Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I had the most wonderful 4th of July weekend. It was relaxing and invigorating and just plain fun. And I'll post all about it as soon as I load my pictures on my computer. It was so wonderful that it seems wrong (for lack of a better word) that I'm leaving for Hawaii. Two vacations in a row seem excessive. Not that I'm complaining. Bring on the excess.

I debated posting about this, but after a great conversation with my friend Kerri last night, I realized many people feel this way and it wouldn't hurt to write about it.

My weekend in Tahoe got me thinking about insecurities. There's no better time to bring out your insecurities than when you're around your family. I love my family. We get along well and I consider them all my friends. I couldn't ask for a better family. But they're probably the people I also find most intimidating. (I'm not intimidated easily, so that's actually not saying much.)

I don't know if it has to do with being the youngest or if it's just my personality, but I have gotten my fair share of teasing from my family while growing up. I'm a very happy person, I like to talk (probably too much), and things often come out of my mouth that make sense in my head but don't always come out right. Put all these things together and I'm an easy target for teasing. But I am also very sensitive and emotional. I try not to be, but I always have been. My family already knows that, too.

The interesting thing is that I am incredibly confident in all other aspects of my life, but when I get around my family I am on guard. I don't mean to make myself sound like I had a wounded childhood or that I have serious baggage. That's not the case whatsoever. It's much more subtle than that. We all tease each other a lot, and it's normally just fine (I'm guilty of plenty of teasing), but occasionally a comment really gets to me.

I tried to convince myself multiple times this weekend that those same comments would bounce off my other family members with no problem and that I shouldn't let them bother me. But then it got me thinking--is everyone affected the same way? Do we all just pretend that the teasing has no effect? Does everyone feel the very real sting of sarcastic comments? Or just overly sensitive people like me?

And are we so engrained in the childhood "roles" of our families that we just are automatically perceived (and treated) a certain way?

Like I said, my family is awesome. And I had a very fun weekend. And I am a very very confident person. I love my life, I'm happy with the decisions I have made. But I've just found it so interesting how easily simple feelings from back in your not-so-confident days can show up out of nowhere and completely throw you for a loop.

Does any of that make sense?


Chris said...

Good question, Molly. I hope you get lots of comments so I can read them. Considering that I'm more than twice your age, and don't even claim to be "secure", I'm thinking that we are all probably "overly sensitive people" and sarcastic comments do sting. As for intimidation? I can be intimidated by just about anyone.

whitney said...

very thought provoking post, molly... i think even the most confident of people feel insecure occasionally. it's almost impossible not to second guess yourself when you receive a sarcastic/rude/teasing comment. if only we could all see into each others' heads, we probably would find that people we thought were very secure are less secure than they appear to be.

Amy Carter said...

It wasn't me, was it? I'm trying to be nicer to my siblings. I do admit we're more critical of each other than probably anyone else we know. And you are a good target... :)

Molly said...

No, it wasn't really anyone in particular. I tried to tone down the post, but it still sounds like people were saying malicious and mean things, which wasn't the case at all. :) And we're all good targets at one point or another, right?

Ashley said...

I am also worried now that it was me (or Tyler). I think families are a breeding ground for hurt feelings sometimes because they are a place where people feel comfortable enough to say too much, and people care a lot about what family members say (whereas with friends or strangers you just don't care very much). I also think it must be very hard to be the youngest. I know my younger brother takes a LOT of abuse and "advice" from the rest of us. Your insecurities are well-hid from me. Still, I hate sarcasm and think we should all do away with it. I think it's destructive and not very funny--even though I'm guilty of it sometimes.

Tyler said...

Molly, you are right about a lot of things:

1) Everybody is insecure a times, especially when teased. That said, I think you probably get bothered by things more than Amy or Ian would be with the same amount of teasing.
2) You are the youngest and always will be. Family dynamics don't go away just because we grow up. Pay attention and you'll see the same thing with Dad and Walt or Mom and Sally.
3) For some reason or another, you are an easy target for teasing. It's not fair, but its true. Like proudly admitting that you only use deodorant once per week. Of course I'm going to tease you a little when you say stuff like that.
5) You impress us more than we probably lead on. You are raising a family, earning a living, graduating from college (twice) and whipping everybody into shape. Keep it up and try not to worry so much about the little stuff. And I'll try to tease a little less.

Last, I am just a little curious about what incidents you were referring to. I certainly don't remember being mean to you, but I definitely know I can be a little pushy sometimes.

Molly said...

Ha! I have to clarify the deodorant conversation. It's true. I rarely wear deodorant on regular days. I wear it when I run or when I think I'm going to be somewhat hot all day. Other than that I just don't need it. It's true--just ask Christian. On a day-to-day basis my armpits just don't smell.

And no worries Tyler and Ashley. I can't actually remember anything specific, just an overall realization from the weekend. Ok, I remember one time, but that really was my fault--I said something I shouldn't have and totally deserved the response. But that wasn't a teasing moment. No one was necessarily mean, it's just the ongoing comments that our family always makes to each other. Sometimes they get to me. Sometimes they don't.

ryan, maren and leah said...

it's true...those family dynamics just kind of stick around forever, don't they? i still feel guilty for some things i did...and minutely hurt by things others did. it's interesting how we act/feel different around various people who have known us for different amounts of time and for different parts of our lives.

Ashley C. said...

Good job Molly, now you have our whole family thinking we were mean to you this weekend and trying to figure out what we said! ;) Actually, I think that the entire family is pretty good at dishing out and receiving sarcastic remarks. I haven't really noticed that you receive any more than the rest of us, though I can see how it's easy to feel that way.

Molly said...

Ay-yay-yay. I think it's time for me to post something else, because I think this post is being misinterpreted. Perhaps I need to work on my writing skills.

I don't feel like I'm picked on more than anyone else. I just find it interesting how insecurities come out more around family based on the roles we all played growing up (or like Ashley said--just based on the fact that we're most affected by people we're closest to).

So my family can stop worrying. You were all just as sarcastic to each other as you were to me. But I can't exactly interpret it affects you. Just me. :)

Chris said...

To quote a famous Biblical line, "Is it I?"
Jo Daddy