I’m back home again after a short business trip to Minneapolis for my women’s leadership group. Normally, I really enjoy these trips. They are short enough where I do not get a chance to miss my children horribly but long enough that I get some much-needed alone. For some reason, I didn’t enjoy myself this time. I missed my family, my friends. I even missed work. Go figure.
A large part of this women’s leadership group is development and self-awareness. I now know that I am opinionated and forthright. I am not afraid to share my opinion, and I know that this can rub certain people the wrong way. So, while I have met some wonderful women and have made some great friends, I do realize that there are others in the group who wish I would just shut my mouth and be quiet. Because I am now self-aware enough to realize this, it makes for an emotionally exhausting day to subconsciously battle this. I don’t know why, but it really bothered me this time. I found myself slipping into my anti-social tendencies, dreaming about taking a sandwich back to the hotel room and hiding from the world. I didn’t do that, but I was so tempted.
By halfway through the second day, I missed my friends and I missed my family terribly. I missed being surrounded by those who know exactly who I am and love and accept me as I am. I never realized how they support me and boost me up. It is such a wonderful feeling to understand just how lucky I am. I am going to luxuriate in my family and my friends and enjoy being home!
Does anyone else experience this when on business trips? Am I just slow on the uptake here? Does anyone else experience such exhaustion when traveling or in emotional situations?
Teddy – Stranger things have happened!
I very much doubt I will be back that soon. Maybe some other time.
I'm going back in February (hint, hint)!!
I usually just go to MN once a year but who knows, maybe we will both be there at the same time again. LOL!
Argh! A perfect opportunity to meet! We definitely need to plan better the next time I'm in Minneapolis!
OMG Michelle, we were both in Minneapolis at the same time. LOL!
Savvy Working Girl – Thanks for your support! I'm glad to see that I am not the only one. I feel like I am the only anti-social person when I am with this particular group of women, which makes me feel doubly conflicted. As for your idea on becoming more self-aware, I will definitely give it some thought. It's been a tremendous journey, one that I cannot attribute to any one particular thing. It would be a great year-end post though. Hmmm…I'll have to start formulating it to get it just right. Thanks for the suggestion.
I admire your courage to become more self-aware and actually make an effort to use your new found knowledge to change. I am working on my own self-awareness project and understand how much work and energy this takes.
Many times while on business trips, I find myself wanting to kick back and cocoon in my hotel room after the days activities rather than continue socializing with my fellow participants. I can only take so much social togetherness. I even find local CPE seminars that I used to find inspiring and energizing now leave me thinking I am just not into this. I am not sure why, if it is a sign of the times or if I am just so sick of all the backstabbing and pettiness at my job and with my professional organization I can’t enthusiastically partake in any additional socializing.
One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is tactful communication; in the past I have been too passive. My professional organization, which is a women only organization, can’t seem to make even the smallest decisions. I’ve asked my boss for advice on this, he serves on several boards. He said a man leading a committee wouldn’t ask the other board members for their opinions; he just makes a decision and if someone objects later he would say great you can run the committee next year. I think the best answer though is tactful communication. If someone proposes an idea that is clearly not in the budget instead of spending weeks trying to figure out a way to make it work (leading to backstabbing and pettiness) just say I’m sorry Sue we don’t have the budget for that. Next.
Michelle – I would be interested in a post where you share the techniques you used in becoming more self-aware. I have surprisingly found reading and then commenting on other people’s blogs helpful.
Ceri – That's exactly it! I used to be shy and never share my opinion, no matter how strongly I felt. I would let people walk all over me. I decided several years ago that enough was enough. I know that I need to face the consequences of doing so, but it does get tiring hour after hour. No more trips for a while, at least!
Hope – I think you hit the nail on the head. It isn't so much that I am pretending to be someone I'm not; it is the fact that I am always aware of the fact that I am on business at all times. The only time when I am not “at work” is in my hotel room. I have one more trip in February, and that should be the last one for a long time.
Stephanie – I think my problem is that I do not put forth my most positive persona. I subscribe to the idea that what you see is what you get, and it totally rubs people the wrong way. That sort of backlash, no matter how subtle, gets to be exhausting after a while.
Aww, hun, glad you're back. I can't really speak about business trips because I've never taken any but I know what you mean about not being afraid to share your opinion and how that rubs people up the wrong way. When I was a teenager I let people walk all over me because I was too shy and scared to offend anyway. Now I'm very opinionated and don't let anyone take advantage of me – not even my boss. And that can be hard when you're put in certain situations where you know you have to bite your tongue and become more aware of yourself. I don't blame you for being exhausted. I sure would be!
I am always exhausted on business trips. I'm not typically antisocial, although I have been known to grab that sandwich and hideout in my room at times, but having to constantly be “on” exhausts me. Whether you enjoy the people you're on the trip with or not, having to be self-aware at all times is also exhausting. That's what family and friends are for…allowing us to just BE. Glad you're home safe and surrounded by people who let you be You.
Ah Michelle. Sounds like you had a rather tough trip. It's weird that at places like that we spend so much time and energy trying to “hide” who we really are. Or at least trying to put forth the most positive personna, which isn't always the most honest. Since I left Cat, I haven't had to take any business trips. Which is good. I was always homesick for my babies after about the first 24 hours.
Glad you are home!