Last night I sacrificed something I really wanted to do that was good for me, so I could go and have dinner with an angry, frustrated person.
I wanted to make him less angry by doing what he wanted to do.
At first I had said no, but he walked off with anger seeping from him as he was going to take his motorcycle in the rain during a storm.
So I went to dinner him (we had no electricity due to storms so dining in was not much of an option).
Dinner was tense but tolerable.
I ate too much and I tried to order something healthy but found myself just munching away to pass the uncomfortable time.
After dinner I was filled with self-loathing…for having caved into the compulsion to make someone happy and for falling into the same steps.
My body felt gross.
So to rebel towards how I had been manipulated I made myself vomit…so I would feel better physically.
I felt in control.
Yesterday I had the chance to “fix” a problem for someone.
This person called me and they were sad and crying. I am a good fixer.
I am a really good fixer.
Then, I took a few moments to ponder if this was something that I really wanted to deal with.
I decided to not do it.
Why would I not do it?
The answer is so very simple.
I did not have the emotional bandwidth.
I could not sustain what needed to be done for them with everything that needed to be done for me.
I was already experiencing stress just from hearing the request and I knew if I did not pay attention to what was happening with me internally, I would make decisions that I would regret.
This skill did not come easily. I have been NOT paying attention to my own self for the majority of my life. Whenever I met someone who was able to decline “fixing” others I was amazed. I felt like I would never get to the point where I would be able to stand firm in a decision that was good for me.
But I was wrong.
The book that saved me from a fate of “chronic people pleasing” is The Power of a Positive NO by William Ury. I encourage you all to read this book. Inhale it slowly and digest every word.
I will give you one of the tips that Ury presents in the book. He says that people fail to say NO in the following ways:
We accommodate because of fear of reprisals if we say no.
We avoid the person all together so that we do not have to deal with the issue.
When avoiding does not work we feel trapped and acquiesce but with
anger. We end up shouting and blaming the other person saying “you made me do it.”
No one can make you do anything.
The words that people speak can be hurtful and you can feel abandoned because those involved did not see your point of view…but that still cannot MAKE you do anything.
We end up doing things because we cannot stand the “pressure” and we give in.
Building up resilience to “pressure” is what we need to do so that we will be firm in our resolve to stay in our own business and mind our own life.
Sitting in the midst of the pressure from outsiders can feel like you are going to cave in, but you will not. Your body is strong and will not collapse. It is your resolve that collapses. Allow yourself to feel the pressure and share the painful experience with a trusted friend or therapist. That is exactly what needs to happen in order to build
up resilience. It takes time. Only YOU can do it. No one can “give” you the strength to sit with the discomfort. It is a decision you have to make in order to save your own sanity.
If you don’t save your own sanity who will?
If you are not minding your own life, who is?
Love and light,
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