I am often accused of being too sweet, too pleasant, too accommodating, too quiet, and too nice. That last one, too nice, that’s the twisted knife. It appears that in today’s world in order for a woman to achieve success the label “Too Nice” is the hemlock in her cup of caffeine each morning. Do you have to go for the jugular in order to succeed in life? Being nice and accommodating is how I was raised.
Oxford dictionary defines accommodating as: fitting in with one’s wishes or demands in a helpful way.
The question then becomes, is being accommodating a good thing? Who is it benefiting? I watched my grandmother spend all day cooking a meal and then serve it at the table for the family. She never sat down with the family, she just hovered over the shoulder or sat in the kitchen waiting to serve in case anyone needed anything. I did not think much about this growing up possibly because I watched my mother do it. My mother would sit at the table with us, but she was always ready to get up to retrieve something. My mother tried to teach me to do this and some of it took and some of it didn’t.
What I learned was to be accommodating and to put others needs before mine. This accommodation can be beneficial, but it can be even more detrimental to my own personal well-being. I no longer look at it as being accommodating or nice and sweet. It’s enabling. I am an enabler. By bending to others wishes or demands I am enabling them to continue controlling MY life and MY wishes. That control is a powerful thing and breaking free from it is extremely difficult, but in order to achieve success in my life, I have to be in control of it. Do I have to go for the jugular? I don’t think so, because ultimately it is my own neck that I am sticking out and I am kind of attached to it.
It has not been easy taking control of my life and telling people “No. I’m not doing that anymore.” They are stunned and even a little angry but they will get over it. I only have one shot at this life and it’s time to make it my own.
What about you? Have you broken free?