Around 2014, I no longer wanted to say yes all the time and to go along with what other people wanted. Not only this, there were times when I could stand my ground and say no.
For a little while before this, I could see what was talking place but I wasn’t able to do anything about it. I had been playing a role for so long - a role where it wasn’t possible for me to listen to my true needs and feelings.
The Main Area
This was something that typically effected how I behaved in my close relationships; however, this wasn’t how I behaved around everyone in my life. For example, one friend could ask me if I wanted to go out and I would just say yes.
I wouldn’t take the time to tune into my own needs and to see if this was what I actually wanted to do. When this happened, it was as though I was an extension of this person and didn’t have my own life to lead.
Through behaving in this way, I would often end up feeling drained. This was partly due to me not taking the time to relax and partly due to me not listening to my own needs.
But as my needs were often superseded by other people’s needs, it was to be expected that I would spend a lot of time feeling as though I was running on empty. When all this was going on, it was just a normal part of my life.
As a result of this, I would often feel as though I had no control over my life - that only other people had control. This didn’t mean that I would let these people know how I felt, as I felt the need to please them.
And by not paying attention to my anger, I would often feel down and depressed. It was this pain that gave me the strength that I needed to find a way to change my life; I wasn’t prepared to live like this forever.
Drawing the Line
So, when I was no longer willing to behave in the same way, it had a big effect on one of my relationships. Yet, as I had behaved in this way for quite some time, it must have come as a shock.
The role that I had played for so long fulfilled some of this persons needs, so now that I had changed, it was only natural for them to try to get me to revert to how I behaved before. When I first started to say no, I experienced a lot of fear but I had to stand my ground.
One person believed that I had ended up created walls, and couldn’t see that even though I didn’t want to see them as much, it didn’t mean that I no longer did anything. It was a challenge for them to see that their reality was not the only reality.
I would say that my change in behaviour triggered their own issues and this caused them to react in this manner. If they were aware of what was going on within them, it would have allowed them to own their pain.
It Got Easier
My behaviour as an adult was no different to how I had to behave when I was growing up, and this was a time when I had to do as I was told; if I didn’t, I may have been hit, neglected, or verbally abused. The trauma that I experienced during this time was what made it hard for me to connect and to express my true-self as an adult.
It became clear that I needed to work though this pain in order for me to feel safe enough to listen to myself. I could have just tried to change my behaviour or taken some kind of assertiveness training, but this wouldn’t have dealt with what was taking place at a deeper level.