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Problems with Passiveness: How Keeping the Peace Creates Pain


Recognizing Your Role

If you were in a car, where would you be seated? Are you the backseat driver, the passive passenger, the co-pilot, or the driver?

If you’re the passive passenger, do you constantly feel cheated or taken for granted? The co-pilot sits up front helping navigate, the backseat driver acts passive-aggressively, and the driver is behind the wheel, in control of what happens and where you go. Meanwhile, the passive passenger just hangs out, waiting to see where they end up.

Feeling Cheated as a Passive Passenger

Anytime I feel cheated, it’s usually a sign that I decided to be the passive passenger. I hoped for what I wanted but chose to stay quiet and not get involved, especially when there were many other opinions involved. These days, I choose to drive myself and meet everyone there if we’re heading to the same place. To be fair, I’ve never been much of a passive passenger. Usually, I was the obnoxious backseat driver or co-pilot if I wasn’t the one driving, but there are times when I’d rather sit back and let someone else take charge. That’s usually when I end up feeling like I got cheated.

Problems with Passiveness: How Keeping the Peace Creates Pain

Understanding the Problem with Passiveness

Feeling cheated happens when we expect or want something to turn out a certain way, but we play by someone else’s rules instead of our own. We just go along with what they say, thinking it’ll work out for us. The problem with that is, we have a tendency to stack the rules in our own favor if we are the ones making them. It’s like they say, “The house always wins” when you’re playing cards at the casino.

Changing the Passiveness Pattern

So, how do we change that?

The first step is recognizing what you want to happen and knowing your own needs and values. It sounds simple, but most of us focus on what we DON’T want or need. When it comes time to decide what we DO want and need, we’re stumped. I know I was!

Once you figure that out, you have to own it. Speak up for yourself and take actions that put you in power and at choice. This way, you can move toward your goal or expectation. Usually, in this step, we lose our voice and make assumptions, thinking others are perfect mind readers and should just KNOW what we want. Honestly, you’re giving them too much credit. If you don’t ask, they won’t know. Most aren’t wired to read others and anticipate their needs and wants, especially as their default setting. To do so, they need some encouragement. So remember your voice and speak up for yourself when you need to.

Using Past Experiences for Present Decisions

Use your past experiences to help you look for clues in the present moments that warn you that you may be tempted to take on the passive role. Find ways to change those choices to become either the driver or co-pilot of the car. As you do, you’ll begin to step more into your power and become wiser about how you approach your life, feeling validated and appreciated in turn.

Seeking Guidance

If this is something you struggle with and you need a co-pilot to help you navigate your life while you learn the way of the road, please reach out to me by scheduling a consultation call. You, like many others I have worked with, can learn how to be in control of your own life and navigate it with ease and confidence without continuing to sacrifice what you really want.

Contact me today to get started!

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