You know that party that we went to yesterday where I asked you to be nice?
Let’s say that I really didn’t want to go to that party, or I had other things to do.
So yesterday was Halloween. You wanted me to go to this party with you. I had my kids to take trick-or-treating. My hubby wanted my time. Who was I supposed to please?
So if I had said to you I really am not going to go to the party. I’m going to take my kids trick-or-treating and spend some time with my hubby, does that make me a biatch?
Would you maybe have been a little disappointed because you wanted me to go? Sure. But you probably wouldn’t have thought, ‘oh, my gosh, Jac is such a wench. How could she do this to me?’ And if you did, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore. 🙂
There is a difference between being assertive and being a donkey, or another name for a donkey in this case.
And I think part of the problem that we have when we think about asking for what we want is that we are going to come across as the donkey.
And that is just not true at all. So I wanted to draw you a visual. Let’s see if I can do this.
If you picture a continuum, at the zero mark – this is where the people-pleasers live, really, really strong people-pleasers. (visual at the end of the post) Okay? Doing everything for everybody else, not asking for what they want, not taking their own needs and wants into account, okay?
Then on the other end of the continuum, we have 10. This is where the donkeys are. These are the people that we think about who are always my way or the highway. I don’t care what you want. We’re going to do what I want to do.
And we get scared that that’s how we’re going to look if we ask for what we want.
What we forget is that there’s this middle ground, this right here about halfway around a 5, where we can still ask for what we want, but not come across as a jerkwad because nobody wants that.
We don’t like either of these ends of the continuum. Neither of them are healthy. Neither of them are good for us.
In reality, the 5 – 7 area is really where we want to be.
We don’t want people walking all over us, but we want to still be kind because I don’t think it’s just that we’ve been trained that way, but I think sometimes it’s in our nature. We wanna be kind. We definitely don’t want to be a horse’s patoot.
And so there’s this room where we can freely maneuver in there and still get our wants and needs met, and still be kind. And that is really where we want to be.
And we can do it in a way that doesn’t come across as this idea of being selfish that people think of.
It’s okay to have good self-interest. YOU ARE important.
Let me tell you…The only person you are going to be with all of your life is you.
And don’t you want that person to be happy as well as everybody else who is going to come in and out of your life in different ways, shapes, and forms?
Yes, you do. Give me a big, old YES!
So it is okay to act with self-interest. And I’m not going to call it selfishness because I don’t think it is selfish.
Selfishness is the donkey’s butt, however, self-interest is not donkey-ish at all.