Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Secret of Self-Esteem

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Have you ever thought about what really creates self-esteem? Having a deep sense of inner worth is important to all of us, but many people have some false beliefs about what creates confidence in our own merit as individuals.

Some of the common false beliefs regarding what creates self-esteem are:

* I will feel good about my self when I'm making $______(fill in the amount) a year.

* I will feel worthy when I am in a relationship with a (beautiful) (handsome) (wealthy) (loving) (fill in own) person.

* I will feel worthy when I get enough approval from enough people.

* I will feel adequate when I have a baby.

* I will feel adequate when_______( fill in desired outcome that you attach to your sense of worth).

However, there are many people who have all of the above and still do not feel a deep sense of self-esteem. That's because self-esteem has nothing to do with anything external, such as looks, approval, money, relationships with others, or having a baby.

Self-esteem, or the lack of it, is solely the result of how we treat ourselves. Those people who attend to their own feelings and needs with loving action on their own behalf feel good about themselves, while those people who ignore, invalidate, or judge their own feelings and needs feel badly about themselves.

For example, Anna grew up with parents who were hardworking and very caring about their children, but who didn't take good care of themselves. Both of her parents smoked, drank too much, and didn't eat well. Neither of them took responsibility for their own feelings, so both of them were anxious or depressed much of the time. Even though her parents were loving to her, Anna does not take good care of herself, having had no role modeling for personal responsibility, She doesn't eat well or get enough exercise, doesn't stand up for herself at home or at work, and doesn't get enough rest or playtime. She is very attractive, makes lots of money, has a husband and children, yet often feels very insecure.

If you imagine that her feelings and needs are like a child within, you can begin to see why she doesn't feel good about herself. Treating herself badly will always result in feeling badly. You might be tempted to think that she treats herself badly because she doesn't feel good about herself, and that's true, but she will not feel good about herself until she treats herself as a worthwhile person. Her good feelings will come from her loving action toward herself. The more loving action she is willing to take on her own behalf -- taking physical, emotional, financial, organizational, relationship, and spiritual responsibility -- the better she will feel about herself.

How can Anna be motivated to take loving care of herself when she doesn't feel good about herself? It seems like a vicious circle, yet there is a way out. Anna doesn't feel motivated to take care of herself because she thinks that who she is, is her ego, the wounded part of herself whom she doesn't like. Yet if Anna opens to knowing who she really is - that she beautiful and perfect child of God, that her essence, her true Self is a spark of God, created in the image of God - she will want to take loving care of this wonderful soul within.

When Anna begins to take loving care of herself, her wounded self -- the part of herself that has low self-esteem -- begins to heal. The more Anna feeds herself well, gets enough exercise and rest, speaks up for herself and tells her truth, takes care of her financial situation, organizes her time and environment, treats others with kindness and compassion, and opens to her spiritual Guidance or Higher Power, the better she will feel about herself. Self-esteem is the result of taking loving action, not the cause of it. Since we all have free will, we each have the choice to take loving action on our own behalf.

It doesn't matter how badly you were treated as a child, or how badly your parents treated themselves. Your actions need never be governed by your past. If you devote yourself, moment-by-moment, to taking loving action on our own behalf, you will discover that the result is high self-esteem.


The Need to Feel Special

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From the time Jennifer was a little child, she was demanding of attention, especially from her mother, Sarah. With two older brothers, Jennifer had a "special" place in the family as the baby and the only girl. She made sure to establish a "special" relationship with her mother, who relished the connection since she didn't have much of a relationship with her emotionally distant husband.

It was easy for Jennifer to control her mother's attention. Because her mother was needy for emotional connection and afraid of not being liked, all Jennifer had to do was get angry at her mother and Sarah would capitulate, giving Jennifer the attention she craved. Jennifer learned early to control her mother by becoming angry, critical and withholding love when her mother didn't do what she wanted. Unwittingly, Sarah contributed to Jennifer's neediness, entitlement issues, and the belief that happiness was dependent on approval and attention from others.

Jennifer, now in her late 30's, finds herself continuing the pattern she started with her mother - attaching to others in needy and demanding ways. The result is she has not been able to have a successful relationship with any of the men she has dated.

We all have a need to feel special. It is not the need that is dysfunctional, it is how we go about getting the need met that can be either dysfunctional or healthy. It is dysfunctional when we make others responsible for making us feel special. When others have to give us attention, compliment us, seek us out, and attend to our wants and needs in order for us to feel special, our behavior is dysfunctional.


You will stop pulling on others to make you special only when you accept the full responsibility of making yourself feel special. This means learning to give yourself all that you may be trying to get from others -- treating yourself in the loving ways you desire from others. There are many ways of making ourselves feel special. Instead of trying to get others to give you what you want, you can:


o Attend to your feelings throughout the day and explore what you may be doing that is causing painful feelings, rather than making others responsible for your feelings.

o Attend to your own needs rather than expecting others to meet your needs.

o Accept yourself rather than judge yourself. Validate yourself, approve of yourself -- tell yourself the things you want to hear from others. Value your talents and gifts.

o Value your intrinsic worth rather than just your looks or performance -- your kindness, compassion, creativity, caring.

o Behave in ways that you value -- being loving, kind, integreous, compassionate, understanding, caring.

o Pursue work you love, work that fulfills you, if possible.


o Feed yourself well to maintain health and appropriate weight.

o Get enough rest and exercise.

o Create balance between work and play and creative time.

o Make sure you are physically safe such as when riding a motorcycle.


o Make sure you are financially independent rather than dependent upon another, if physically able to do so.

o Spend within your means to avoid the fear and stress of debt.


o Stand up for yourself and speak your truth rather than complying, defending or resisting in the face of others' demands or criticism. Don't be a victim.

o Refrain from blaming others, with anger and criticism, for your feelings and behavior. Don't be a victim.


o Do what you say you are going to do regarding time and chores.

o Make sure your living space and work environment are clean and tidy, and esthetically pleasing.


o Take the time to connect with the love and truth of God/Higher Power.

o Take time throughout the day to bring the love down to the level of your feeling self -- your Inner Child.

Treating yourself in these loving ways will eventually result in feeling internally special rather than needing others to make you feel special.

As Jennifer practiced making herself special, she discovered that her relationships with others were becoming stronger and more fulfilling. People were no longer pulling away from her, resisting her, or defending themselves against her demands for attention. Her behavior naturally and gradually changed with others when she was treat herself as a special person.

The Key To Self Discipline

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Self discipline starts with the ability to control your behavior. That means motivating yourself to do what you need to do, and stopping yourself from doing things that are bad for you. The "ability to control" is just the start, though, and real discipline is when you have trained your mind in such way that you consistently get the behavior you want.

Discipline may appear to be a problem of willpower. However, this implies just pushing ourselves harder to do things, even when we feel miserable, or fighting temptations. It's a good recipe for stress and disappointment, but there are better ways to a disciplined life.

Self Discipline Tips

Have you ever stayed up all night talking about something interesting? Then you know what power the mind has over the body. Sleep can be put off when we are motivated by a passionate discussion,and it doesn't take much willpower to keep doing something when you are enjoying it. That gives us a key to self discipline.

Try to enjoy what you are doing and be energized. Your willpower goes up and down with your energy levels, so play energetic music, move around, laugh, and look for the interesting parts of whatever project you are working on. Once you identify your best energy boosters and motivators, make a list, and train your brain to use them whenever you need discipline.

Make things easier on yourself. If you feel stressed when you think about doing your tax return, for example, don't think about it! Just lay out the forms where you can work on them later. Later do just one form, and then another. Whatever the task at hand, you can find enough motivation for some small step. Start training your mind to take that step as soon as you think of it, and the next steps become easier.

Self Discipline And Self Awareness

What if that cake calls to you. Sometimes it's hard to resist temptation, right? Willpower is a nice idea, but here is a simpler solution: stop standing in front of the cake! It is an easy lesson to understand, so train yourself to apply it habitually. Don't keep beer in the house if you don't want to drink it. Don't go alone to the bar if you want to maintain a faithful marriage. Just stay away from people that lead you to trouble.

Discipline doesn't mean being immune to temptation. Go ahead and develop the willpower to say no, if you can, but why not also have the wisdom to avoid temptation? Know where your resistance is low, and don't put yourself in those situations. Does this make more sense than fighting useless battles with yourself?

Fighting feelings is a losing battle. It's far more effective to learn about yourself. How are you energized and motivated? Where are your strengths and weaknesses? Learn about yourself, and start using what you learn to make the behaviors you want easy. That's the key to self discipline.


The Difference Between Approval and Appreciation

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Having worked with individuals, couples, families and business partners for 35 years, helping them learn to resolve conflict, I have often been faced with the difficulties that occur when people are confused about the difference between approval with appreciation. Have you ever wondered about the difference between approval and appreciation? Most of us have never actually thought about it, yet if we do think about it, we realize that we feel very differently when we receive approval as opposed to receiving appreciation. There are good reasons for this.

Approval is something we give from a wounded, controlling part of us. Approval is conditional upon the other person performing in the way we want or expect. Approval is manipulative - that is, we give it with an outcome in mind. We hope that the other person will continue to do what we want as a result of the approval.

Appreciation, on the other hand, is something we offer from a whole loving place within - what I call the loving Adult. It comes from the heart and is offered spontaneously as the heart wells up with feelings of delight, awe, joy, or love regarding another's way of being. Appreciation has much more to do with the essence of a person rather than with performance. We are appreciating a person's core Self, who they really are and the results of who they are, rather than what they do and their performance. With appreciation, there is no attachment to the outcome, no expectation that the other should or will continue to perform. Appreciation is a true gift.

Often, when someone says they want appreciation or do not feel appreciated, what they are really seeking is approval. It is the wounded part of them who is not feeling seen and appreciated within - they are not seeing and appreciating themselves so they need it from others to feel worthy. The wounded self of the individual projects outward the inner need to be seen, understood and appreciated and pulls from others to get this need met. Whenever I hear someone say that they do not feel appreciated, I know that their essence - their Inner Child - is not being seen and loved by their own inner adult.

When we are giving ourselves the attention and appreciation that we need and we then receive appreciation from others, it feels wonderful but it is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. When it becomes the cake itself, then we need to look within and recognize that we have handed over to others the job of defining and validating our own worth and lovability.

When you share something about yourself with the intent of getting approval, attention or appreciation, it doesn't feel like sharing to other people. Instead they feel pulled at to validate you. When you share something about yourself with the intent of offering something to others, it feels like a gift. This is clearly illustrated in the wonderful movie, Good Will Hunting. In this movie the therapist, played by Robin Williams, shares much personal information about himself with his client Will, an angry and resistant young man. He shared it, not because he wanted or needed anything back, but purely to help Will feel safe in opening to his own pain.

We can all challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we offer positive feedback to others - is it a true gift or does it have strings attached? And we can challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we share things about ourselves - are we giving or trying to get? Giving to get doesn't feel good to others who are at the other end of the pull, and getting what we want from others feels good only for the moment, but is ultimately tiring for us. It is tiring to always be trying to get from others what we need to be giving to ourselves.

Giving appreciation and sharing ourselves from a loving heart, with no need to get anything back, will always feel wonderful and energizing to us and to others.


The Courage to Say Yes

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In a culture full of reasons to say ``no,'' it takes a lot of courage to find ways to say ``yes.''

We're taught to say ``no'' from a very young age, after all. For most of us, our first word was ``no'', and it quickly became our favorite word. As toddlers and teenagers, we used ``no'' to
differentiate ourselves from our parents, peers, and surroundings. It's how we began to control what was happening around us, or at least, how we tried to control that. It helped us over those early developmental hurdles, and gave us our earliest sense of our personal boundaries -- and that's a lot of significance bound up in such a tiny word!

The problem isn't that ``no'' in and of itself is somehow bad; indeed, giving yourself permission to say "no" as an adult can keep you out of an awful lot of trouble.

The problem is that ``No'' begins to take on a life of its own. Too often, that life is yours.

Life is change, and ``no'' becomes a way of slowing down that change, or trying to stop it altogether. It is a shield we use to protect ourselves from having to experience anything new or different. Rather than riding the wave of change into a life full of exhilarating possibilities, we use ``no'' as a tether to keep us safely confined to the kiddie pool.

Using ``no'' to protect ourselves from change is like a kitten poking its head under covers, assuming it's completely hidden. Change is going to happen, whether you say "no" to it or not. And, just like that kitten, assuming that "no" protects you from change is one sure way to have it pounce on you and bite your tail.

Let's be honest here: We usually say ``no'' out of fear, and some fears are entirely reasonable. It's sensible to say ``no'' to jumping off a bridge or ``no'' to cake if you are diabetic. These ``no's'' aren't the ones that keep us from living lives of incredible satisfaction and happiness. It's those silly, neurotic fears like fearing rejection, or of looking stupid, or being wrong. It's the fear of commitment, the fear of speaking out, and the fear of facing our truest, deepest desires. The list is nauseatingly long, and we've all bought into some of these at least once. These fears have shaped our lives, often to our detriment and sometimes to the detriment of those around us.

So the next time you're faced with something new and exciting and all those little neurotic fears start rioting inside you, what does it take to fight down a ``no'' and say ``yes'' instead?

In a word: Courage.

Like the Cowardly Lion (an archetype for the fear-ridden) we need to find our courage. Unlike him, we know that we have to face our fears, and find our courage within. Inside each of us beats a brave, fiercely courageous heart, willing to take on a challenge if it means that life afterward will be more authentic, happier, and freer. What better challenges to tackle than the fears that keep us chained to our tiny, boring, closeted little lives?

Do yourself a favor: Right now, identify and tackle at least one of those inner fears. Find a reason to say "yes" today, and every day. You've only your inner coward to lose!


The Cost of Being Right: A High Price to Pay

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One of the highest prices we pay in life is the cost of being right. Some of us will sacrifice almost anything just in order to be the last one standing. A person who had been surrounded by their peers now sits alone, safe in the knowledge that he or she is right in their viewpoint even though they have alienated everyone around them. The ego is a mighty powerful entity left unchecked.

Have you ever attempted to reason with a child who knows everything? It's their way or no way at all. They simply cannot understand the concept of another person's point of view. Children go through a stage where they are extremely self-absorbed. Everything is 'mine' and they will not share. The world revolves around their desires and needs. This is a normal stage of childhood where the child is asserting their individuality and independence. The problem arises when the behavior is carried over into adulthood.

People who need to be right have little patience for others. They perceive their ideas as the right way to do things and their viewpoints as the right way to think. A differing opinion is a direct affront to their sense of well-being and they become extremely aggressive in their defense of themselves. They tend to alienate others due to their insistence on being 'right'. The importance of the issue in question doesn't seem to have any relevance. A simple trip to the store can end in disaster. Anger and a lack of empathy seem to be the rule of thumb.

People are different. We each have a totally unique set of DNA that will never be replicated short of cloning. I do not think the same as you do and vice-versa. Our brains are wired differently. What seems totally natural and easy for me to do may be close to impossible for you. Oftentimes we get caught in the thought pattern, " If I can see this so clearly, why in the world can't you?" "If I can perform this task, why can't you?" But the reality is that just because I can do something does not mean that you can. Nor does it make me better or right. Just different.

What is right and wrong? I bake a cake a certain way and I determine that it is the 'right' way to bake a cake. Yet my next-door neighbor uses an entirely different method and guess what? Her cake is just as good. Short of a cake being inedible, there is no right or wrong, just different ways of baking the cake. Some ways may be more efficient, true. But not necessarily the only way of doing it.

Webster's dictionary states the following as a definition of the word right: conforming to facts or truth; most favorable or desired. Can someone's opinion or idea be right because it is considered as conforming to the truth or a fact? By the way, whose truth? Or better yet, two viewpoints can each conform to the truth so which one is more right? Can someone's stand on a subject be the most favorable or desired? That is highly relative and I think that is the point. It's all relative.

Having to be right seems to be more akin to the definition of self-righteous which Webster's defines as convinced of one's own righteousness (being right) especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others: narrow-mindedly moralistic. Aha! Now we are getting closer. Someone who needs to be right would seem to be self-righteous, I.E., someone who feels that their way of seeing and doing things is superior to that of others.

This brings to mind the religious zealots who believe that their way of worshipping G-d is the only true way and that anyone who does not hold to their dogma is not only a non-believer but also an infidel. They have the deep need to convert the non-believer, believing that unless you hold to my way of thinking, you will be condemned to hell. My believing something different is considered a threat. This of course is an extreme case of but it certainly reveals the nature of being right.

What also pops up for me on the subject of being right is what often happens in a divorce. We all have stories of an acrimonious divorce where two people spend insane amounts of money to argue about trivialities just to get even and be in the right. The antagonists will pay their lawyers thousands of dollars in a fight over a living room chair just for the sake of besting the other person. Once again it shows the price people are willing to pay in support of their ego.

Why the intense need to be right? Myriad reasons come to mind: self esteem issues, low self-confidence, the past running the present, remnants of childhood adaptations, ego-centric behavior…the list goes on and on. I am of the opinion that it isn't so much the reasons (although it is important to understand why we do certain things) behind why we need to be right rather the self-knowledge that we are indeed involved in this kind of self-destructive behavior. We must first become aware of our need to be right and then examine the costs involved in our behavior.

What are the costs of being right? We come across as a know-it-all, which alienates people. We are unyielding and do not work well with others so we have a tendency not to be part of the team or community. We isolate ourselves. We turn away connectedness and love. We become an island unto ourselves. Most impactful is the fact that we close ourselves off to what the world has to offer because we know best.

"...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right."
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

We will never recognize where our next opportunity lies if we do not remain open to possibilities. To remain receptive to what the world has to offer, we must keep an open mind and heart. We must learn to listen to what others have to say. We must be aware and conscious of what is being offered to us at any given moment. We must realize that there is much to gain from listening and not speaking. If I am too busy pushing my agenda, I cannot possibly hear what is being said and therefore I may miss out on what could be an opportunity to experience deep learning and personal growth.
Looking at the big picture versus the immediate helps put things in perspective. If I don't get my way, is it a matter of life and death? Will I even remember this incident in ten years from now? Some things are simply not worth the effort and being right all the time fits into that category.

Think of what it is like to be heard? How do you regard someone who takes a sincere interest in you and what you have to say? Those people who hold a genuine curiosity about others are magnets. We are attracted to them because they make us feel good about ourselves. They in turn are rewarded with deeper friendships, better working relationships, more meaningful and loving personal relationships and a universe that continually opens with more possibilities.

Start by simply noticing if you are overly invested in being right when you have a discussion with others, be it at work, at home, wherever. Just notice how you are being and perhaps, why? In the noticing you will become very aware of how you interact with others. Imagine being in their shoes and seeing through their eyes. What do you look like from their viewpoint? Is it a picture you like? If not, how could you do things differently?

As you notice and do things differently you may start to see dramatic changes. Or the changes may be subtler. As you do things differently, people will start to react differently. Your world will open up. You will start feeling more connected. You will learn new things that had remained closed off to you before. New possibilities for a life that is more meaningful and fulfilling will appear.

Being righteous and being self-righteous are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. It's the difference between people who are full of themselves versus people who do the right thing. Who do you choose? How do you want to be perceived? A life well lived is a life where being right is not the be-all end-all. The be-all end-all is a life well lived. Luckily, as human beings we were given free will and the ability to choose for ourselves. It all comes down to choice.


Don’t Be a Victim of the People Pleasing Quadrant

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People pleasing can be a defeating habit in a person's life, simply because the act itself takes your focus off what you CAN control, and puts your focus on to what you CAN'T control, which is somebody else's happiness and peace of mind. Here is a perfect example to illustrate my point:

If you buy your lover flowers, and they come home to tell you they just received a raise at work -- the flowers you give them are just going to add to their joy, and you are going to have a wonderful evening.

However, if you buy your lover flowers, and they come home to tell you they just got fired from work -- they may look at the flowers and give a quick smile just to acknowledge you and quickly go back to sulking -- or worse, they may be hateful and yell, "WHAT GOOD ARE FLOWERS GOING TO DO ME NOW?!?!? ARE THEY HIRING FLORISTS?!?!"

Of course, this is common sense -- but it is a perfect example of why people pleasing doesn't work 100% of the time. You will never be able to predict what kind of mood anyone is going to be in all the time, simply because things will always happen outside of our control. Consequently, your happiness or misery is in the other person's hands, which puts you into a very vulnerable position.

I have developed what I call, "The People Pleasing Quadrant" to broaden readers awareness of what people-pleasing is, and what to do once those people-pleasing tendencies rear their ugly heads. Quadrant means "four" which means there are four different situations you will find yourself in that you will need to develop strategies to combat your people-pleasing tendencies. The four situations are as follows:

Quadrant # 1: Dealing with the people you like or love when those people ALSO like or love you in return:

This first quadrant is the easiest to manage, because at least you genuinely like or love the person you are dealing with, and they like or love you as well. However, remember the example we used above about the lover losing their job and the flowers? No matter how much you like or love someone, or how much they like or love you, bad things happen sometimes. We all say things we don't mean. The trick is to not take the people you care about personally, and feel responsible for "fixing" them. Let the person you like and love be hurt, angry, mad, and upset. It doesn't have to affect your core happiness, although you can sympathize with the person and let them know you will be there for them, if they want to talk. Besides, this person cares about you -- and they don't want to drag you down, just because they are having a bad day. Give them a little space, and let things sort themselves out. Spend your energy focusing on more productive ventures, such as going for a jog to get in shape, studying for an important test, or reading a book that is of interest to you. People-pleasing is really annoying to people who like or love you already. They don't expect you to make everything better, they just need some time to get over it.

Quadrant # 2: Dealing with the people you like or love when those people DON'T like or love you in return:

The second quadrant is oftentimes the most painful quadrant to come to terms with, regardless if it is about a "friend," family member, or lover. Once in a great while, we can like or even love someone who doesn't like or love us in return. We do everything in our power to be "good" enough, "supportive" enough, "encouraging" enough, "kind" enough, whatever enough! But somehow, it is never enough, and it never will be.

Once in awhile, these people we like or love are nice to us out of pity, guilt, regret or remorse -- or because we are fulfilling some kind of need for them that they don't want to give up. Don't mistake their temporary kindness as genuine concern! Because honestly, these people don't like or love us at all. It could be for a variety of reasons, but those reasons don't have anything to do with you. The trick for getting over people-pleasing in this quadrant is to realize what quadrant these people belong in, and come to terms with the fact that they don't like or love you. On the other hand, realize that there are millions of other people out here who would absolutely adore you. Realize that you are wasting your valuable and precious time with people pleasing, especially in this quadrant, because no matter what you do, it won't matter. Just move on to someone who will like, love and appreciate the beautiful person you are.

Quadrant # 3: Dealing with the people you DON'T like or love when those people DO like or love you.

Most of the people-pleasing in this quadrant comes out of guilt, pity or personal gain. Although I must admit, it is really hard not to like someone who likes you, but you may be able to definitely see that the other person likes or loves you WAY more than you like
or love them.

I believe my grandmother taught me a very gracious lesson about how to handle situations in quadrant three. One day, a boy who just moved into my neighborhood decided to ask me out on a date. He really had a crush on me, and I could tell. However, I didn't feel the same way about him. But I did enjoy all of the flowers, candy and attention he gave me.

At the time, I didn't see anything wrong with taking whatever he was willing to give. But my grandmother pulled me aside and told me why it wasn't nice to encourage gestures and lead a person on, especially when I knew his intentions. Of course, I liked him as a person because he was so sweet. But the truth of the matter is, he was wasting his time courting me when I wasn't interested. Although I could have continued to use him, I went with granny's advice and politely told him that I could no longer accept gifts because I was not interested in dating anyone at that time. However, we decided to be friends and did fun things together on occasion. He found a new girlfriend who truly adored him to pieces, and fell in love with her. The last I heard, they were planning to get married. The moral of the story is, he was a sweetheart, and deserved to find someone who liked and loved him. It would be selfish of me to stand in the way of that.

Quadrant # 4: Dealing with the people you DON'T like when they DON'T like you either!

A person will rarely find themselves in this quadrant when it comes to their personal life, unless it has to do with Ex-Lovers
or step families. Otherwise, you can just get up and walk away, which is why quadrant four is reserved mostly for the work place and figures of authority!

People-pleasing in this quadrant reflects suppressed feelings, and putting up with a lot of emotional, mental and verbal abuse. It can be because you are afraid of losing your job or
because you are afraid of the person themselves. In situations like this, it is always best to get a third party involved, because for one reason or another -- you are forced to deal with this person, and they are forced to deal with you. Neither one of you are going to be able to compromise about a reasonable solution on your own, because both of you don't care what is in the other's best interest! There needs to be a mediator who can look at the situation objectively on neutral ground, and come up with a reasonable solution. Don't be afraid to be the bigger person and ask for outside help. It is the only way the conflict will be resolved. In matters dealing with the family, it may be best to go to counseling, join a support group, or bring a person from the outside into the situation. Remember, your goal is to conserve energy, and focus on how you can change things, and make them head in a positive direction. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. If everyone else wants to wallow in their misery and problems, you can let them do just that. But you can choose something different.

In closing, when you eliminate people pleasing in your life for good -- it is always great to have the awareness that you only have a one in four shot of really hitting it off with somebody special! (In case you were wondering, that one shot lies within people who are in Quadrant number one!) If you go into each situation expecting the best, but prepared for the worse -- you will always come out on top. But most importantly, be yourself! There is no point going through life pretending to think and feel a certain way just to please other people. Besides that, you won't have the opportunity to attract the people in your life who would really like or love the person you truly are!

Another tidbit I'd like to share out of granny's little treasure chest of knowledge, wisdom and experience. She always use to say, "Rhiannon, there are three types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. But once in a great while, you will be fortunate enough to find a person who is capable of doing both."

I hope this article will encourage you to be a person who can do both.