Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have never been a good communicator. Ever.
Oh, I'm pretty good at expressing a few opinions here, in my safe place, on my own blog.
But with the people closest to me, I'm hopeless.
I never speak up.
I try to please, but if I'm told I'm doing the wrong thing I clam up.
I shut up and suck it up until I can't take anymore.
Then all hell breaks loose.
And that's so effective...yeah right!
One of the most offensive things Dr Phil who used to be my guru has ever said is...
"You teach people how to treat you."
Yeah, well, thanks Dr Phil for telling me that I've taught everyone to walk all over me.
That makes me feel so much better and gives me so much confidence in myself....NOT!
I don't think I should take responsiblilty for how other people treat me.
What they say and do is their responsibility.
Or is Dr Phil right? And do I have to admit I'm wrong??
Surely I shouldn't crumble whenever I'm criticized...
Surely I should be mature enough by now at almost 42 to stand up for myself...
Surely I must be the only one who's struggling with self worth issues...

Or are you all and you're just very good at hiding it?


  1. What you wrote sounds just like me. We are probably coming out of it because we are so aware of it now. =D

  2. Sorry. I'm with Dr Phil on this one. But you know the upside of that..? If you taught them once you can do it again, but different.

    That's what I think anyway.

  3. Eleanor Roosevelt said "No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission" and that includes the way people treat you. That's not to say that you can change how they behave but you do choose if you accept the way they treat you or if you stand up & say it's not on. Or even walk away saying, I'm not putting up with this anymore. You can do it, you know you can Thea :)

  4. I'm sorry to say as far as I'm concerned Dr Phil is full of himself, he only got famous cause of Oprah & I don't even like her.

    I use to be like you but over time I it dawned on me people were walking all over me & I said enough.

    I have know learnt who gives a flying toss what people think or demand of me, I'm me I get to make choices of what happens to me & in my life.

    Just cause I say no or ok I'm not right here you are doesnt mean I'm less of a person it means I'm standing up for what I feel is right & if I feel I'm right or wrong I'll let the other people know it.

    As you can see I'm not great as explaining in words what I mean but I hope you do understand

    Your a wonderful lady & don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

    (((( HUGS ))))

  5. You express yourself well on your blog - it's only a matter of time before you gain confidence in doing so verbally. My advice? Think of one person you think you can start standing up to in a positive, non-vindictive way. Get good at it and then add one person at a time until it's second nature. You can do it! (Bet you already have and don't know it)

  6. Thea, I was the ultimate poeple pleaser doormat.

    I am still one, at heart.

    But I have developed a voice.

    It has lost me "friends" though, this new shift in my ability to stand up for myself.....

  7. I to have been in the same situation as you. My understanding of 'you teach people how to treat you' is the way you react to it.
    Easier sad than done. I know this. I'm a people pleaser.
    Just know you're gorgeous, delightful and sweet.
    Honour yourself x

  8. I agree with Dr Phil... up to a point. But I don't think it's a case of being right or wrong.
    You can not take responsibility for how other people treat you, but you can be responsible for how you deal with the way you are treated.

    The way you react, the things you do... make sure it makes you feel good about yourself. Stay true to yourself... be kind to yourself.


  9. I know exactly how you feel. I spent my 20's being a 'yes' person - got me nowhere in the end really.
    Sure, I'm still a 'yes' person to an extent now, but I'm more selective in the process. It's a hard shift I find though. Good on you for blogging it - great way to get it out there!! xx

  10. I've known plenty of people that are totally gorgeous and that would describe themselves as you have. I'm sure they have angst on the inside, but on the outside it doesn't show. Bet you're similar.

    I also know plenty of people that are more than willing to stand up for themselves ALL the time (ie when there is nothing to stand up for :)) and they're just plain old pains in the butt.

    There is a lot to be said about self belief and assertiveness, tho I think most of us battle with self belief a lot of the time. I'm pretty assertive but I'm also sensitive - we all have criticisms that we're sensitive too. Makes us human and real (and not pyschopaths :)).

    Pick your battles one at a time and focus on them. Forget the other stuff.

    And don't forget that underneath all that is one hell of a nice person. So chuck those assertiveness skates on, but don't go changing too much ok :)


  11. Hey there lovely Thea, I don't think we teach people how to treat us but I do think we are largely the architects of how people see us. Some people are psychologically damaged or have had terrible life experiences or are simply 'not nice'. There's not much we can do about how those people treat us. But I think we can find ways to make sure we are heard (even if it's in writing) and understood.

    But you seem to be talking about speaking up to the people closest to you - they are really important relationships obviously so finding your voice to tell them how you feel about stuff seems like a pretty important thing. You mentioned that it's some kind of 'self-worth' issue - perhaps it's not as deep as that? I don't know you well enough to make any assumptions but you seem like a gorgeous person with strong opinions and ideas. Like you said, you have no trouble expressing opinions in a safe place (your blog for example). And you can tell by this ridiculously long response from me that I have no trouble in that area either!

    Perhaps you just need to practise speaking up more often and making it into more of a habit? If you're a naturally more introverted person, you probably have a default mode of not speaking up anyway - blogging is different because you have time to think about what you are writing and you have a kind of blog 'protection'. And what happens when you don't speak up for a long time is that the emotional valve starts leaking and eventually blows.

    People also wrongly assume that in fact you have not had an issue with what they said or did - so in that way you are building up their wrong perception of you - that's what I meant by you being the architect of how people see you.

    You are spot on, I think - what people say and do and how they treat others is totally their responsiblity or down to their temperament and life experiences - you don't teach them to do it. But you can say and do things to make sure they see, hear and understand you better - and that's easy for me to say because I am a raving extravert! If you are not (a raving extravert), I'd just encourage you to make small steps towards letting people know what you are thinking and feeling more often -

    Okay I am hopping off my soapbox now - I hope some of that's helpful - this is the kind of thing I often spend hours talking about with senior executives - you are not the only one and plenty of people crumble when they are criticised (including the raving extravert types!) Hugs to you for today and for your busy week.


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