Kassi Martin's Blog
Why We Need to STOP Raising 'Good Girls'
Continuing with my top Coaching Tips for Life, Art & Creative Business: Be Confident, Empowered & Resilient
Sometimes I wonder if I am flawed. I'm talking specifically in terms of my capacity to love, care, connect and how willing I am to give.
My biggest issue that has held me back in life was my willingness to help support others whether it was a crisis or painful everyday life situation.
If you are like me, we Tend to our relationships and friendships, we are empathic and when we are given a complement we appear to be prepared to give ourselves away... forsake our Self for what the other might want or need... and this makes us Very vulnerable.
Something my wise Therapist said to me was: "Kas, the question is NOT what they want from you... it's what YOU Want for YOU...!"
I skidded to a halt as he brought my focus to Me... to who I am... to what I want with my Life. What a novel idea!!!
Later when journaling, I realised that all of my life, pretty much, had been all about The Other. I simply gave whatever the other wanted. Without question.
If this was what they wanted, I simply came up with the goods; at home, at the stables where I had a weekend job, at school, college, first boyfriend, in the work place... everywhere.
Take a moment... you might like to reflect on Your own experience as I chat with you here...
Where is your "Locus of Evaluation"? Is it internal - on yourself? Or is it external - on the wants and needs of Others or the environment? If you made a pie chart... how much would be internal and how much external? I faced up to the fact that my 'External' piece of the Pie was Massive!! Predominantly all about the other (lucky them and not so good for me!)
But what about My Life? What about YOUR Life?
I believe we begin life wrapped up in our internal locus of evaluation - Yay! As teeny babies, instinctively hell-bent on survival, crying, bawling or gurgling when we are wet, hungry, happy, lonely, cold, loved, bored, scared ...babies don't have words for these 'things', but bodily a baby knows when 'things' are 'Right' or 'Wrong' for them - and they let us know in no uncertain terms. Thank goodness for this innate survival instinct.
As we grow and become aware of our environment and main caregiver, plus the others who belong in this 'family' group/system... make themselves known to us.
Our Locus of Evaluation shifts from internal (our hungers/needs) and we figure out (bodily) we need to survive around here and pay attention to the big people or I might freeze, be abandoned, starve, be rejected and ultimately, die.
Our Locus of Evaluation becomes External. We really take note. We figure out the 'rules' of the family/system we have arrived in and in order to survive we need to adapt. We are Conditioned to fit in and belong. Our locus is Very externally orientated and we dismiss, deny, ignore, forget and forsake ourselves for all the others.
I truly believe it stayed this way for me FOR a VERY Long Time! Decades!!!
How about you?
How much care, attention, love, doing, giving are you spending your time on, for others? I totally appreciate as a Parent, if you have youngsters... this is how it is, their welfare is vitally important - and you need 'me time' too.
How much of the above are you spending on your self?
I really began to examine my pattern for relationships. This was eye opening, challenging, saddening - in fact understanding my pattern for getting into relationships/friendships was like a slap in the face. It helped me do things very differently however, from that moment of awakening.
Perhaps you would like to consider your own pattern for how you get into friendships, relationships, jobs ...could be any aspect of Life.
I'll go first shall I? There were 6 men... two by my 12th year... then in my 17th year... then my 25th, 26th year and finally my 29th year.
These men all presented themselves before me with their 'Wants/Needs/Desires/Intentions' and having been trained to accommodate and with an incredible sensitivity to the Wants of Others, I simply gave them exactly what they wanted.
Back then, I/we just did this. How about You?
Raised to be A Good Girl... a Polite Girl... an Accommodating Girl... a smiley, pleasant, obliging, giving, honest, helpful, kind girl who never questioned anyone about anything, EVER... and who was so capable, able and 99% of the time, could come up with the required goods without much difficulty, I simply did what I'd been conditioned to do.
Sound like you? Yep! Me Too!
I remember sharing with my good friend, not so long ago about how I'd got myself involved with the fifth guy in my 26th year. I thought he was the bees knees!
My friend and I were discussing why Woman is so accommodating, how we just gave in to whatever was required of us.
Raised in the 60's, 70's or 80's, we remembered how casually and regularly we were sexually touched, grabbed or taunted at school and then in our work places simply because it was "just how it was" back then.
Nobody complained because this was the norm. Nobody said a thing because we were all hypnotised and blinded to just 'how it all was', without question. To be sexually exploited, added to which - woman should feel grateful for and/or thrilled that a man might show interest in us was everyday life back then.
Thank Goodness things are changing!
Going back to my 26th year. My focus was my career. I loved clothes and music but I really wanted to do well at work and be taken seriously. Finding a man/boyfriend/partner/husband/settling down... was NOT on my horizon. Yet... this is what actually happened...
I was working. He came over and presented himself to me. He didn't say 'hi'. he didn't introduce himself, he didn't ask if I was busy (which I was) nor did he say sorry for interrupting me... He stood beside me, looking directly into my eyes, smiling from his handsome face, completely cocky and certain in himself that this would all swing in his favour. He told me he had been watching me for some time (Me of today says: "You mean like a stalker?!!??") and I want you to come out for a drink with me.
I stopped what I was doing and looked up at him because I had been taught to look at the person speaking to me. It had been trained/conditioned into me that 'man is more powerful than woman. Man must not be ignored or denied (anything)...
I could hear and see what he wanted. My well trained, good, kind, polite, agreeable, accommodating girl immediately snapped into action and said: 'Oh... yes of course... when were you thinking?'
This was an instant, unthinking, unconscious, obliging Part of me accommodating him without absolutely no consideration for my self.
That moment in time, that man and his request began years of emotional heartache and torture for me all because I did not have the capacity to consider what I wanted in that moment.
Just because a person asks for something or stands before me with a request, a desire, a want.. I, you, we all have the right to say 'I'll think about it...' or 'No thanks.' or 'who the hell are you???!!'
Back then, I did not have the language, knowledge or modeling to focus on myself, what I thought, felt or wanted.
I am sad to say that this pattern happened every single time I began a relationship with a man. They wanted me, I accommodated them without question, without consideration to my self.
Nobody had ever taught me it was ok or possible to say or do something other than accommodate the other and come up with the goods even if I wasn't interested!
Even when it turned out that man was married with children which took months to figure out... He worked away from his home town Mon-Fri and made himself very available to me until Saturday arrived and everything changed!
I did not know I could backtrack, change my mind, speak my truth, challenge his gas lighting and lies or leave. No-one ever taught me as a child and so it remained my pattern of relating for decades. DECADES!!! And our patterns impact everyone we speak with or relate with or raise... wow... what a terrifying thought!
How about you? I wonder how you feel as you read my words and hear what I share and perhaps consider your own experiences of relationships or friendships. What about the patterns in your own life? It could be about how you get new jobs... or how you comply with the opinions of others... it could be anything.
Tune inward and notice where your locus of evaluation lies... internally with your self or externally with others and environment.
Do you have the capacity to say No? What did you learn as you were growing up about your autonomy, being assertive, asking for help and leaning?
Do you give yourself time to consider what you are being asked? Would/Could you simply say, 'No.' to a request and walk away?
I was taught to be So Polite it never crossed my mind to say 'No', walk away and yet, there were many times this approach would have saved me wasting Decades of my life trapped in relationships that were toxic and abusive!
Saying No would have taken a few seconds of discomfort perhaps however, to have said 'NO' would have saved me YEARS of misery!
How about YOU???
I am now painfully aware of just how much I have adapted to and accommodated practically Everyone in my past. I refer to friendships and colleagues as well as men. I intend to be very picky and very choosy just for me and my life now. Again I bring your attention to YOU... how about YOU?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this... I'd love to hear how you handle requests/wants/needs directly aimed at you... comment below if you feel called.
Is your locus of evaluation internal or external?
I completely understand as a parent of youngsters we have a commitment to them, to make them our focus ...whilst hopefully finding ways to seek out time for ourselves as this is vitally important too. It also models to our children that we need time and space for ourselves whilst they are VERY important to us.
AND... I wonder if this may impact you as a Parent to Lead your children in a different way? Of course we want our children to grow up respecting the law, to be kind and loving... BUT do we want our children to forsake themselves and simply accommodate everybody or everything in a blind, unthinking way and possibly waste years of their lives when all they needed to do was say 'no thank you, not interested!' Sometimes we have to escalate our polite 'No' to something much firmer and if required, Be REALLY Firm when the other won't take no for an answer.
Teaching our children: "It's nice to be nice AND sometimes, we need to say No, firmly... and even get very tough when we are not being heard or respected!'
We are very influential as Parents, Relatives, Teachers, Friends, Leaders... look how easily we condition our children to accommodate. We could just as easily teach them to say NO, firmly... and keep their focus on their own lives.
I believe it is very important to let our/all children know that it is absolutely ok and important to take their time to consider what they want before answering any requests that come their way. AND not to start with 'Sorry... but' when they have decided to say NO! We don't need to put our head to one side, pull an apologetic expression and say... "erm... so sorry about this... but..." Just Say Exactly What You Need to Say - the other doesn't have any problem doing this with you!
I also believe we need to teach our children to listen to their intuition, to develop boundaries (which you will need to model and teach) and feel potent enough to say "No" and not to accept just ANY kind of behaviour or treatment from others without question. No matter who they are. Those in positions of trust or authority have incredible power and not everyone can be trusted. This is a fact.
We only have to cast our mind back into the media and recall many stories where things have become dangerously out of hand... precariously balancing on the edge of heartbreak, reason or much worse.
My biggest learning is to keep my Locus of Evaluation Internally and that it's much quicker to Say "NO" than get involved and spend Years and Years trying to disentangle from toxic relationships, friendships or jobs.
take good care
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