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Traditionally I've prided myself on being low maintenance,… - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 14th, 2016

09:23 am

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Traditionally I've prided myself on being low maintenance, non-demanding company. When decisions are being made about where to eat, what to do, and when to do it, I'm usually the one that goes along with other people's requests/ideas, because generally I'm cruisy about that stuff and I don't think that kind of thing is worth arguing over. Plus, apart from a few things I can generally eat anything, so I'm not limited the way some people are.

However, I've come to realise that in order to be that easygoing, I have to subsume my own desires in those of other people. Generally that's not an issue, but on an ongoing basis it's death by a thousand cuts in terms of my perception of my own worth, my own right to say what I want and expect to have my needs met. Basically, doing what other people want all the time is bad for my self esteem.

So I've made a conscious decision to be more forthcoming about what I want in situations that don't matter. I've always been fairly good at being assertive when it's a Really Important Thing, and really crap at it when it's Not Vital. But it turns out Not Vital still has a level of importance to my self-care. And since my confidence has taken a number of blows in the last year and my health has been affected, self-care has become a Really Important Thing.

The other day I asserted myself over the timing of an activity, and lo and behold nobody went "Why should we do what *you* want?" and nobody got shitty at me and everyone still likes me even though I was selfish and demanding*. Yesterday I had to use a casting vote on a hung committee and naturally the decision wasn't going to be popular with everyone, but I still cast my vote based in my own thinking and not what I thought would please other people.

Small things, but for me big progress. This year is the year I take care of myself, y'hear?

* Yes, I am one of those lucky women who's internalised the societal notion that I should be unselfish and giving all the time or everyone will hate me.

PS Last night I got touchdown in my splits for the first time since I tore the top of my hamstring 18 months ago. It's been a mission getting back there but I made it. Yay!

Comments:

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From:m_danson
Date:January 13th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
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*GOLD STAR*

It's tough to do. I personally love it when my friends speak up about what they want.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC)
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All the life advice in the world says that you should speak up about what you want, yet all the societal reinforcement of young girls growing up says to shut up about what you want.

As adults, we have to find our own way through this. Some of us are late starters.
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From:m_danson
Date:January 13th, 2016 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. Advice to "just speak up" moves the blame from societal pressures to the individual. That isn't right. It is harder than that.

I tend to get in trouble (both internally and externally) for speaking up "too much". (Closer to the opposite problem to you.) I'm loud and a bit oblivious about social requirements so when someone asks my opinion I tend to give it. That isn't always what I "should" do. Or so I'm told. The pressure to be "nice" and subsume is real. It needs to be acknowledged. What you are doing is hard.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2016 08:44 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty good at giving my opinion when asked, it's what I want that I struggle to express.

Humans, so complicated!
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 13th, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Huzzah!

I have found actually that people are weirdly relieved when I make the suggestions of what to eat/where to go, because no one wants to either make a choice or be seen as pushy xD
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Haha so true - I think we all get that 'don't be selfish' thing drilled into us so hard as kids, it makes being an adult really hard.
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 13th, 2016 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Yep! In Canada, the guys do it too. It actually drives K a little nutty, because then most of the time *nothing* will get chosen unless one of us speaks up and says, "We are doing this. All in favour?" and he hates always being the one to have to make the decision or do the planning. It is still novel enough for me that it has not worn off yet when I take on that role though xD
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From:clevermanka
Date:January 13th, 2016 09:41 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Aw shucks!
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From:call_me_katya
Date:January 13th, 2016 09:54 pm (UTC)
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I agree so much, as this is a realisation I came to about myself recently too. I always like to think my friends and I are fair, as we usually, if choosing a place to eat would name two places each, then narrow down, then pick one. BUT I realised I ask for their suggestions first, won't give mine until they give theirs, don't suggest places if I fear they won't want to go there and I therefore hide my desires rather than have them rejected.

Yep, these are also Not Vital, but all the Not Vitals add up, and I'm glad this is a realisation we have both had.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
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It's a pretty big realisation to have, and I really hope it's as life changing as it feels.
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From:randomdreams
Date:January 14th, 2016 02:29 am (UTC)
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Hooooray on hamstring recovery!

I'm the same way with almost desperate attempts to get along and not ask for what I want if I think it's going to be even slightly conflict-provoking. Ugh. I don't think I have your moxie, though.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2016 09:14 am (UTC)
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I think they can be resolved more quickly with physio and determination and being more rigorous with the re-strengthening exercises, but I was a bit slack and didn't really start working at regaining my flexibility until late last year.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2016 09:20 am (UTC)
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Fun times.

Circus eh? It's not "Do you have any injuries?" It's "How many injuries do you have and how bad are they?"

Edited at 2016-01-14 09:20 am (UTC)
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From:pythia
Date:January 14th, 2016 10:19 am (UTC)
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I'm just starting to teach myself how to say 'no' and actuallyeing assertive about what *I* want. It's a whole lot harder than you'd think. Actually, I'm getting the hang of the no part, but I'm still struggling with not feeling guilty afterwards. I'm even crap at asserting myself with the Really Important Things. =/
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