Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No more Mr. Nice Guy

We seem to have issues in sync in my ACA group and right now a prevalent issue is caving in. People pleasing is one of the Laundry List traits, and quite possibly after our fears of abandonment, the most limiting and damaging one as it runs counter to the preservation of self and one's own rights and needs.  It also is one of the hardest things to modify for one simple reason: the people in your life like you caving all the time.

While most people are not Machiavellian enough to deliberately exploit this trait, we find life easier when people go along with what we want.  And if you're a pushover, people get to expect that you'll always go along with what they want.  So, as a part of your healing and growing, the first time you "push back" (as we say at work) against them will generally catch them by surprise.  And instead of accepting the resistance, they will push back harder, trying to get the old, caving you to resurface.

Eventually, while they miss the old, agreeable you, they come to respect better (if not like better) the self-honoring you, in no small part because you like the self-honoring you better.  And if standing up for yourself is the cause of the end of any relationship you have (friendship, family, business, or what have you), then you sincerely ought to consider whether you actually had the relationship you thought you had.

Alice Cooper

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