i can’t remember who it was that first mentioned the term ‘hidden agendas’ to me, but it basically refers to people who present one thing, when they actually feel/believe/want something else. it’s a little different to being hypocritical or superficial however, because at the core of it there lies a seedy longing to bring the other person down or to ‘take’ something from them (the ‘agenda’ part). i’m not sure if hidden agendas are a by-product of envy, or anger, or just deep insecurity. but regardless they are insidious and a barrier when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship. like most human interactions, i feel this as a sort of energy. and these days i find myself attuned to this kind of dishonesty more than ever before. i think my sensitivity has something to do with becoming a parent. suddenly i’ve been forced to place a huge amount of value and trust in my intuition, and as i have given myself license to do so, my intuition emits a pretty clear signal over the landscape of my heart/head.
i would say that i’ve spent many of my former days ‘people pleasing’. conflict makes me anxious and i prefer to know that everyone i interact with is happy. and not just happy in general, but moreover, happy with me. knowing that i’ve caused pain/hurt etc. bothers me. the kind of bothering that keeps me up at night. the kind of bothering that i can’t shake off with reasoning or hearing that “it’s their problem. not yours”. and i think it’s important to own that i myself have often operated from an approach that isn’t 100% honest just for the sake of “keeping the peace” and not making waves, and that oh-so-human desire to be liked. and the sad part is that my people pleasing approach didn’t really discriminate, so i smiled and hugged and tried to find common ground with people who i *knew* did not have my best interests at heart.
but then a shift happened. not overnight. but gradually. i started releasing the need to make sure i made everyone happy and as i did so, i started showing up to my relationships from a much more honest place. and yes, i still slip up. but i’m getting more conscious of the times i’m operating behind a facade and i’m actively trying to do better. i’m realizing that i can still love in abundance, and yet i don’t need to cultivate friendships with e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. especially not the people in my life who carry an arsenal of hidden agendas. the hard part for me has always been creating boundaries and sticking to them. but as dev and i create our family culture i find we have no time for energies that dissipate us or leech from our joy, creativity, and general excitement-at-being-alive.
so there’s that.
i want to also mention how thankful i am to have this little patch of cyberspace where i can share the things i’m dealing with. almost every other day, i receive an email from a reader of this little blog and though i don’t have the time to personally respond to every note, the messages do not go unread. i’m so touched to have a circle of friends (and also many strangers) who support and follow my journey – the good, the bad, and the screamy.