August 20th, 2017

Why Do I Feel Cornered?

byMic Manaras

“Do you ever have fun?” is a question I’ve been asked more than a few times since I’ve made the decision to order green tea instead of a fine aged single malt.

Honestly, the question irritated me for a long time. I felt cornered, and despite being extremely confident in my decision to abstain, I felt the need to provide a very snarky answer to make sure my point came across. Stuff like “I don’t need liquid courage to simulate fun, not like you”, see what I mean? Not very nice…

Until just recently, I’ve begun to question why I take things so negatively. Just because I perceived the question to be negative, what was anyone gaining with me replying with another negative? Since it’s about perception, does that mean I have the ability to perceive things positively as well? What if the question about having fun didn’t even come from a negative place?

I had never considered that, I only assumed it had to be…

This idea was all new to me, what if the question was legitimate. What if those people truly couldn’t fathom a world where fun was possible without a glass in hand? What if they weren’t trying to annoy me? Maybe instead of being defensive, this was an opportunity to shed light on my perspective in a positive way.

Coming from a more positive place, my reply could go two ways: I could either reply with a simple “yes I can definitely have fun” or go into a long winded conversation about it. Putting my theory into practice, things have gone both ways depending on who I was talking to. Some people didn’t even care to know anything other than my “yes” to which they’d reply “oh ok, that’s cool!” While others invited a discussion.

I’ve realized making a big discussion out of something should only occur if the other side welcomes it, something I seem to have missed beforehand… But when they did I was happy to explain and inform, as opposed to scold.

Speaking from a place of calm has allowed me to peacefully voice my opinion without raising anyone’s blood pressure. I could very calmly discuss how I feel much more energetic throughout the day which gives me the ability to stay healthy, and I’ve been able to find a super fun hobby in fitness and nutrition. I could bring up how I have a lot more time to be creative now that I don’t spend hours out late or recovering the next day, and that’s a lot of fun for me. I’m also saving a lot of money which I’m now putting towards studio time every week, again, it’s awesome fun!

Once I start painting the picture in a non-intrusive, positive light, the person I’m conversing with usually starts to communicate their newfound understanding of my lifestyle choice and shares their views via their personal experiences. Whether there’s mutual agreement or not, a nice conversation was sparked and both parties leave having shared a nice dialogue.

I’m now realizing this blog is less about explaining how it’s possible to have fun without drinking and more to do with replying to questions that potentially make us feel cornered. That’s the beauty about writing on the fly and not planning things too thoroughly, things just happen!

I guess it’s an extension of my last blog about creating our own realities ( and something I’m really trying to hone in on. The concept where things are only negative if we perceive them to be.

I’ve struggled with this a lot in my adult life, and since I’ve routinely made decisions, both professionally and personally, that weren’t “mainstream”, I always assumed I had to be prepared to play defense. It’s actually taken me years to acknowledge this not so productive stance. My decisions were always made with tremendous love and passion for the given cause, why not treat others’ curiosity as such?

Regardless of the true intent of the curiosity, treating every question as an honest request for information is exactly how I believe I should treat it. If not, wouldn’t I be cheapening my cause or the love and positivity I’m trying to exude?

“Kill them with kindness” is striking a major chord lately. Sure there’s the superficial approach where it can be blindly used as a war tactic, but that usually irritates the other party even more. However going a little deeper, applying the kindness and passion we feel for our cause to the reply of the question, despite how it’s asked, will only reinforce our belief and potentially inspire with a very sound, alternative perspective.

The idea I’ve come to see is not to try and sway or sell anyone, but to say what we truly believe as respectfully and peacefully as possible. Perhaps the person asking the question is honestly curious and may be asking in a certain way only because of a defense mechanism in case things backfire; it’s normal and it’s human nature to be wary of divergent concepts. I know I’m guilty of the same. However the fact they engaged is an opportunity to show our true colors, as bright as possible.

If I really believe in what or why I’m doing any particular thing in my life, replying in a snappy manor only conveys my true insecurity, as playing defense must mean I don’t truly believe in myself. Replying in an honest, proud and sincere manner not only conveys confidence in myself, but a positivity which can potentially inspire.

I’m glad I started this blog, because I’ve been able to uncover so much about how I tick, it’s allowed me to get where I am today. To boot, putting it out there has shown me I’m definitely not alone. It’s so cool how we’re all so much alike and I now know if I’m thinking it, so is someone else!

And that’s why I’m just letting it out, unfiltered and straight from the hip, because I believe in sharing positivity, and that’s how I’ll keep answering!


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