As is most of what I write, this is inspired by what happens at my house, or in my clients’ lives. This particular issue involves a teenager in my family and her process of learning to set boundaries with friends and classmates. Last night this person was faced with the issue of people calling her during her own study time, to insist that she carefully explain to them what to study for a big test today. (Did that ever happen to you?) The key issue is….you really do teach people how to treat you. The difficulty is that you’ve been doing it for so long without paying attention, that you don’t realize the lessons you’re giving away. Check out this list and make sure everyone treats you like the awesome person that you really are. (Otherwise, they lose their friend card!)
7 Simple Ways to Give Away Your Power and Be Far Less Than Who You Really Are:
(These are not in any particular order.)
1. Answer all phone calls and emails immediately.
That way, you don’t move forward on the projects that are closest to your heart. That’s because you’ve taught everyone that you’re available 24/7 for anyone and any reason. If you do this consistently, then people will always expect you to respond (or react) on their schedules, not yours.
2. Agree to all requests.
You want to help, right? So carry on, be everything to everyone. Of course you’ll crash and burn, but you’re used to that.
This also keeps you from your heart-felt mission; you’re too busy and exhausted to think about anything else but the crisis in front of your face.
3. Make sure people like you.
This is closely related to #2, acting according to other people’s agendas and forgetting about your own. If you try to please enough people, you will eventually have no idea who you really are, what you love and what makes you happy.
(So….why did I do this for so long?)
4. Never make decisions….eventually they will make themselves.
When your normal answer to where you want to go, or what you want to eat is, "It doesn’t really matter," then everyone around you is trained not to take your preferences into account. From their perspective, you don’t have any preferences.
While things will eventually work out when you allow the decisions to make themselves, but you might not like the way they turn out. But, no one can blame you.
5. Keep extremely crazy busy.
This was an old trick of mine for a long time. When you live in crisis mode, you don’t really notice a lot of things, and you tend to forget to be yourself.
If you work this one right, then you get to wear a certain badge of honor, like you’re in this contest to see who’s really the busiest. You don’t have time to set goals or intentions so you save yourself from the possible disappointment of not reaching your goals, as well as the deep satisfaction of moving forward on projects that are really meaningful to you.
Special Bonus: If your business deprives your of needed sleep, you get to tell everyone how exhausted you are, you have an excuse for being irritable, looking older than you really are and jeopardizing your health.
6. Listen carefully to the news, as often as possible.
Have you noticed how many stories of really good things happening to people are featured in the daily news?
Not really. That’s because fear sells. Fear also keeps you distracted and in a negative frame of mind. It’s nearly impossible to be creative about your life or imagine new possibilities if you’re attuned to the news.(Believe me, I used to teach news writing!)
7. Indulge in those reliable energy sucker-uppers: complaining, criticizing and gossiping.
It takes a lot more energy to create than it does to react to things. No matter how much sleep you get, how much exercise and good nutrition, your energy is a limited resource.
Overall, I’ve seen people sabotage themselves more consistently by not being vigilant about their personal energy consumption and usage. Talking negatively and unconstructively about anyone or anything will do nothing but perpetuate what you don’t want and drain your energy at the same time.
You really do teach people how to treat you. This process started even before you got into high school. If you’re not being treated like the awesome person that you are, maybe you’re giving out the wrong message.