Finding an invisible line

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Inspiration for Overthinkers

November 23 · Issue #56 · View online

Tackling stress and anxiety, one experiment at a time.


“The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable.” - Charles Bukowski

Dear fellow beautiful voyagers,
I’ve never been great at communicating my feelings. Surprising to hear from the author of an email like this, but true. Perhaps I found myself on this path for that exact reason.
Maybe it’s COVID, or the stress of the country, or something else altogether, but I’ve recently found myself at a crossroads. Should I speak up a bit more about how I feel, risking potential stress in people around me? Or is it better to stay quiet and choose relationship harmony over the struggle of communication?
Here’s an example. My daughter’s 11-year-old friend was sleeping over at our house. The girls wanted to walk a couple blocks to the grocery store to get some treats for the movie they’d watch later in the evening. The friend said, “Are you really going to let us walk alone? My parents always tell me I will be kidnapped!” She repeated this fear numerous times over the course of the evening, saying she wished her parents would loosen their overprotective grip.
I felt…
sad
sad
and
frustrated
frustrated
…that these parents were allowing their anxiety to spill over over their girl.
I learned long ago to never question the decisions of another parent. It only leads to misery. But what if that parent were a close friend? Should I say something then about what I was seeing, and the way it made me feel?
I don’t know where the line is when it comes to communicating my real feelings about “controversial” topics with others. People around me shout their opinions about a variety of topics seemingly without fear of consequence. That makes me feel…
alone.
alone.
Where is your invisible line in the following situations?
  • Your friend is reading news constantly and it seems to be deeply destabilizing for them. Do you say anything?
  • Your colleague is sharing political information you know is wrong. Do you say anything?
  • Your neighbor is angry about a local regulation you agree with, and complains to you about it at length. Do you say anything?
I would love to hear from all of you about your own approach to finding the invisible line of communicating your feelings. Reply to this email, DM me on Instagram, write me on Slack, or send a carrier pigeon with your thoughts.
I’ll share my learnings (and yours) in a future newsletter. In the meantime, if you’re in the US, I hope you enjoy the mini-vacation later this week. I am grateful for each and every one of you.
I took this photo literally one minute ago.
I took this photo literally one minute ago.
Love, Meredith
Reading Nook
Your Brain Is Not for Thinking Your Brain Is Not for Thinking
18 Books That Helped Me Deal With Stress, Anxiety, and Overthinking 18 Books That Helped Me Deal With Stress, Anxiety, and Overthinking
Prefer to listen?
Beautiful Voyager Podcast Ep 12: Sara Schaefer  Beautiful Voyager Podcast Ep 12: Sara Schaefer
Keep exploring...
Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World
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