if I have to express it - it comes out as an unabated flood rather than clear-eyed, cool-headed and reasoned argument for the defence! I want to be able to argue efficiently for my case but my unequivocal lack of eloquence when full of charged emotions stalls this ability and then some!
The thought-tapes inside my head need erasing and re-recording. Would my ego actually allow this? I am not sure! The Self is a funny thing! It gets rather comfortable with the status-quo. Surreptitiously, ego channels our energies into paths of least resistance. My intuitive and instinctive crying response to conflict situations is a well worn path to a known resolution and result.
Generally speaking, (and this is purely, a theoretical analysis stemming from my own biases about crying women): a crying girl disarms most people. A crying girl is diminutive and "sweet", her vulnerability and fragility exposed through her emotionalism. She's every man's "Perfect Little Daughter" whether he believes it or not, she speaks to the hero in him through her tears. She's in need of protection from a cruel world. Her naivety and demure femaleness are on show through her subjugation to the more powerful party. She is a victim in need of rescuing. She demonstrates a perverse and ironic strength by rallying forth if treated gently, her inferior Self stroked and soothed with kindness rather than harsh judgements on her lack of wit or intelligence. A crying girl is not really a grown woman yet - even if she may look like one! A crying girl makes people feel guilty. A crying girl is powerfully manipulative of others through her genius in the use of emotional blackmail.
This makes me gag at how pathetic it makes me look. Here I am! A weeping girl incapable of standing clear-eyed and strong in the midst of inaccurate (or accurate for that matter) accusations of her part in fault. My head believes none of the insipid trash above, but it seems that somewhere, somehow, I learned to behave like this for at least some of these reasons!
How horrible it is for a girl child to learn such things; how sad for the woman to realise she's learned them!
Will I accept this flaw in my character and nature? No! I shall rail against it until I have determined its source and healed this rift between my emotions and psyche.
Rectifying my propensity for being a cry-baby could take me the rest of my life and it may not stop the flow of my tears in an argument - but then again - it might help me grow up, and that is no small thing either.