Friday, September 19, 2008

Making Our Decisions

I am reading several books from Ari Kiev. They are old for sure, but they are filled with principles on how to live life for the better. I had to order these books off, a place where you can find out of print books and search used book sellers around the country.

Here is something that I read this morning. It is derived from one of Kiev's books, a letter to teenager growing up. We may have missed some of this advice, as I know I have, and I am not blaming my parents as I say this, they did the best they could, under the circumstances.

The reading from one of the chapters is about making our own decisions.

First, try to experiment with the word "no." Try saying it to someone to whom you typically respond with a "yes." One woman in an Al-Anon meeting said she repeated the word "no" over and over again, so she could get comfortable with it coming from her mouth. Strange, I thought at first. But a second later, perhaps, I thought, brilliant.

Second, try cancelling an appointment or postponing a meeting.

Third, try refusing some food at the table, like bread. Ask the waiter, to remove the bread when dining out. Bread is one of my big favorites. Send it back? Will it hurt the other person's feelings? We are people pleasers aren't we Joseph?

Fourth, when someone wants to borrow something, say "no." I am going into cardiac arrest here. I have shortness of breath.

Fifth, quit solving others problems. Yesterday, a woman I work with needed a pen for she could not find one for the con call she was on and needed to take notes. So what did I do? I gave her my expensive, rare pen. She held onto it through out the call. I, on the other hand, was without a pen. Duh?! Could I be any more accommodating?????

On all of the above, don't offer an explanation.

WOW! When I write this, it seems like I am being, well, an ass if I do this. YIKERS! Am I trying to find affection by being accommodating at my expense?

Remember - this is just an exercise. I think if you can lend someone something, and they really need it, maybe, perhaps, um, er, I am faltering here, provide it to them?!

But, maybe, without an expectation of being loved, or this being reciprocated.

How hard this is going to be for ME!


Anonymous said...

You ask, "Am I trying to find affection by being accommodating at my expense?"

Or for me, is it that I was raised to be a "good" person? Whatever that means. You know, "do unto others as you would have done to you".

I think we as alanoners carry this to the extreme because it is either our nature or how we were nurtured. I am trying to cultivate a little more of "do unto others before they do unto me" in myself. Not that I am intentionally trying to be a selfish ass, rather that I know I need to balance my pathologic excess of sharing.

If being a selfish miser is a deficiency of sharing, what is an excess of generosity to the sharer's detriment? Anyone? A doormat? I don't even think the English language has a word for this. How interesting. I have never thought of this before.


Anonymous said...

We all know the olden rule but have you ever heard the rule---Don't do for someone else what he can do for himself---called the "silver rule". I thought that was pretty cool when I heard that in a meeting once.

nona said...

Saying no. This was alien to me. Early in my program it was suggested I give it a try. I chose to say "no" to something that someone could do for themselves. Wow, did I get an earful. I learned a lot about my relationship with that person and it has since ended. That was when I stepped out of denial about what a "healthy relationship" was for me. It was a blessing as I no longer "allow" myself to be taken advantage of.

I was also raised to "treat others as you would have them treat you" and I survived on this motto for years. Now I pay attention and look for and appreciate reciprocation because I am not surving anymore - I'm recovering...

Syd said...

I like to treat others as I would be treated but can say no without feeling bad. In fact, NO has become a regular part of my vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

I have learned people will take, as long as I am willing to give.

I have also learned,(or in the process of), to see a purpose, and or end result of my giving.

So many times I have felt to have been "short changed" or with people that simply take, and in some twisted way feel that in doing so, are actually giving back!

Wow. How messed up is that?

On the flip side, I believe that I "set myslef up" by being too giving, and maybe forgetting that other person may have no concept of what my expectation may be around my giving. Self inflicted pain I guess at times.

So, all said and done, I find myself saying "no" to myself for wanting to give, and it makes the decision to say "no" to others a little less painful.

Peace this Monday.


Anonymous said...

I am a chronic people pleaser at work, which usually works just fine, I have even received awards.

However, I now have a co-worker who is an active alcoholic. I used to be the consumate rescuer; filling in while she comes in late, doing her job, making excuses for her when she doesn't deliver, etc.

I haven't figured it all out, but I am saying no, finally. When the morning events come that she uses me to fill in, I work at home, turn my cell phone off, and don't answer my home phone.

It's drastict and it still gives her some control, but its the only way I can set boundaries. I used to feel very guilty about it all, but I finally realized that its about her, not about me.