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Problems with Passiveness: How Pretending and Pacifying to Keep the Peace Only Creates Pain


Recognizing the Crossroads

You know how there gets to be a point where you are just absolutely furious and fed up with someone’s nonsense? You’ve gone along with their behavior long enough and now you’re just done and end up fuming mad at them. Well—you are at a crossroads the moment you reach this point. You have two choices: be done with them and the passiveness, or just let it go. So, what do you do?

The Ineffectiveness of Extremes

I’ve seen this go both ways. One person cuts ties and burns the bridges down, using that fire within them to purge it all. The other just sighs and resigns themselves to continue enduring the drama. However, neither strategy actually solves the problem. Want to know why?

Identifying the Real Problem

Many of us think that the person is the problem, am I right? If you agree, you’d be wrong. The real problem lies with us. Hear me out—have you ever noticed that even after discarding those people, you still find yourself in relationships (friendships, family, and romantic) with people who end up doing that EXACT thing all over again? Eventually, you might just become jaded and think that all people are like that and it’s hopeless. I see it all the time. Dumping the relationship never actually solves anything because your habits and choices set the stage for the problem to build and manifest.

Breaking the Cycle

I know it sounds like I’m blaming the victim here. But it’s the continued passiveness and lack of enforcing boundaries that let those people take advantage of you. Instead of speaking up and saying no, you just roll with it until you’ve hit your max and then you get mad. If you have to remind yourself that it’s not broken, then you’re lying to yourself and it’s time to fix it.

Problems with Passiveness: How pretending and pacifying to keep the peace only creates pain

Metaphor of Passiveness

Imagine if you were a house with automatic doors that never locked and a sign on the door that says “Come on in and help yourself.” Your resources would be laid out in the kitchen buffet style for anyone to serve themselves and take what they wanted. A bowl of cash would be there for anyone to dip their hands into if they desired. Your bedroom door would be wide open for anyone to walk into and help themselves as well. I think you get the point I’m trying to make here. The idea of that feels a bit unnerving too. However, metaphorically, that’s what happens when you take the passive approach to appeasing others. Anyone in your life can walk right in and help themselves to all that you have and all that you are.

Changing Choices and Behaviors

When you start by changing those choices and behaviors, you come from a place of knowing that you deserve to be treated a specific way. Honoring your values, needs, and internal resources when you interact with others, you quickly weed out people who just want you to go along with what they want. I know this because I’ve been where you are. I’ve helped many clients work through this same pattern using the same approach time and time again. When we choose ourselves first, we choose people who will honor us instead of use or abuse us.

Reflecting on Past Situations

Next time you find yourself furious and fed up, I challenge you to take a step back and look. See if you can spot the places where you didn’t stand up for yourself, didn’t voice what you wanted or needed, or just went along with what they wanted instead. We can learn a lot about ourselves when we are willing to look back on past situations with an honest and unattached point of view. The more we reflect on lessons learned in hindsight, the more we create opportunities in the present to choose differently. You deserve to be treated well, and that starts with how you treat yourself. That, my friends, is what is meant by self-love.

Choosing Yourself

Now it’s time to choose yourself and make a promise to ditch the passiveness that’s only ever caused you pain. Like those past clients I’ve helped, you can also ditch the pacifier and finally find peace in your life. It starts with one call. Click the link below to get started and schedule now.

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