Did you know that I am unwell? Yes, I suffer from white knight syndrome or people-pleasing syndrome. I have been aware of it for a long time, but attending training at work cemented it. Do you find yourself saying yes to things you do not enjoy? What is the personal cost? I often find myself drained and resentful. This week I experimented and challenged my thought patterns. Instead of passive-aggressively mumbling to myself that "I have to do everything." I decided to allow my family the opportunity to learn new skills. I am happy to report that the world did not fall apart, and the laundry did get done without my intervention.
But, and there is always a but - if I say no, people will not like me, and I will lose social capital. Have other people ever told you no? Did you stop liking them? Maybe you were even jealous that they knew how to set boundaries. What if you reframed your thinking? This weekend I moved another child to college. We have been pulling back and giving them more autonomy to make decisions. If I jumped in as their white knight, what learning opportunities would I have denied them? Do you want people in your life that encourage your self-betrayal?
Do you have a little voice inside? Or do you sometimes feel your stomach churn at the thought of something? When you felt in your gut that you should not do something and you did it anyway, how did it turn out for you? I have always regretted decisions made against my better judgment. Perhaps by trusting your instinct, you can model that behaviour for those around you. Believing in yourself builds confidence, and having faith in yourself, inspires others to have confidence in you. Being a role-model sounds like a win-win to me.
What's next? Do not play the pity card. Many of our wounds are self-inflicted because we do not want to let people down, but instead, choose to let ourselves down. Forgive yourself and permit yourself self-love and nurturing. When you tend to yourself, you can bless others with the fruit of your labors. When you neglect yourself, your reserves are barren, and you will want to hoard every scrap for yourself. Self-care is not selfish. It is a process to love yourself more than you fear the rejection of others. It is necessary for you and for you to have positive interactions with others. If you still struggle to say no, take a baby step and try out saying, "let me get back to you on that." If you would like some help in saying yes to you, please feel free to contact me. Namaste.