Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Curly

      Replying to PMs

      Please note that you can not reply to a personal message by replying to the notification email. Recently admins have received some email responses to personal messages. This is because some members have replied to the notification email. You can not reply to a personal message via the email. What replying to the notification email does is send a copy of the original message and the reply to the admin email address. It does not send your reply to the person who sent you the message. The email notification of the personal message does request "PLEASE DO NOT REPLY DIRECTLY TO THIS EMAIL!"
    • Curly

      New Members and validating your account.

      New members registering please do not hesitate to contact our admin if you do not see a validation email within a few minutes of registering. Yahoo and some other email addresses tend to block the validation email and without this part of the process your account remains in limbo. Our admins are more than happy to help you complete the validation process should this automated system fail. We can be contacted via admin.our.place@gmail.com Please note that you may experience a delay between registering your account and validating before you are able to post as we do also manually process all registrations to keep this forum free of spam. Your account should be activated within 24 hours of you completing the validation process. Thank you.
Sign in to follow this  
Our Place Administrators

Chapter 1

Recommended Posts

Our Place Administrators

Chapter 1 - The high price of being too nice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bix

Chapter 1 - The high price of being too nice

What's the discussion start date for this chapter again? was it decided?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurora

I have no idea!!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shalimar

I was 24th January last I heard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurora

So that is today!! LOL LOL.. anyone on chapter 1?? This is the chapter that made me want to throw the book away! It hit soo close to home on page 11 - "Nice girls are compliant; they do what they are told. They are walking door-mats who are easily manipulated and controlled. Nice girls are wish-washy. Because they are so afraid of confrontation, they say one thing one time and another thing another time. They want to please everyone all the time, and because of this theyagree with one person and then turn right around and agree with someone else who has the exact opposite belief. Because they are afraid of telling others how they really feel, Nicee Girls can be phony; they pretend a lot. They pretend they like someone when they don't They pretend they want to be somehwere when they don't."

I really thought someone was in my head. Someone was following me around. I was pissed!! I guess I was finally realizing that doing all those things were helping other people and doing nothing for me at all. I was not being my true self at all. But still it made me mad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nooblette

So I got home yesterday and the book was waiting here for me and I read through the first 62 pages in one sitting last night right before I went to bed LOL

There in the first chapter (pp. 17) is a list of "types" of Nice Girls but I found I fit into more than one category. These are the ones that I identified with, although, I'm happy to say that I've changed quite a bit the past year, as before last year, I more completely fit these descriptions and perfectly accurately last year! I still identify in some ways because even though I recognize it this year, I'm still not always courageous enough to step out of the character that I'm most comfortable playing.

Anyways-here's my list:

The Doormat-pretty much yes.

The Pretender-at first I thought this was me until I got to the end, when I found the Enlightened One, which is a more accurate description. I would not just suppress my anger but I'd get rid of it entirely because I thought it was sinful or wrong of me to feel bad things. I think I lost my ability to be angry. Also when it comes to pretending to agree with other peoples opinions....I realized that I did agree with everyone, but not because I was pretending-but simply because I didn't want to be contrary and HAVE any of my own opinions! I was blank. If any of you have watched Joss Whedon's 2-season television series DollHouse, I was like the blank doll. I didn't have ANY personality imprint! I was a blank!

The Innocent- yes. It really shocked me when I started to study here and read Why Does He Do That and find out that some people would hurt me ON PURPOSE!!!!

The Victim- I don't THINK I'm a victim, but maybe I just don't WANT to be?

The Martyr- again I thought initially this was me until I got down to the "expecting payback" part, and thats not what I expected. I was REALLY a true doormat in I didn't think it was right for me to expect anything in return. I thought I was suppose to be Mother Theresa and always serve, always give up my life, always sacrifice my life the way Christ sacrificed his, I wasn't suppose to expect anything in return. This is what I was taught. So, almost but not quite here. Still more of a doormat/enlightened one than anything else.

The Prude- I kinda wish I could say my morals were a little stronger than they are....hahahaha! But no, I can't identify here at all.

The Enlightened One-this one really hits the nail on the head. unconditional forgiveness, 70x7 per day and the whole nine yards. unlimited second chances for everyone. when my neighbor was really cruel to me once in front of my roommate I told her "God bless you, have a nice day!" and we pulled away and my fresh-from-China friend says "Why are you nice to her? That doesn't make any sense!" and previously to that I would have thought "Good, I really showed God's love and was a good witness to both my roommate and The Evil Lady, eventually she'll be nice back to me!" but that day I had started to question these beliefs I was raised with. The next time I was confronted by the Evil Lady I told her LOUDLY "WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU THAT YOU TREAT ME LIKE THIS??? I HAVE DONE NOTHING AND BEEN NOTHING BUT NICE TO YOU AND TREAT ME LIKE GARBAGE!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!! I DO NOT DESERVE THIS!" and The Evil Lady was absolutely stunned. I guess she was expecting more of my Christian-Nice-Girlness and instead she got the middle-produce of an evolution of Noob. Which wasn't pretty! I told her to get of my f-ing property and called her an f-ing b*tch which wasn't very correct of me. But she's pretty much left me alone ever since. (that and I threatened to call the police on her the following week when she wouldn't stop staring at me when I was outside working.....) but I used to be THIS person to the T. This is how I was raised. Even when I told my parents what I'd done with my neighbor the second time my dad said to me "When you fill up a cup, and then the cup gets shaken, what you put inside will come out" implying that because I erupted with anger and cuss words at this woman who has been abusing me for 3 years, instead of quoting scripture and telling her to have a nice day-like I've done in the past-I must have filled myself up with anger/cuss words/hate etc? Usually I think my dad is really wise, but his passiveness and his reaction to me that day didn't really seem to ring true for me. Granted, I think I could have used different language-I've NEVER used language like that before or since on anyone! But those were the first few months that I started to ALLOW myself to get angry-and I don't think I had much control over it.

On a side note, I've NEVER seen my dad angry....ever. In my entire life, and he was around quite a bit when I was growing up. I've never seen him angry? I think he ought to read this book ^_^ Is there a guy version?

Also-I'm not sure I'm posting this in the correct section? So if the mods want to move it that would be great :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vpc
Also-I'm not sure I'm posting this in the correct section? So if the mods want to move it that would be great :P

Consider it done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Danu

Hi Nooblette. I'm just reading this chapter now. I tick 15 of the nice girl symptom questions so I've got a serious case!

Here's my analysis of the nice girl types:

The Doormat

My initial reaction is to say NO WAY but on reflection, well YES- would anyone other than a doormat keep cooking and washing for her husband when he's forcing his presence in her life unwanted and refuses to pay his way just to avoid conflict?!

The Pretender

Sometimes, I will hide my true feelings with people who don't matter or when I don't think it's something important. At other times I engage knowing it lead to confrontation because it's important and might affect others if I don't.

I've one friend who regularly retells her anecdotes and who can talk at length without seeking input from her listener. It irritates me at times but I let it pass and have never considered mentioning to her that our conversation is at times one sided because she is a good, kind friend who I know would give me and the children a room for as long as we needed it and who would drive out at night to get us. there's far more goodness and decency there than anything else. This isn't acting the pretender though, is it?

The Innocent

This used to apply, and certainly when I met Noddy I was young and innocent. Like Nooblette there's been a learning process leading to understanding that people can MEAN to hurt others.

The Victim

This also used to apply more than it does now as I am recognising my power and fight back for control of my life.

The Martyr

yes a bit.

I think others who don't really know my situation might think this applies more than it really does. People may think I martyred myself in hoe-educating the children (still very uncommon here) and in caring for my disabled son but not so. I sometimes put (some of) their needs 1st but not to an extreme extent.

The Prude

Not at all.

The Enlightened One

This sort of applies. I am the caring, understanding one who will help him heal from all his childhood hurts and prove to him he is loved and respected. I understood why he was angry about discrimination against him and shared his anger at those nasty people and lined myself up to prove that I wasn't like them. Then when he wanted to make me guilty and step back into line, all he had to do was drop the suggestion that maybe I was like all the hordes out to get him, and I could never love him enough or be suitably respectful.

But unlike the author's description, I didn't repress my sadness and anger, I have expressed them both for years. I don't think that one really has to repress feelings to fit this category though.

So I'm mostly the enlightened one- a deep well of understanding, compassion, empathy and healing support, with an almost endless supply of 2nd chances. There's also a bit of doormat with a hint of innocent and victim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
christinadarling987

interesting book, noob. I stopped by the book store and looked through it. I will have to read through it and see if I am a nice girl or not. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quaddie

I guess I'll give it a shot... thinking out loud here, so it rambles. But I'm not going to apologize for the rambling OR the length.

Most of this is bang-on me, for various reasons and with varying facets and aspects and dimensions, so it's complicated. Inwardly I consider myself a selfish beyotch, but outwardly forced to be "nice" due to circumstances. When I was younger and truer to myself in the workplace, it caused financial devastation. But I had no sense of "self" in regards to my marriage. So, I was trying to honor myself in the workplace, and getting negative consequences for it... and at the same time, not really knowing what I was "allowed" to be and do in the marriage, and even if I asserted myself, I was ignored. So maybe it was two sides of a coin.

So I think I definitely vowed to myself to try to "be" neutral and nice in the workplace, because NOT doing that had wreaked such havoc.

On the other side of the coin, in my marriage/relationships, asserting myself - if it didn't lead to being attacked with anger - led to NO effect whatsoever, so it was futile.

So all my self-assertions led to either havoc or futility.

There was NO empowerment in either case. In one - punishment. In the other - being ignored, put-down, etc.

So I remember a conscious decision to "be" that "nice girl" in the workplace, as a survival tactic. And when I stepped one tiny assertive toe over that line, I was still slapped down like a whack-a-mole. Now I realize it was the workplace and not my fault... but still, when this happens multiple times - many multiples of times - it becomes conditioning.

It doesn't work, though. I hasn't worked. It's not working. It - like the book says - has only led to my NOT being respected. And being taken advantage of. And I do get to the point where I feel like I'm going to explode. I've been trying to be more true to the self in the workplace with my boss, when I get a chance, and...so far... it hasn't led to negative consequences.

I definitely am a person who probably takes "being fair" to an extreme. To the detriment of myself. I don't know - I guess it's easier to take on more pain myself, than to create more upheaval??? Either way, it's pain.

I answered "yes" to 12 of the 23 questions, indicating that I have an "extreme version" of Nice Girl Syndrome. Lol? Xtreme NGS.

I ENTIRELY AGREE that we cannot afford to be Nice Girls. I've lived a semi-long life already of trying it and I can guarantee it does not work. It didn't protect me from the things I thought it would. It didn't HELP ME AT ALL. It has only led to a life where I buried my own self and may have caused me to waste my entire life, not being what I am supposed to be.

People aren't nice to you just because you're nice. And they.do.not.respect.

(And I don't think it means you have to be a beyotch in order to "not be nice." I think it means, just not being "nice" at the expense of the self.)

And of course in the home....

I do get taken advantage of. Over and over, I've gotten myself into similar situations. And angry at it. Feeling used. Boy am I angry. At myself. At them. At myself. At them. back and forth.

I think in the workplace, you can't always be honest about your feelings. In that case, it's more like you have to play a game. Unfortunately, I think that's the nature of many workplaces. BUT - it doesn't mean you have to be somebody's whipping post or slave. That's what I've been working on, trying to get more balance and trying to be "stronger" and not just pretend I'm made of teflon.

For me, personally, I just don't belong in that kind of environment anyway so it's all a game, but how much I have to be squashed in order to survive - I am trying to reduce my squashed-ness.

As far as the 7 Types go, none of them was totally really me. I think I'm a mix. I'm not sure it matters if you're one type, or several, or a mix. I think the basic concepts still hold true.

I think I am the poster child for Nice Doesn't Work.

It just doesn't.

I underlined the line on pg. 19, "She felt it would be selfish to think of her own needs first." I think this is a message that has been POUNDED into everyone's heads. You're not supposed to think of yourself first. It IS selfish to think of yourself first. However, MAYBE THE PREMISE IS INCORRECT. Maybe the premise that it's WRONG to be "selfish" by thinking of yourself first - is incorrect.

Oh, a person can tie their head into a pretzel trying to think about this. Because EVERYTHING we're taught about "selfishness" is that it's wrong. SO - if you need to do something for your own self - and if it hurts someone else in an ancillary way (by, say, withdrawing your presence from them, or because they will be sad if you take care of yourself, or whatever) - it's considered "automatically wrong." Because all your actions have an effect on someone else.

Ugh, this is getting messy. Pretzel-head.

I think maybe we should reframe the term "selfish" into "self-FULL." Because we've attached this negative connotation onto "selfish." So that, if I am being selfish, I am automatically hurting someone else. But - you know what? Why is it okay to hurt yourSELF and not others? WHY? If you're not selfish, you hurt yourself. If you're selfish, you hurt others. Are all others automatically MORE deserving? So - I think in this society we VALUE self-harm, in that respect. We've placed VALUE on "oh, she's so selfless, she does for all those others and never thinks of herself and she's such a saint." THAT'S what's valued in our society. But, okay, that's great for all the others that she serves. But what if SHE is suffering from it? Why is that okay? Why is that GOOD?

I'm sure there's a lot of religious influence into that, but I'm not going there.

So, why is it okay to hurt the SELF as long as you are not hurting OTHERS? A human is a human. Either way, you are still causing hurt to a human. To pave a golden path into an afterlife (which may or may not exist)? Do you think a loving creator or parent would CHOOSE for you to suffer? Would they really want that for you? Would you want that for YOUR children? I don't, for mine. I hope hope hope they do not suffer themselves just to keep others from hurting.

And, also, I think that sometimes "suffering ourselves to keep others from hurting" IS A SELFISH ACT. To keep ourselves from feeling guilty. Or bad.

For example, is it really "I don't want to hurt him by leaving him"? Or - is it "I don't want to have to feel guilty that he might feel bad if I leave him"? Maybe some hard deep looks inside. I know guilt is a huge motivator inside me.

For me, I am almost mortally afraid of someone being angry at me (corresponding to #5 & #18 on the list of questions). I guess maybe I do relate it to my sense of self. Not sure how it all ties together. This is fuzzy to me. But I have been trying to take some risks in that regard. And frankly, I am so at the end of my rope that I often just don't care. I'm almost a walking "F-it." Not quite, though. Something's gotta give.

I also underlined, on page 24: "You don't do anyone a favor by allowing people to take advantage of you." I guess I

- have thought of myself as a tool to be used by other people

- because that's where my "value" lies

- in how "useful" I am to others

- and in how highly they think of me

- and that's the only way I have value in the universe

BUT

by allowing others to take advantage of me, I:

- do not have the opportunity to fulfill myself

- and that is heartbreaking to me

- and, if you believe in a higher power, not a good use of the gifts I was given and meant to use in this lifetime

Why is it preferable, for that all to go to waste?

Why would I have been given gifts, and not be allowed to use them???

It shouldn't have to be such a struggle, and yet... it is.

So, the hard choice is - to be selfish. In order to not waste my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nooblette

Wow Quad, you did a great analysis there, I cut down and bolded some parts of your post that really resonated with me and I think you phrased it so well and made it easy for me to really understand the crux of the issue. You communicated the message here really well!

People aren't nice to you just because you're nice. And they.do.not.respect.

(And I don't think it means you have to be a beyotch in order to "not be nice." I think it means, just not being "nice" at the expense of the self.)

I underlined the line on pg. 19, "She felt it would be selfish to think of her own needs first." I think this is a message that has been POUNDED into everyone's heads. You're not supposed to think of yourself first. It IS selfish to think of yourself first. However, MAYBE THE PREMISE IS INCORRECT. Maybe the premise that it's WRONG to be "selfish" by thinking of yourself first - is incorrect.

So, why is it okay to hurt the SELF as long as you are not hurting OTHERS? A human is a human. Either way, you are still causing hurt to a human. To pave a golden path into an afterlife (which may or may not exist)? Do you think a loving creator or parent would CHOOSE for you to suffer? Would they really want that for you? Would you want that for YOUR children? I don't, for mine. I hope hope hope they do not suffer themselves just to keep others from hurting.

And, also, I think sometimes that "suffering ourselves to keep others from hurting" IS A SELFISH ACT. To keep ourselves from feeling guilty. Or bad.

For example, is it really "I don't want to hurt him by leaving him"? Or - is it "I don't want to have to feel guilty that he might feel bad if I leave him"? Maybe some hard deep looks inside. I know guilt is a huge motivator inside me.

For me, I am almost mortally afraid of someone being angry at me (corresponding to #5 & #18 on the list of questions). I guess maybe I do relate it to my sense of self. Not sure how it all ties together. This is fuzzy to me. But I have been trying to take some risks in that regard. And frankly, I am so at the end of my rope that I often just don't care. I'm almost a walking "F-it." Not quite, though. Something's gotta give.

I also underlined, on page 24: "You don't do anyone a favor by allowing people to take advantage of you." I guess I

- have thought of myself as a tool to be used by other people

- because that's where my "value" lies

- in how "useful" I am to others

- and in how highly they think of me

- and that's the only way I have value in the universe

BUT

by allowing others to take advantage of me, I:

- do not have the opportunity to fulfill myself

- and that is heartbreaking to me

- and, if you believe in a higher power, not a good use of the gifts I was given and meant to use in this lifetime

Why is it preferable, for that all to go to waste?

Why would I have been given gifts, and not allowed to use them???

It shouldn't have to be such a struggle, and yet... it is.

So, the hard choice is - to be selfish. In order to not waste my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicCarpet

Uh Oh. I scored 16 on the Nice Girl questionnaire. :ph34r:

As far as the type of Nice Girl...

Well, DUH! OBVIOUSLY I am a Total doormat.... with some chunks of Innocent and Victim thrown in for good measure. No martyr... I'd have to have some self esteem to be a martyr.

BUT the good news is that, in case you didn't know, I am NOT a doormat today! :nature-smiley-008:

Magic

ps

I really wish I had this book 4 years ago when I was first finding out about emotional abuse. I find myself nodding in agreement with so much of what she writes. I love Beverly Engel's writing and have most of her books. It's interesting that she talks about Robin Norwood's book. That was the first book I read when I knew something was wrong. My doctor actually was the person who suggested I read it. It didn't do much for me, because I wasn't a controlling type of co-dependent person. I was just a selfless doormat. So the next book I read was one of Beverly's, and I loved it. I kept it hidden in the couch cushions and read it when X wasn't home. I still have that book and nearly every page is dog eared. I hope this book will be as helpful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grabforjoy

So I just finished this book last night. But I am going back to chapter one to read again.

I am several nice girls tied up into one...does that mean I have multiple personalities? :laughing2-smiley-008:

Anyway, I am...

The pretender: I do try to appear nice, cooperative and warm to EVERYONE. I have caught myself feeling guilty when I don't smile or say hello to a stranger on the street. In terms of pretending to agree with people, that is not so much me. However, I have found that I just won't state my opinion if I don't agree.

The innocent: very much me, but that is changing. I have always believed that there is good in everyone if you just show them enough love and understanding. My head does not believe that anymore and I think my heart is catching up.

The martyr...definitely me, as well. I learned from the best...my mother sacrificed just about everything for her kids. She went years and years with not buying a stitch of new clothing, when I was little. But, back to me, my whole marriage was about sacrificing myself to save my poor, poor husband who never had the love of his birthmother, and who was never appropriately understood by anyone. I could love him enough for all the love he never received...barf.

The enlightened one is probably the most descriptive of me. Like Noob, I too have said God Bless you to people who have been rude and mean to me. I have never, ever, ever, called someone an effing biotch before..even though I probably should have a time or two. I avoided anger like the plague, until I would explode. But I would usually (though not always) explode in floods and floods of soul-wracking sobs

From chapter one i was convicted that I was going to change the way I approach issues with my daughter. I was able to put it into practice today. She is having problems with a few boys in her class, teasing her. Before the book I would have talked to her about how maybe they come from a bad home where they aren't treated well, and that they are taking that out on her. That still may be true. But today I said to her:

"D10, no-one has the right to treat you that way. You have every right to look them straight in the eye and in a very strong, firm voice say "Don't talk to me that way". Or "Don't touch me". We practiced some scenarios where I was the bratty boy and you could see her little body fill with pride as she practiced her responses. At one point she said in a very strong, firm, almost icy way "DO NOT Talk to me that way!!!! I even felt a little intimidated!

Uh-oh...maybe I'm creating a monster!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nooblette

thats exciting Grabby! I can't wait to see the kind of woman your daughter will grow up to be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Danu

So I just finished this book last night. But I am going back to chapter one to read again.

I am several nice girls tied up into one...does that mean I have multiple personalities? :laughing2-smiley-008:

Anyway, I am...

The pretender: I do try to appear nice, cooperative and warm to EVERYONE. I have caught myself feeling guilty when I don't smile or say hello to a stranger on the street. In terms of pretending to agree with people, that is not so much me. However, I have found that I just won't state my opinion if I don't agree.

The innocent: very much me, but that is changing. I have always believed that there is good in everyone if you just show them enough love and understanding. My head does not believe that anymore and I think my heart is catching up.

The martyr...definitely me, as well. I learned from the best...my mother sacrificed just about everything for her kids. She went years and years with not buying a stitch of new clothing, when I was little. But, back to me, my whole marriage was about sacrificing myself to save my poor, poor husband who never had the love of his birthmother, and who was never appropriately understood by anyone. I could love him enough for all the love he never received...barf.

The enlightened one is probably the most descriptive of me. Like Noob, I too have said God Bless you to people who have been rude and mean to me. I have never, ever, ever, called someone an effing biotch before..even though I probably should have a time or two. I avoided anger like the plague, until I would explode. But I would usually (though not always) explode in floods and floods of soul-wracking sobs

Sounds like there are similarities in our flavour of niceness. I'd the same thing about Noddy, I was going to love him to wellness and happiness, make up for all he'd missed out on.

From chapter one i was convicted that I was going to change the way I approach issues with my daughter. I was able to put it into practice today. She is having problems with a few boys in her class, teasing her. Before the book I would have talked to her about how maybe they come from a bad home where they aren't treated well, and that they are taking that out on her. That still may be true. But today I said to her:

"D10, no-one has the right to treat you that way. You have every right to look them straight in the eye and in a very strong, firm voice say "Don't talk to me that way". Or "Don't touch me". We practiced some scenarios where I was the bratty boy and you could see her little body fill with pride as she practiced her responses. At one point she said in a very strong, firm, almost icy way "DO NOT Talk to me that way!!!! I even felt a little intimidated!

Uh-oh...maybe I'm creating a monster!!!!!

Well done that girl!! That's no monster, but a healthy, strong girl with a sense of confidence and knowledge that she deserves to be respected. Wonderful.

It's made me think hard about how to raise d12 too, to help her avoid the nice girl training we all received and to stay strong and confident but to retain her innate kindness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bix

haven't got anything to add to the discussion right now - I'm still making my way through all your thoughts and reactions. This whole book club discussion group is all kinds of wonderful - great great stuff here!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blackbird

Okay, I'm a little late to the game, but here goes....

Part One: The questionnaire.

I'm so excited by this list, because I have really changed over the last few years and especially the last couple of months.

1. Do you have a difficult time asserting yourself with service people?

HA! I even started a thread called The Coffee Test because I was completely incapable of sending back an undrinkable $4 cup of coffee. But not anymore! I've had several opportunities to send back coffee and...surprise, surprise...it's not a big deal! Who knew?

2. Do you get talked into things, including buying things, because you can't say no?

I used to all of the time. In fact, I once had two guys show up at my door, selling books of oil change and other auto service coupons. It was awful. I didn't want to do it, because ex wasn't there, so I couldn't ask to see if he was interested. And one of the guys was kind of a jerk. He actually said to me, "Oh, so you need to ask your husband's permission?" And so, just to prove him wrong, I wrote out a $100 check, which I got into trouble for later. I'm not tested on this one much, but I am stronger about saying, "No, thanks." So, I'll check this one off the list.

3. Are you overly concerned about what people think of you?

Hmmmmm.... I used to be, I'm not sure that I think of it too much anymore. I do still worry about what Sir S thinks of me, as well as the teaching/counseling team at the middle school, because I want them to like me. But there are lots of other people that can like me or hate me and I don't really care. Can I call this a .5?

4. Is it overly important to you that people like you?

Kind of a repeat of above, dontcha think? I'm giving myself a .5.

5. Are you afraid to say how you really feel out of fear of making someone angry?

Wow, with ex, I sure used to. I don't feel that way now, though. Then again, I don't spend time with people that make me fearful.

6. Do you apologize too much or too often?

I'm the WORST! And EVERYONE has commented on it. Someone will stop me and say, "Stop saying you're sorry," and I'll reply, "Oh, I'm sorry." >.< It's just such a natural thing. I don't even think about it...or hear myself saying it.

7. Do you have friends or aquaintances you don't really like or have much in common with, but feel obligated to continue seeing?

Not so much. Then again, thanks to ex, I really didn't have any friends. I'm building relationships now and it's wonderful, and I think the experience of having drowned in so much toxicity for so long has left me totally resistant to spending time with people that don't add something to my own experience. I really get the whole "life is short" thing and don't want to waste one more second on people or experiences that take away from my own happiness.

8. Do you often say yes to invitations because you don't want the person to feel rejected?

No, and I don't think I ever have...but I'm not always honest about why I say no. Sometimes I make up an excuse, so that they don't feel hurt. But, I DO say no, so I'm not including this one in my count.

9. Do you tend to give in because it makes you feel selfish if you refuse to help someone?

I used to, but not anymore. I'm allowed to look out for myself! :) Progress!

10. Are you afraid people will dislike you if you're not cooperative?

I used to be, but not anymore. What I've come to realize is that, if I'm not open about who I am and what I believe, they can't really be my friends anyway...because I never gave them an opportunity to know me. Now, I try to be more conscious of expressing my opinions and I've been shown over and over again by the people that truly care about me, that it's okay!

11. Do you have trouble speaking up as soon as something or someone is unfair to you?

Yes. My brain just shuts down. Not that I'm under the same kind of pressure, as I was before, but sometimes I don't even recognize that a comment has left me upset until I've had time to process it for awhile.

12. Do you hesitate telling someone that he or she has hurt your feelings or made you angry because you don't want him or her to feel bad?

Definitely, but I'm working on it. A few times, I've told Sir S that he's said something that bothered me. I've also...once...said something to my dad and best friend. The sky did not fall. And, in fact, I think we all came to an understanding that will make our conversations much easier in the future.

13. Do you avoid telling someone he or she has upset you because you don't think it will do any good or will only cause a big problem between you?

I used to when I was married to ex; his family was a lost cause, as was he. His dad, especially, would say things that I found completely despicable, but I knew his mind would never change and, so, I chose to keep quiet, rather than confront those issues. I think I've discovered some sort of new confidence and, while I don't think it will ever be easy to confront people, I think I can do it now.

14. Do you have people in your life who take advantage of you?

Not anymore...and NEVER again!

15. Do you often take the blame for things just to avoid an argument or to avoid rejection or abandonment?

I did this all of the time when I was married. It was far easier to accept the blame myself (even when he was clearly at fault), because then I could avoid his rages and silent treatments. I think I still do this to a degree. I don't necessarily take blame to avoid an argument, but when something goes wrong, I immediately assume it's because I did something wrong.

16. Do you often make excuses for people's poor behavior, telling yourself that they didn't mean it or they didn't know better?

I did this on an almost daily basis when I was married to ex. Not anymore. When people behave poorly, it is they who need to explain and apologize.

17. Do you avoid conflict or confrontation at all costs?

I've always done this. When I was in my final year of college, my dad suggested that I consider going to law school. I remember joking about the suggestion with my friends. How could someone who avoids conflict at all costs ever enter a career that's all about engaging in arguments all day long? I've seen the light. Nothing will ever be rectified if I continue to keep quiet.

18. Do you get a terrible feeling when someone is angry with you?

Yes. And I try to resolve it as quickly as possible because it's so uncomfortable.

19. Do you give someone the benefit of the doubt even when others tell you this person is trouble?

I did. Now? I'll listen when people that I trust see something I don't.

20. Do you give people another chance even when they continue with the same hurtful or inappropriate behavior?

I did for nearly ten years. I've now had the "when someone shows you who they are, believe them," message pounded into my head, thanks to this board. It is such important advice and something I'll keep in the back of my brain always.

21. Do you tell yourself that you don't have a right to complain about a person's behavior if you've ever been guilty of the same behavior?

This was a HUGE problem for me in the past, but I'm starting to see how this belief keeps me trapped.

22. Are you attracted to bad boys or people with a large dark side?

I was. Now, they completely turn me off. If SM reads this...NO, I'm NOT in love with Sir Shackleton, but there's a quality about him that I find very attractive. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but it's this sense of calm and kindness; he has a softness about him. And I've noticed that when I'm attracted to other people now, they all share that same quality...Twin2's school psychologist, DS8's teacher. They're all really delightful people and a lot of fun, but they're not attention-seeking and their humor is never at the expense of others.

23. Do you strongly believe in being fair even when other people are treating you unfairly?

Probably so. Even though my ex violates legally-binding orders ALL OF THE TIME, I still try to adhere to the strictest interpretation of the law...even when it comes at the expense of myself and my children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blackbird

Okay, I'm back and ready for...

...Part Two: The Seven Types of Nice Girls

The Doormat - Don't forget to scrap your muddy shoes off, while you walk all over me. Yep, definitely me. Now, with the exception of ex and his family, I tend to hang around very kind, well-adjusted people, so my experiences could have been much worse. But with "him," I was definitely passive and allowed him to make all of the big decisions, let him treat me poorly, etc. I was the old dog that had been kicked for the thousandth time and told to go lay by my dish. And I did.

The Pretender - This doesn't resonate with me. When I keep quiet, it's not because I want to appear nice and cooperative...it's because I want to avoid conflict.

The Innocent - Definitely, definitely me. When I left my ex temporarily, my sisters sent me a book about verbal abuse. I only ever read a chapter or two of it...it was very uncomfortable to read...but even when I went back and believed he was abusive, it wasn't until after I was out that I started to really gain an understanding of the dynamics of abuse. There was so much that he did that I never even considered to be abusive, until I read Lundy Bancroft's books. Even after that first exposure to the issue, thanks to my sisters, I still didn't understand that the more covert behavior was abusive, as well. I still fell for his manipulations.

The Victim - Definitely me. I had come to accept the fact that I would never achieve my dreams and that my golden years would be depressing with only ex at my side. I thought about what my funeral would be like...an empty room, as I had been isolated for so long...and even then, I just didn't see a way out. I had completely give up on myself.

The Martyr - Hmmmm... I'm not so sure about this one. I definitely see the "rescuing" part in me, but I definitely don't expect anything in return. I do it, because I want to help, that's all. However, I can see how constantly rescuing other people is a perfect distraction from dealing with the mess that is my own life.

The Prude - Nope. I don't see this at all.

The Enlightened One - This fits me to a "t." I was raised to be compassionate and tolerant. Though, I think I took that lesson to the extreme. I married into a family that was very different than mine and it was almost like I felt I had to reach out to these people and find some sort of connection to "prove" that I was as enlightened as I believed that I was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blackbird

I really enjoyed reading your post, Quadrophenia....even more so than the book. :D

And this...

I underlined the line on pg. 19, "She felt it would be selfish to think of her own needs first." I think this is a message that has been POUNDED into everyone's heads. You're not supposed to think of yourself first. It IS selfish to think of yourself first. However, MAYBE THE PREMISE IS INCORRECT. Maybe the premise that it's WRONG to be "selfish" by thinking of yourself first - is incorrect.

Oh, a person can tie their head into a pretzel trying to think about this. Because EVERYTHING we're taught about "selfishness" is that it's wrong. SO - if you need to do something for your own self - and if it hurts someone else in an ancillary way (by, say, withdrawing your presence from them, or because they will be sad if you take care of yourself, or whatever) - it's considered "automatically wrong." Because all your actions have an effect on someone else.

Ugh, this is getting messy. Pretzel-head.

I think maybe we should reframe the term "selfish" into "self-FULL." Because we've attached this negative connotation onto "selfish." So that, if I am being selfish, I am automatically hurting someone else. But - you know what? Why is it okay to hurt yourSELF and not others? WHY? If you're not selfish, you hurt yourself. If you're selfish, you hurt others. Are all others automatically MORE deserving? So - I think in this society we VALUE self-harm, in that respect. We've placed VALUE on "oh, she's so selfless, she does for all those others and never thinks of herself and she's such a saint." THAT'S what's valued in our society. But, okay, that's great for all the others that she serves. But what if SHE is suffering from it? Why is that okay? Why is that GOOD?

....was sheer brilliance. You're absolutely right. From the beginning, girls are trained to be compliant and selfless...but where does that get us?

I read the joke Wondering Male posted in the Fun Forum....the one about the princess and the frog? It made me smile, because that's the lesson we should be teaching young girls. For years, my mom has been pushing me to write children's books. I wasn't sure what I could possibly write about, but maybe a year ago, I started thinking about a series of fairy tales, where the princesses locked away in turrets rescue THEMSELVES through their own strength, intelligence, and self-reliance. Who needs a farking' prince. That's the message we need to be shouting from the rooftops.

Anyway, I loved your post, Quad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sylvia

Part One: The questionnaire.

1. Do you have a difficult time asserting yourself with service people?

I am MUCH better than I used to be. But I do have a spending problem...so that is another issue.

2. Do you get talked into things, including buying things, because you can't say no?

See above

3. Are you overly concerned about what people think of you?

Yes. :( Though better since he left. I avoided so many people for so many years.

4. Is it overly important to you that people like you?

Yes. Better...but still.

5. Are you afraid to say how you really feel out of fear of making someone angry?

No. I am actually pretty blunt. :blush:

6. Do you apologize too much or too often?

I'm Canadian! Our middle name is "sorry"

7. Do you have friends or aquaintances you don't really like or have much in common with, but feel obligated to continue seeing?

Not so much.

8. Do you often say yes to invitations because you don't want the person to feel rejected?

No

9. Do you tend to give in because it makes you feel selfish if you refuse to help someone?

Yeah. <_<

10. Are you afraid people will dislike you if you're not cooperative?

It's in there.

11. Do you have trouble speaking up as soon as something or someone is unfair to you?

It depends.

12. Do you hesitate telling someone that he or she has hurt your feelings or made you angry because you don't want him or her to feel bad?

Most of the time I don't speak up because I don't feel my voice is being heard. I was walked out on, told to shut up, hung up on, told how stupid I sounded etc etc for so many years that any feeling of "I won't be heard" clams me up.

13. Do you avoid telling someone he or she has upset you because you don't think it will do any good or will only cause a big problem between you?

Ok. My answer above belongs here.

14. Do you have people in your life who take advantage of you?

My kids at times. <_<

15. Do you often take the blame for things just to avoid an argument or to avoid rejection or abandonment?

I said sorry for things I never said and did for 24 years. I crave peace and hate strife. Of course he thrived on strife and emotional chaos. I don't think I take blame o avoid rejection. I'll keep an eye out.

16. Do you often make excuses for people's poor behavior, telling yourself that they didn't mean it or they didn't know better?

Yeah. <_<

17. Do you avoid conflict or confrontation at all costs?

I hate strife and avoid it at all costs. But I love a good discussion, even heated ones about poliics and stuff. :P

18. Do you get a terrible feeling when someone is angry with you?

Yes.

19. Do you give someone the benefit of the doubt even when others tell you this person is trouble?

No. I listen

20. Do you give people another chance even when they continue with the same hurtful or inappropriate behavior?

I'm getting better at this. :huh:

21. Do you tell yourself that you don't have a right to complain about a person's behavior if you've ever been guilty of the same behavior?

It's in there. Yeah. <_<

22. Are you attracted to bad boys or people with a large dark side?

Not frying way. I am attracted to kindness and gentleness and a sense of humor. And emotional stability. My X is a broken mess. An emotional wasteland.

23. Do you strongly believe in being fair even when other people are treating you unfairly?

I think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bix

Part One: The questionnaire.

1. Do you have a difficult time asserting yourself with service people?

not at all. knowledge of marketing and sales techniques helps with this. I learned this stuff in my 20's so I have no patience with it. I find it irrirating that people are still dishing out this manipulative cr*p. I am polite but blunt. Sometimes I'll listen out of interest to see how they are applying the techniques.

2. Do you get talked into things, including buying things, because you can't say no?

No never - irritating and I feel humiliated for the sales person. If I ever became a sales person it would have to be a product I believed in and would benefit the buyer.

3. Are you overly concerned about what people think of you?

I won't lie I AM concerned what people think of me but 'overly?' I don't think so? I want people to like me - cos why wouldn't they? I'm a pretty cheerful pleasant person to be around!! lol!! If they don't like me I get frustrated - like "why!" *stamps foot* This is VERY different to how I used to be in my younger years though.

4. Is it overly important to you that people like you?

nowadays if I've done nothing 'wrong' or obnoxious then I just think I must trigger something in them. It bothers me MUCH MORE if I don't understand WHY someone doesn't like me. If I understand WHY then I'm fine with it (although it can hurt particularly if I like THEM) not knowing WHY or if the way I am viewed by them doesn't make sense then that drives me crazy. In fact I think I stayed with stbx all these years cos I wanted to "win him round" I could never understand WHY he doesn't like me. I'm used to being generally.....'liked' I suppose. So I guess I need to think about WHY I persisted with him for so long. The 'abuse' framework finally gave me a blessed reason - but why the hell I didn't get out of Dodge earlier - I don't know.

5. Are you afraid to say how you really feel out of fear of making someone angry?

Well I try not to be tactless but often fail dismally. I think I sometimes I get too 'caught up' in the left side of my brain....

6. Do you apologize too much or too often?

I do apologize but not too often I don't think.

7. Do you have friends or aquaintances you don't really like or have much in common with, but feel obligated to continue seeing?

Oh boy this reminds me of my first 5 years in the USA. I collected a whole hoard of people that I didn't really enjoy spending time with. No so any more.

8. Do you often say yes to invitations because you don't want the person to feel rejected?

Not sure.

9. Do you tend to give in because it makes you feel selfish if you refuse to help someone?

No.

10. Are you afraid people will dislike you if you're not cooperative?

'afraid'? no. but I'll always choose cooperative I think - it depends on the 'context' really.

11. Do you have trouble speaking up as soon as something or someone is unfair to you?

Getting better at this. But mindful of 'choosing' my battles.

12. Do you hesitate telling someone that he or she has hurt your feelings or made you angry because you don't want him or her to feel bad?

I have a friend who keeps 'playfully' hitting me on the leg HARD - I had a very hard time wondering how to confront her about this...arghhh - then I found the perfect thing to say....but she hasn't done it for over a year.....I think my main problem is confronting 'friends' with behavior I don't like. it makes things really AWKWARD IMO. Strangers/aqcuaintences/colleagues - not so much.

13. Do you avoid telling someone he or she has upset you because you don't think it will do any good or will only cause a big problem between you?

with friends YES. I mean it will cause big problems right? arghh need help with this one!

14. Do you have people in your life who take advantage of you?

No. (once stbx goes)

15. Do you often take the blame for things just to avoid an argument or to avoid rejection or abandonment?

No.

16. Do you often make excuses for people's poor behavior, telling yourself that they didn't mean it or they didn't know better?

Yes - but you have to cut people slack sometimes - it depends how often they do it.

17. Do you avoid conflict or confrontation at all costs?

No at all costs no - but I hate it.

18. Do you get a terrible feeling when someone is angry with you?

Yes - but don't most people?

19. Do you give someone the benefit of the doubt even when others tell you this person is trouble?

Ahhh now this makes me think of when you enter a new group (e.g. neighborhood/workplace) and you get the low down on who isn't liked etc. Personally this gets my hackles up - I'll make my OWN mind up about who I like or not thank you very much. Not a follow the crowd kinda person when it comes to that and besides I wonder how many other people are avoiding being friends with that person just because they are not 'popular' and they never even give them a chance. Ok confession sometimes I wonder if i strike up friendships with the unpopular types just to piss people off and be stubborn (oh gawd - is that childish of me? But then I've met so many interesting people this way! usually they are just a little eccentric but there's something about people that are 'different' that I really like.

21. Do you tell yourself that you don't have a right to complain about a person's behavior if you've ever been guilty of the same behavior?

This is stbx's favorite defense. It's almost like if I did it once that gives him a free pass to do the same thing again and again into infinity I've always argued against that way of thinking (2 wrongs don't make a right angle) but inside myself I reckon I think he 'has a point' hmm.

22. Are you attracted to bad boys or people with a large dark side?

No. But enjoy eccentricity and people with passion - but then I also equally like people without these traits. Maybe it's more that I embrace these things about people whereas I notice others might shy away from it? I like animals but LOVE people kinda thing.

23. Do you strongly believe in being fair even when other people are treating you unfairly?

This was the "biggie in the book" for me. Since reading this a few months ago i think it's stuck and will stay with me. I now try and remember to say to myself "but are you being fair to YOURSELF Bix?" This appeals to me because it's logical to be fair to ME too. I was leaving ME out of the 'fairness equation' so I step outside of myself and now 'include' ME in the divvying up of fairness. Frankly it seems silly that I didn't do this before. It's not logical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bix

Now thinking about the questionnaire.

The "someone" part was tripping me up. Cos for ME it depends on who that "someone' is. If the "someone" is someone I'm close to or not. and then there are people with varying degrees of "closeness" in my life. The 'closer' they are the more there is at stake?.

So I could answer each question in several different ways depending on who the "someone" is.

Please tell me this isn;t just me!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bix

(And I don't think it means you have to be a beyotch in order to "not be nice." I think it means, just not being "nice" at the expense of the self.)

I've being playing around with different phrases to come between "NICE" or "BEYOTCH" How about being "authentic yet tactful" ???.

I think in the workplace, you can't always be honest about your feelings. In that case, it's more like you have to play a game. Unfortunately, I think that's the nature of many workplaces. BUT - it doesn't mean you have to be somebody's whipping post or slave.

Exactly - something I've dismally failed at too many times - particularly the "pretending I'm teflon" part in the workplace. But it's tricky isn;t it? I am hopeful that I'm older/wiser now.

Ugh, this is getting messy. Pretzel-head.

I like your pretzel head.

I think maybe we should reframe the term "selfish" into "self-FULL." Because we've attached this negative connotation onto "selfish." So that, if I am being selfish, I am automatically hurting someone else. But - you know what? Why is it okay to hurt yourSELF and not others? WHY?

Exactly - cos if fair is fair why be UNFAIR to yourself? soon as I look at it that way the whole house of cards comes tumbling down for me.

If you're not selfish, you hurt yourself. If you're selfish, you hurt others. Are all others automatically MORE deserving? So - I think in this society we VALUE self-harm, in that respect. We've placed VALUE on "oh, she's so selfless, she does for all those others and never thinks of herself and she's such a saint." THAT'S what's valued in our society. But, okay, that's great for all the others that she serves. But what if SHE is suffering from it? Why is that okay? Why is that GOOD?

Yeah and and to take it to it's logical conclusion then I Bix must consider you Quad to be more deserving that me (if I'm going to selfless right) And vice versa you Quad must put me before you...in order for YOU to be selfless - well ok that makes it even I suppose but seems rather silly - cos what happens if our orbit perchance happnes to be filled with self-caretaking people? who will take care of ME or YOU then? lol. The model only works if everyone 'reciprocates' with everyone else right? And hang on a minute - do I really want someone ELSE taking care of ME - aren't I the best person for the job - I know ME BEST right?

Also I don't actually know many truly "selfless" typesI know - when I think of that I think of 'do gooders" and 'phoniness' . The only example that comes to mind is my MIL. But I see her as "self serving" and "phoney" at times and yes rather irritating. Others 'buy into" the "oh isn't she a saint" thing. not me.

I'm sure there's a lot of religious influence into that, but I'm not going there.

ooooh exactly what I was thinking but you beat me to it. EXACTLY - I'm intrigued if you are thinking along the same lines as me which is this: I reckon it's a hangover from the "selfless is good" and "suffering is noble" christian theme (created to manipulate people). One example which really irritates me is those who refuse to get epidurals (I'm not talking about the side effects of the medication on the child - different reason.) I'm talking about those who think it's somehow more noble less shameful to SUFFER. That's an 'obvious' example I can think of - I blame certain christian doctrines!

So, why is it okay to hurt the SELF as long as you are not hurting OTHERS? A human is a human. Either way, you are still causing hurt to a human.

YES! If I hurt ME or put ME last I'm hurting another human cos I AM human too. love this Quad!

And, also, I think that sometimes "suffering ourselves to keep others from hurting" IS A SELFISH ACT. To keep ourselves from feeling guilty. Or bad.

YES!

I'm almost a walking "F-it." .

hehehehe. Then I suspect your finest moment may be just around the corner :)

- and, if you believe in a higher power, not a good use of the gifts I was given and meant to use in this lifetime

YES! I feel this way too! Like I have an obligation to use my 'gifts' as I was supposed to. and by not doing so is somehow giving God 'the finger'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joyful

Now thinking about the questionnaire.

The "someone" part was tripping me up. Cos for ME it depends on who that "someone' is. If the "someone" is someone I'm close to or not. and then there are people with varying degrees of "closeness" in my life. The 'closer' they are the more there is at stake?.

So I could answer each question in several different ways depending on who the "someone" is.

Please tell me this isn;t just me!!

Nope, not just you. I do the same thing. I'm not actually reading this book, but I'm reading another one called "Lies we Believe." It has me doing an exercise where I write down all of the events in my day for a week and noting especially those that evoke a strong emotion in me. I'm supposed to write those down and assign a dollar value (say from 5 cents to 500 dollars). What I have discovered is that the closer the event or person is to me the stronger the emotion. The STRONGEST emotions are evoked by BH, although my mother runs a close second. I also noticed that certain issues evoke stronger emotions in me than others. For instance, if I feel my femininity is being attacked I get really ticked off (probably why the statement "women are manipulative and conniving" REALLY upset me). Interestingly, if BH feels his masculinity is being attacked he gets really ticked off. This is an issue we dance around and kind of don't discuss as a general rule. But I digress. I think, like you, I could answer each question in several different ways depending on who the someone is AND what the someone did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×