What an awesome topic! I completely get what you mean. We seem to be programmed to agree to favours, not stand up for ourselves etc. For years I was just so eager to please and so terrified of doing the wrong thing that I was a complete pushover, bullied all through high school, everything.
Strangely enough becoming a lawyer helped me to no end. Suddenly I had a duty to a client not to be a pushover, and to stand up for myself (ie, them). Once I had to behave differently for a third party, it seemed to give me the confidence to stand up for myself in other areas of my life.
I think it's about just stopping and thinking 'is this situation reasonable?' and if not, saying no.
As for the in laws, can't apply it to that. I just can't speak up for myself there. I don't know why. I think I just hate the thought of making life difficult for DH so I try to suck it up (and then have a mini breakdown that DH has to deal with anyway when we get home).
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27-09-2012 14:49 #11Senior Member
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- Apr 2012
The Following User Says Thank You to Sally1981 For This Useful Post:
27-09-2012 18:53 #12
I think about this all the time as I have a dd and a ds and I don't mean to but I find myself training them differently and I hate that I do it automatically. Some things which are cute when ds does them are naughty when dd does them!! Trying to be equal. Not easy!
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27-09-2012 19:25 #13
I completly get what your saying, I find im too busy trying to keep everyone happy that I end up getting walked over. I find it to hard to say no or stand up for myself and then on the rare occasion i do everyone wonders whats up with me and why im being such a *****. Even in my friendships im always taking the backseat and going with the crowd to avoid confrontation. A few yrs ago I had a falling out with soneone who i considered a close friend. After it was all said and done a mutral friend of myself and exfriend and my dp both said to me why did you let her walk all over you and stand back while she treated you in such a way. I didnt even realise at the time that i was. Anyway i always say my biggest downfall is that im too nice, wish i could be a little more assertive
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27-09-2012 19:47 #14
I am teaching my dd that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, herself included. I do this (at not yet 3) by showing her that everyone gets a turn, if she has a toy that another child wants, that she can show them her toy and if she wants them to have a go, they can and she can also ask to have it back, she can say 'stop' if her personal space is being imposed on, and that I want her to use manners but she also is entitled to have people be polite to her. Is that what you mean?
27-09-2012 19:57 #15
I was a pretty "nice" little kid, a little weird around the edges, but generally an agreeable "softie". I was bullied and excluded by many groups of people growing up, including my cousins and their parents who lived a few houses down from us. On occasion these family members were quite brutal, my uncle on many occasions referred to me as the 'ugly' niece, or made references to how my family were poor and stupid (we weren't).
Anyhoo, I guess we all grow up, and along the way I learned how to verbally defend myself and my family. I am not aggressive, but I am certainly not afraid to go in to bat when these family members, or my husbands family members, decide that my family and my friends are the topic of their harsh criticism and judgement.
Now these same family members who referred to me as "ugly", "poor", and many other lovely, character building names (weird, fatty, I could go on for hours) constantly tell me that I am "too hard" and "aggressive". My uncle recently told me that I did not behave like a lady, as I dared to argue back when he criticised my father.
I asked DH about my harshness later, in his opinion I am not harsh or aggressive but assertive, and that is one of the things he has always liked about me. I guess that for *other* family members, this is too much for them, and they liked the old me, the one who used to run home in tears every time I got left out!
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27-09-2012 20:13 #16
It's the same in the workforce, and I highly recommend the book "Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office". It's not about becoming not-nice to get ahead, but all about being assertive and not letting people treat you like a nice little girl.
27-09-2012 20:33 #17
I'm not a pushover, I stand up for myself and refuse to be treated in any unfair way and guess what? I'm often described as a *****, mouthy, overconfident etc. If I were a man I would just be considered successful.
27-09-2012 21:11 #18Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
There have been countless threads on bubhub where female members have called women in their lives as b*tches or b*tchy. Maybe when women stop using that word to describe other women then it will start to become unacceptable in a general sense.
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27-09-2012 21:26 #19
27-09-2012 21:42 #20
I knew that there would be people able to explain it better than I did!
This type of thing seems to build on itself. There have been plenty of situations were I haven't particularly wanted to do something, but done it because it will make others happy. That type of being nice is what allows society to rub along without too much friction. That then blends into, I don't enjoy/have time/have the resources to do something, but it will hurt/offend/put out/make life easier for someone else, so I'll do it and not complain much. And then it becomes much more serious, when the same 'be nice' thinking puts us into situations were we aren't comfortable and are very unhappy, but might still have to justify ourselves - even in our own minds - if we act.
The last is what happened to make me start questioning my ingrained behavior. Looking back I'm shocked that I felt the need to have my reaction validated, then labelled it as *****y when I'd simply been unable to put up with something that was wrong.
I do want to be a nice person. But I'm not going to feel like that again because of 'training' or expectations. I think my first step in retraining myself will be saying no, when usually I'd agree just because 'it can't hurt', and it's easier to go with the flow. Basically, I'll be practicing on dp. Poor darlin.
Really, if I'm doing something because a person important to me has asked, shouldn't they care if I'm happy?
ETA - I'm thinking of renaming this thread "kl's journey of self discovery" .
Getting aallll these words out is seriously helping me. Thank you for understanding and responding!
Last edited by Rutabaga; 27-09-2012 at 21:48.
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