Feeling Judged and Controlled? Question Your Inner Cruise Director

When Jonathan and I went on a cruise to Bermuda with my family several years ago, the piped-in, controlled voice of Cruise Director Carlos drove me crazy.

Now, this was a lovely cruise. It was a privilege to relax and have my towels folded into animal shapes every night.

However, the oft-repeated, overly-enthusiastic announcements just did not work for me. (I’m an introvert who jumps like a startled deer at the sound of a ring tone.)

Several times a day, Cruise Director Carlos would blast over the loudspeakers, reading the rundown of social events with forced good cheer. After a few days, it really got on my nerves.

Here he was trying to make sure we didn’t miss a single opportunity for happiness, when we were so much happier left to our own devices.

By the end of the trip, I’d clench my fists at the sound of Carlos’s voice. But why was I ticked off at this upbeat guy who was just doing his job?

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The Only Life You Can Save.

What if the only life you can save is your own?

Something happened to friends of mine this past week. I won’t go into detail, because it is not my story to tell. The short version is: People I love are being unjustly excluded. And I’m angry about it.

Writing that last sentence is a big deal for me. See, for a long time I was convinced that feeling anger meant that I was a ‘bad’ person, lacking in compassion. And I wanted so much to be (and to be seen as) ‘good’. So whenever anger arose, I tried hard to make it go away.

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Set Down The Strings.

I have this counterproductive dance I do with my long-distance loved ones.

Here’s how it goes: when I don’t expect to see faraway friends and family anytime soon, I’m pretty good at keeping in touch. I make calls, write cards, and send care packages.

But when I do expect to see people soon – say, in the weeks just before a family vacation – I slack off. I don’t call, and I hold back from sharing. My justification for this is that I’m saving up the best discussion topics for in-person interaction.

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