Thursday, April 9, 2009

'Yes' Woman

I think I'm one of those people who just can't say "no." I used to think this wasn't such a bad thing. It makes me a good friend, a likable person, someone who is up for just about anything. But, I'm learning that it kind of makes me a pushover more than anything else. While I think I'm being polite, I'm actually coming across as passive. Which isn't really the case — I can be quite sassy.

I started seeing symptoms of this in some of my friendships several months ago. I was always the one cooking dinner, planning parties, giving rides, etc. I would pat myself on the back for my generosity and giving spirit, but deep inside my good feelings started to fester. Why wasn't anyone ever cooking dinner for me? Planning my parties? Offering to chauffeur me around town? 

I know you don't give to receive, but at some point you start to question your friendships. Do they like me for me or am I liked simply for stuff I do? So, I stopped doing the stuff and hoped my phone would still ring. It didn't. It was a difficult lesson to learn, but seeing people's true intentions helped me have greater appreciation for the friends I have and sift some of the others out of my life. While I cherish those friends, I've learned to cut my investment into those relationship. 

In recent weeks, I've felt like I've been going through the same thing in a different area of my life (relationships aside). I'm a passionate person — all or nothing — and when I care about something, I give it my all. But I'm learning not everyone takes this approach. It reminds me of those group assignment in science class where you're the only one who cares therefore you're the one putting in the work. You sit and you grumble, but you still do it. 

It's another tough lesson to learn. But to preserve yourself, sometimes you have to limit your investment, lower your expectations and set up personal boundaries. I can't look at things with an all-or-nothing approach. Sometimes you have to do your best with what you've got. And sometimes, you have to show a little backbone and just say "no."