Recently, over the past two weeks or so I have been reading quite the handful of mostly blog posts regarding Swap, Bee Hives, Round Robins and so on; some good but mostly I have been reading the negativity regarding such creative outlets and not in the way I would expect to hear it. To be quite frank, I ended up scared and disappointed in some things. (I am specifically not linking directly to any one person as I am not looking to point fingers or blame, this is merely my opinion from my intake)
Open or Arena: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open or Arena quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.
Hidden or Façade: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden or Façade quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.
Blind : Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these “blind spots“.
Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant’s behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits.
You may be wondering the connection between Johari’s Window and the topic of positivity/negativity with Swaps, etc. Here it is: Self Awareness.
Being part of the quilting, sewing and crafting community for me, has been an outlet when I am so far away from home as well as being surrounded by people who I feel, “get me”. A born and raised California girl who thrives with oceans and lakes, now living in the Mid Eastern US in Kansas with lots of farms and snow… big difference. I don’t mind it, but there are parts that will always miss home no matter how much this becomes home.
Reading so many comments and blog posts expressing their negative experiences with swaps, round robins and others alike has left me with a heavy heart. I don’t disagree with any of the disappointments that come along with these types of interactions with others; such as when they may not receive a gift even though they followed through on their end or if an item of theirs went missing, no contact made back from your partner and they are officially M.I.A. etc. I agree that there are frustrations when in swaps and they can become too much at times; however I find that most of that is what we do to ourselves by trying to take on too much or expect too much and forgetting the entire idea of the process to begin with. With that in mind, the more swaps you are a part of, the more likely you are to experience it’s downfalls more often.
I completely related to the remarks regarding the other side of things that in-fact, do happen – What I was heavily disappointed in with these statements and comments was the way their frustration was being expressed including expressing the disappointed by the quality of work they would receive at times. Reading this, my heart began to break for others (and myself) who may not have 5, 10, 15, 20 + years into sewing or even the ones with little years under their belt who have been able to create even what we call ‘professionally’ done items and not looking so ‘hand-made’. I began to question my own sense of work because I am still very ”new” to the community. I am hard enough on myself as it is so this seemed to have made it worse. Then I question how strong I believe I really am if only that led me to begin to question myself.
Isn’t one of the points to this whole thing, among other points, that we are making one another hand-made items?
Reading comments and posts from others who (I know not intentionally and again, this is my opinion and feelings) attack specifically the quality of work or ones who may not carry of the greatest scale as others (we all start(ed) somewhere) for the procrastinator in me and knowing my work is under scrutiny, makes me anxious x’s 100.
Many of us know people who seem to be more, what we would call, self-aware than others. To me, self-awareness is having a growing knowledge of yourself, your own issues, and how others might perceive you. While I think anyone struggles at times to be aware of themselves, most certainly during heightened feelings are in play, I wonder if others were self-aware of themselves and how their comments would be making others feel who already struggle with the feelings of their items not being ‘good enough’ for a swap? How the beginners who just jumped in are now wondering if they will live up to other groups standards? I wonder if they were self-aware of where they began and did they receive that type of feedback when they began? Were they self-aware that while others would agree with them, the others who are scared to already join what is supposed to be so positive and encouraging for others to create, now may not join because there really are people who judge what they receive to a degree that they are ‘disappointed’ for joining to begin with? I know and believe there was never any intent for those feelings to be, yet they are and I know I have been on both ends of the spectrum in a swap… the non-received and later sendee.
The real question; Could they have expressed their dissatisfaction differently rather than expressing it in such a way that left others (including me) even more intimidated to make for others and try new things? To send the item anyway even after much procrastination because you don’t think they will think it is, perfect? Personally, I wrote about my own personal experience a few weeks ago with a mistake I made with my first full paper-piece and being heavily dissatisfied in myself but decided to listen to that inner voice that was helped created by so many others encouraging me, to send it anyway… and you know what, while I still am not satisfied with how the item turned out and I wished I had done better, I am happy I still sent it. I am happy I still remained true to myself and who I am as a creator, right then and right now. A creator with many mistakes to love. A creator that continues to grow with each mistake.
|OOPS! This should have been a feather but ended up looking like a tree instead. OOPS!
I want to make this clear, I am happy that others have expressed some hard truths about what happens in swaps, round robins, etc. because things do happen and I have two separate stories to share (next week) which relate to much of the basis for my personal feelings towards the recent down-talk regarding swaps. I even get why they would have a Blacklist for swaps as I have heard of several people who join just to receive and never send which is ultimately defeating the purpose of the swap.
What I have been unhappy hearing and reading is when we have become disappointed with what we receive from others. We teach our youth to be appreciative for what they have, many homes go by the old rule, “If you don’t like what’s for dinner, don’t eat.” (my house did) and we drill into them they should be happy with all they have around them as others don’t, to continue to strive for more but to not be greedy; yet I feel when we, as adults are feeling disappointments (and expressing it openly) with someone else making for us, taking time out of their life, thinking of you and putting everything they can into it, we aren’t really showing the best of examples, are we? I have received gifts from various skill levels, but I can assure you I love them each just the same with the mere appreciation that someone took a moment of their time (and especially never ‘meeting’ them) to make for me, I am appreciative for that all in itself. Maybe it is just me and knowing who I am and how I want others to feel… I don’t know. I just know that with each interaction I have with anyone – I am never wanting to leave them with the feeling that they are not worth anything. It may be because of my own personal struggle of self-worth, either way, YOU are worth it.
I guess what I am trying to say in the end is I walked away from reading the posts and comments heavy-hearted and vowing that after I completed the swaps I am in I would be excusing myself for a bit. I walked away scared more now than I was before to send items I have made to someone else, wondering how truthful they are being with their posts on Instagram or anywhere else with how much they ‘love’ it… – am I the one they are talking about on their post? It makes me sad because I know we all join these group adventures to encourage every level of creativity to love it all the same knowing someone created for you. I walked away questioning myself and my worth within the community and where I may stand or how others may be viewing me who have better skill than I. I wonder if I am the one they are snickering about wishing I was not part of their group because they don’t think they will have any use for what I may make… or it won’t be worthy (there’s that word again) enough? The questions went on and on but eventually my optimism won.
I have close friends and acquaintances that know right away that I am the epitome of optimism. I sometimes annoy myself with it because I know there are times I’m not looking for the pretty side of things when it’s dark; but in the reality of it, I am. In the midst of anything dark happening, aren’t we all looking for that light at the end of the tunnel?
This brings me back to the Johari’s Window. As I stated earlier, I had a conversation with a friend (who happens to be a therapist) this past week regarding it, as I had never heard about it before. I am always interested in self-development and if I had the patience for the schooling, I believe I would have been a great therapist. That being said, I chose over the past week to analyze Johari’s Window and answer them, and truthfully. There are things I am definitely not the fondest of sharing; however we all have quirks within ourselves that really aren’t so bad and I think it’s time we stop being worried about who we are but become more self-aware of Me, Myself and I.
I have answered mine in quite some depth and I think I have narrowed or compartmentalized it into the core of the detailed answers I gave myself and thinking further into it and whether or not to share here, I thought I would first introduce Johari’s Window and the topic of discussion as well as invite you to join me next week with your answers (if you dare hehe). Next week I will reveal my analysis of my own-self and I would love to hear from YOU, whether it be regarding the Johari’s Window, the topic of negativity towards swaps or both. I believe the more self-aware we all are with one another, the more aware we can be of others and the better we understand.
To help with some of the things you may answer with or ask yourself while analyzing, it will be good to be mindful to simplify your answers with Adjectives. I wrote down whatever came to mind and then grouped things that would be in the same category for the nature of what I was stating of myself.
Example: I can easily have any random conversation with a stranger. I think all walks of life are amazing. = friendly and/or open-minded.
You can go into as much or as little detail or however deep you wish to dive into it. I actually think it’s positive for us all to be aware of who we are but to also be proud of who we are; we all change constantly and evolve as humans, just because a personality trait or behavior worked then doesn’t mean it works in your life now; it doesn’t necessarily have to mean changing WHO you are.
Whether or not you choose to openly participate or not, I welcome you to research Johari’s Window and it’s overall concept. I think I have personally been more self-aware than I thought; however I adapt quickly to my surroundings and am left a lot of times feeling, “off”. Also, if you have any thoughts regarding the recent commentary on swaps and the bad things that can happen. It’s one thing to have the truth out there, but are we sometimes getting ahead of ourselves with our expectations? Have you experienced anything really great or really bad?
Quilty Thankful Thursday attribute: I am thankful for the freedom of speech and that we are all otherwise bold and proud to speak with how we feel. Disagreements or not, it rarely changes how I feel towards someone as I never expect to always be okay with anyone with everything. As a matter of fact, I find myself admiring the quirks of others more than anything and understanding how they think. A good conversation is obviously something I am typically always up for.