No one has to change because of your truths. No one has to accept them.
If someone isn't willing to listen, to see where you are coming from and to have an open, honest conversation on something that directly affects both of you - that tells you everything you need to know.
I have had the same conversation five times this week, with five different people. Once or twice I can blow off as coincidence, more than three, and it's probably the universe trying to beat some much needed wisdom into my thick skull.
The topic of these repeating conversations - the tendency to placate others in order to avoid uncomfortable confrontation, unnecessary drama, needless theatrics and unattainable resolutions. Yes, all but one were women. Though I don't think this is strictly restricted to the ladies, a lot of men will do anything in their power to avoid drama, confrontation and facing anything that remotely resembles emotions, thus I think the "Placating Phenomena" is a gender neutral thing.
But, it's a thing. A big thing really. A totally sneaky-rob you of your power - silence your voice - sell yourself out kinda thing. It's a lot bigger in my world than I realized and the effects are pretty substantial once I stopped and actually spent some time thinking about it. I placate people a lot. Sometimes at great personal expense, for a multitude of reasons. None of these reasons honoring anything other than my sanity at the moment and my intense aversion to needless drama.
Placating is taking the easy way out. Once and awhile, it's okay. However, once it becomes a habit, it veers into living a less than authentic life because in reality you are constantly selling yourself out. I know most people dislike confrontation but there will be many moments in life when it's needed. Confrontation doesn't necessarily require an angry, yelling and emotional outburst, it can be calm, conversational and cathartic if done right, at the right time, and with the right mindset.
I learned the art of placating growing up. It was far easier to tell my mother, especially during one of her manic or depressed cycles, what she wanted to hear and not what I was actually saying in my head. My reasoning, saying the words out loud that were clamoring in my mind, would get me absolutely nowhere. I would get further talking to a tree than I would speaking my truth to someone who never wanted to hear it.
One of the women I was talking to the other day, placates her husband. She silences her thoughts, her truths and tells him what he needs to hear, or doesn't say anything at all, because she knows nothing she could say will matter to him. She believes her words, her truths, will not change something broken in their world - so why bother even trying?
Another woman finds herself constantly giving in to her mother's demands, theatrics and ultimatums because she feels as though she has to. Even when it is something she doesn't want, need or agree with. She will do what is needed, sacrificing herself, so that her mother will back off, satisfied she got what she wanted out of her daughter.
Constantly placating another, at your personal expense, is taking the easy way out and as with anything in life, there are consequences. Resentment. Stress. Overwhelming sadness. Feelings of unworthiness and anger with yourself, build up over time. You are essentially telling yourself that your needs, wants or beliefs - do not matter. Do this enough and you wind up in a place in life you didn't want or belong.
I know what it is like to swallow words because I know saying them aloud will not change a damn thing. I know how there are times when I have felt like I would burst with the pent up frustration. I realize that I have valued other's emotional wellbeing more than my own way more often than I should have. I see now that while speaking my words, instead of the words someone else needed to hear, was releasing my truth. It was honoring myself in a way that someone else couldn't or wouldn't.
No one has to change because of your truths. No one has to accept them. If someone isn't willing to listen, to see where you are coming from and to have an open, honest conversation on something that directly affects both of you - that tells you everything you need to know. People who need to be placated, who have zero disregard for your feelings or needs - do not deserve a place of honor in your life.
It is your responsibility to yourself to live your truth. Remember, sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough. Let your truth flow from within, deal with the fallouts and walk away from anyone who doesn't give you the freedom to be as you are, believe as you do and live as you want in your truths.
The freedom to living authentically will be worth it.
5/6/2015 12:50:47 am
"Just" can be a diminishing word, a product of placating. I have recently been working on not diminishing what I do or have accomplished. It's hard to stop downplaying myself. I stop myself from saying, "it's just part time" or "it's only in the local paper" or "just little planes". It is hard, after decades of trying to placate another's ego, to finally let the spotlight be on yourself. This was a great article. Really resonates for me.
5/11/2015 07:33:46 pm
Once again, you are reading my mind.
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