I had come up with the name for my crafty dive into entrepreneurship. I was pleased with myself. I thought it was clever. Catchy. I couldn't wait to share my excitement. So, of course I grabbed my phone and shot out a quick text to one of my sisters.
"Honestly, I don't care for it", was her reply. Followed by a parade of name suggestions she thought more appropriate.
I was crushed. My spirit was broken. The spark I had felt fizzled out. I had wanted (and expected) her response to be the same as mine to my idea. I had wanted her excited approval. And when that wasn't what I got. I was hurt. I was disappointed. And yes - I was a little angry.
At 40+ years into my life, I still want the approval and admiration of my sisters. Yes, I know I'm a grown woman. But just because I shouldn't need their admiration and approval, doesn't mean I don't still want it. Or maybe it would be more correct to say that I DON'T need it, but I DO want it. I admit it. Even at my age, I still want my little sisters to look up to me like when we were kids. Call it what you will, but it's just a fact.
Of course she had no idea how she had hurt my feelings. She was trying to be helpful. She was just sharing her opinion. I had left myself open for that. But knowing it wasn't intended to be hurtful didn't take the sting away. Or heal the bruised place inside.
Fortunately, realizing she hadn't meant anything harmful in her words made it possible for me to fight back my knee-jerk reaction to respond in anger with bitter words. I bit my tongue. I let the initial sting wear off. She is probably going to be completely shocked when she reads this (and she may even be angry with me for a short while for sharing this so publicly).
And in the end, if I'm being honest. I didn't need her approval. I'm still going with the name I had picked out and been so excited about (probably).
Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider.... It doesn't seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we've traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder