Get A Backbone

Kathryn Williams
3 min readMar 21, 2020
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Last night, my dream was incredibly self aware and revealing. In the dream I was going along with the group of people who weren’t necessarily doing anything horribly wrong but were dancing on the edge of breaking the rules. And in my dream head I knew that I shouldn’t be part of what was happening. I knew it had the potential for getting us into trouble and yet I still went along with it.

Likewise, in this dream, I allowed my sister to convince me to give my ex another chance when I had no actual desire to do so and in fact kept telling other people I had feelings for someone else so why would I even want to give someone who hurt me another chance. And even though I didn’t want to and was only really entertaining it to wait until he slipped up and showed his true colors again, I still didn’t have the confidence to just say no and do what I knew to be right in my gut.

By the end of the dream I was sitting explaining to someone that I had realized I don’t have much of a backbone. I fear offending someone, or being seen as bossy or overreacting, or a prude, or weird that instead of speaking up for myself or just plain walking away, I go with the flow.

My dream self seems to know me better than my waking self does.

I’ve been thinking about this on a surface level a lot lately, but my subconscious/unconscious self put it into illustration and into words what I couldn’t land on myself. When someone says you are (insert adjective here). And I know I’m not, instead of saying actually no I’m not, I agree with them or find a way of giving them the true information but still agreeing with their false statement. Why do I do that? Just say actually, I think you’ve observed me incorrectly. Or actually you might think that because I did/said that, but actually the truth is that I’m actually like (insert character aspect here).

Why is disagreeing with other people so difficult for me?

When a guy texts me and it becomes sexual in nature or not even sexual but just steers into a direction I don’t really want to go with them, instead of just saying can we not and being taken for rude or prude or judgmental, I either play along hating every second, or find “clever” ways to divert the conversation. I don’t need to cater to someone else in these circumstances! I need to do what makes me feel comfortable and helps me be my truest self.

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

I know I don’t have a dominant personality, but I need to find the balance of acknowledging someone’s dominance and allowing it to make me crumble. I have had brief moments in my life where I actually did this and it is incredibly empowering and yet there is guilt when I think about how it may have made someone else feel.

But as long as I’m not being cruel, I cannot cower to their dominance anymore.

And neither can you.



Kathryn Williams

Writer, singer, adventure seeker, world traveler, nerd, animal enthusiast finding the beauty in life and navigating the rough waters of faith and anxiety.