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Hello! My name is Paula and I love to write. I have an affinity for words and I want to tell tales about life and share experiences. I now have my very own canvas. I’m so excited! I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I graduated from the Morris Journalism Academy in 2007. It’s funny how sometimes your passions are put on the back burner, while life goes on. You have probably heard the line “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, (is it from a song? Not sure). I am blessed with the gifts of time and space now, and here I am doing what I love.Check out some of my articles.. Happy reading!


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Do you always say "yes" when you really want to say "no"?


The late Dr Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D. wrote a fabulous book aptly titled, “The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome.” Dr Braiker included a detailed description of the symptoms of this ailment along with a quiz for self diagnosis and the “21-Day Action Plan for Curing the Disease to Please.”

Dr Braiker was a frequent guest on Oprah’s show and that is where I first heard of this “condition” and the hidden anger and resentment that goes with it. Passive aggressive behaviour generally follows as the sufferer has an enormous fear of not being liked by others.

We all want to be liked, that is only natural and it is also relatively normal to want others to be happy in our company, but how do we know when the desire for esteem is excessive?

I found as I was growing up that I had to deal with serious self esteem issues; I did have an inherent fear of being unlovable and this often resulted in trying to be everything to everyone to the extent that I did not even know how I felt about anything because I would always adjust my thoughts and opinions as not to upset others or “rock the boat”.

We all know that “we cannot please them all” and as Dr Braiker says, “People pleasers are not just nice people who go overboard trying to make everyone happy. Those who suffer from the Disease to Please are people who say "Yes" when they really want to say "No" - but they can't. They feel the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others like an addictive pull. Their debilitating fears of anger and confrontation force them to use "niceness" and "people-pleasing" as self-defence camouflage.”

The “disease to please” is a debilitating condition that can hinder a person’s life and although you may not consider yourself a casualty, you may at times find yourself in situations when the need to say no is overshadowed by the longing to be liked.

I hate upsetting people and just a sad look from someone can break my little heart; some may say my compassion is a good quality but it has caused certain individuals to take advantage of my kind nature.

It was at a time of stress and over commitments that I realized something had to give; I had to learn how to say “No” and still like myself.

There are three ways of relating to one another 1) aggressively 2) passively 3) assertively.

For some the fine balance comes quite naturally but for some of us it has to be learned and belligerence can at first be mistaken for assertiveness. The reason for this is that when an individual has always reacted passively there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in order to stand up for his or her self. The idea is to find that fine line between aggressive refusal and being a submissive door mat. It is a matter of self-confidence. If you truly believe your own worth it will be a lot easier to set appropriate boundaries.

Make up your mind what you are prepared to say yes to and stick to it. Writing down your goals can be helpful. Prepare a reason or a compromise beforehand if possible. Before you decide to say yes make sure you are totally aware of what your compliance will entail.

If your intention is refusal make sure you make your answer very clear, for example say, “No, I am sorry but I don’t have the time this week” instead of, “I’ll try to do it..."

The one thing to remember is that you have every right to say no whenever you do not want to do something and keep in mind that you can ask anything of any one as long as you don’t forget that they too have the right to refuse.

What about those times when saying no is not an option? There are occurrences when a refusal may hurt someone or your business or worse get you fired! Compromise if you can by asking the other party to meet you halfway or set conditions on your acceptance, such as a time limit, a return favour or simply request you not be put in a similar position next time. It is of course wise to use careful judgment in each instance; sometimes it is unavoidable and you may be obliged to do things you are just not in the mood for. The important thing to remember is not to get worked up about it. If you can negotiate a better solution do so, but if you discover that you just cannot get out of something the best way to handle it is to accept it and endeavour to plan better next time instead of becoming angry and resentful.

My motto is honesty and politeness. I found that making up false excuses has more often than not backfired on me and created problems I did not anticipate. Others may appreciate “I am too tired” or “I don’t feel like it” as a better alternative to a half baked white lie that will more than likely result in you becoming unstuck in the future and it is imperative to deal with people in a polite manner whenever possible. You don’t owe anyone explanations just a gracious “I can’t make it today” should suffice.

Guilt is the price we pay for assertion sometimes, especially when dealing with a master manipulator or a child. Most people do not want to hurt or be hurt, but boundaries need to be in place for relationships to be healthy. A good way not to feel as though you’ve been put on the spot is by telling the party involved that you will think over their request and get back to them. This way you will have time to decide what to do, how to handle it and whether your feelings of guilt are justified.

Remember that in your quest to be liked you will earn more respect by standing your ground when required in a fair and assertive manner, than always complying to other’s wishes, aggressively reacting, or worse of all, silently resenting while fuming with antagonism.

Be true to yourself. Earn respect and stand firm all the while leaving your heart open. Arduous as it may be, your fear of being disliked will eventually diminish and you will probably acquire higher regard from others than you thought possible.





4 comments:

alyssa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Julissa

www.hairweavingbasics.com
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AngelBaby said...

What a great book, I know some people in my family that could use this. I will have to tell them about it. Thanks for sharing this.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Jane Doe said...

It sounds like a great book-one that I desperately need to read!!

Thanks for sharing.

All the Best,

Jane

Dan and Tina said...

Why yes I do!
I'm a people pleaser that is trying to change. It's very difficult to do after being that way for 45 years but having my children and facing challenges, I am learning slowly but surely.
Nice blog!

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