on pressure

I want to talk a little bit about pressure.

The kind of pressure that I want to talk about, is the kind that I put on myself. The kind we put, on ourselves.

I want to talk about how to overcome those feelings, of being pressured.

It requires clarity, I believe. Thought.

When I am clear within myself, of what I am okay with doing, and when- and what I am not okay with doing; then, that invisible yet incredibly strong force, loses power over me.

Hah! Perhaps it might be fun to think of pressure as the dark matter of social interactions.

Strange, uniquely powerful, and visible only in how this force affects other bodies; pressure infuses everything, yet is a slippery thing. Difficult to quantify in any kind of useful manner.

But let’s try, yeah?

The concept I have in my mind when I use the word pressure- my werd pressure- is a thing which happens when I feel a pull to do something other than what I want to do, or what I feel like I ought to be doing.

Pressure can be blatant, and deadly subtle.

Pressure can come in the form of continued appeals for sexual activity, after an initial ‘no’, or it can come in the form of things as seemingly innocent as trying to talk a friend into doing something ‘fun,’ when they should be working.

What happens in my brain, across the range of those situations- is similar.

Differing, perhaps, in degree of intensity, as opposed to type of feeling.

I have discovered recently, though- that there is a way to avoid those feelings, at least for me.

I have struggled with pressure, my entire adult life.

Particularly in sexual encounters, but those were only the most obvious manifestations of these internal….issues.

Old Brooke always gave into pressure, of whatever sort- eventually.

Old Brooke fled from conflict, above all else.

And when the first couple times I said ‘no’ were not enough, well.

Giving in meant I could soon go back to not having to fight that pressure.

But New Brooke –

New Brooke has realized that saying “no” does not have to equate with conflict.

When I am confident in what I want to be doing, I am far less likely to get myself into situations where a no might even be necessary.

I tell people, clearly, that I need to leave, or go to bed if we’re talking online or whatever- and then I do so.

Without anger or dismissal- I try to find ways to convey that it is not about them.

Not about not wanting to spend time with them, but instead about needing to do something else, more.

People understand this.

I understand when people tell me things like that, in a gentle way- so why did it take me so long to realize that other people understand this thing, too?

Such are the mysteries of the human brain!

This little trick, while indescribably useful-
takes work.

Requires spending time really thinking about what I like, and what I do not.

Really thinking about what is truly important to me, and what those things are worth, to me.

So I cannot tell you how to know these things.

I can only tell you that I believe it is possible to know these things, about oneself.

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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