We suppose many readers of our site are familiar with the unpleasant situation when people around us impose their interests, plans and suggestions. With the help of real psychological violence they impose their opinion and their rules of the game. Unfortunately, it is not always easy and simple to say a firm and resolute “no”. Especially when they are parents, relatives, bosses and other dominant people.
How do you stop acting against your own interests, your own good spirits, your plans and dreams? How not to sag in relationships with other people?
Dependency and independence
Having studied conscious relationships for many years, I can absolutely say that one of the main reasons why we lose our weight in relationships, sag under interests of other people, and why we find it so hard to disagree at times, is because we become dependent on other people. It can be strong or barely noticeable. But this dependence forces us to change our goals for someone else’s.
More than once I have heard from readers and students such phrases as:
- “I don’t dare object to my mother because she babysits my children”;
- “I have to endure humiliation and bullying from my husband, whom I haven’t loved for a long time, because I have nowhere to go”;
- “If my boss asks me to stay late at work and do something that is not my job, I cannot say no, because I will not get a job if I get fired”.
Thus, millions of people suffer daily because they surrender their freedom and independence to others. In the wickedest of ways, those to whom they surrender their freedom are only too happy to spin them around their interests. Through the manipulations of “You owe,” “Closer-Further,” “Nobody but me,” and a dozen other tricks, harmful people constantly poison the lives of those who are on the hook for them.
The key to your personal freedom is to increase our weight in relationships and not to sag to other people is once and for all cut off what makes us dependent on them. Deprive them of the ability to force us to act against our best interests.
How to do it? You can hire a nanny and not ask harmful relatives to sit with the children. To move out from your husband, you do not have to buy your own apartment. To confidently say no to your boss, it is enough to find another job not worse than the current one.
Freedom of thought, ideas, goals, and interests is the highest value of a democratic society. No amount of square footage, no amount of money, and no amount of help should cause you to endure humiliation, psychological abuse, and other negative emotional states from anyone. You must stop it, even if you have to pay or sacrifice something for your freedom.
Of course, making concessions to other people is necessary from time to time. Sometimes you can sacrifice your interests if you want to keep a good relationship with a friend, secure your position at work, and so on. But these must be exceptional cases! Your partner must understand the value of your action. Otherwise, he will perceive your behavior as a matter of course.
Trying to please everyone
One of the main reasons why people are always trying to please everyone (sacrificing their nerves, time, and even money) is because they want everyone to like them. However, you must accept the fact that it is impossible to be good to everyone at once. There are no perfect people, and you, alas, are no exception.
The urge to please everyone: Where does this strange urge come from in the first place? It usually comes from people who are partly dependent on the opinions of others. And not only through their behavior, but through their actions they try to be noticed, praised, and promoted.
Adjusting to others for the sake of approval and a dry “thank you” is not the best way to live this life. In this case, you yourself are giving the keys to your life to other people. Dominant people do nothing without self-interest. Sagging to their interests, you begin to fall into dependence on them. You start to lose yourself.
So the main rule: remain yourself, value your time and freedom and start doing what you think is right, not what makes society smile nicely. They may love you less for this, but they will respect you more.
Set personal boundaries
This skill is necessary for every self-respecting person. How can it be useful? Weakened personal boundaries not only contribute to your adjustment, but also cause others to feel disrespected and sometimes even resentful of you.
A simple example: a normal work day in the middle of the week, you’ve just gone to bed. And through your sleep you suddenly hear the beep of your cell phone. You don’t have to pick up the phone, but you can’t – you have to answer it. On the other end of the line, someone’s voice apologizes for calling so late. You answer that there is nothing wrong, but your sleepy, disgruntled voice lets you know that there is still something wrong, embarrassing the person. There’s no point in hanging up, since he’s already woken you up, and it’s already embarrassing to burden you. But you patiently say you will listen to him carefully.
All of this could have been avoided if you had long ago explained that you should not be disturbed at this time of day, drawing a line between, say, work and your life. For that, the person on the other side of the phone would be more grateful to you, but now he may be angry because you put him in an uncomfortable position.
Don’t be afraid to show disrespect or irritation
Even the calmest and kindest person can be angry sometimes. And there is nothing supernatural about it.
Yes, sometimes it is really worth taking your emotions under control, not to show their presence is also important. But it’s a bad idea to do it all the time, trying to adjust to the other person, just so you don’t disturb his quiet and calm emotional state.
If you feel that the person is trying to manipulate you, you have “green light” to show him his resentment and irritation. First, open emotion will be an indicator of your honesty in front of the interlocutor. And secondly, if you constantly restrain yourself, your aggression can pass into passive and hidden forms, which will cause great harm to your psychological health.
Stop being afraid of loneliness
Fear of loneliness is another common reason why people tolerate outright manipulators around them.
Of course, there is nothing good in loneliness. But it’s better to be lonely than to be an addict. If you have a fear of solitude, try to find yourself an occupation or hobby, which would be very exciting and interesting and totally absorbed you.
It should be something useful and makes you think and create, such as music. What is interesting: the new hobby is likely to lead you to new and interesting acquaintances with people who are just as passionate about music. But watching TV, social networking or playing on the computer, by contrast, to reckon with a useful hobby can not. They will only make things worse, they will make you more lonely.
And the last thing: do not try to prove your necessity to people. Try to make them seek communication with you. And this can be done only if you are an interesting and strong person. Let’s emphasize again: strong. And independent.