I've been working through The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome over the last couple days. It's had quite a few passages that have really stood out to me, but this one really takes the cake:
This passage stands out to me because I've heard some of these accusations before — "passive-aggressive," "manipulative," "coercive," "controlling" — and I've always felt that those labels have been obscenely out of place. I felt entirely misunderstood, that the labels were unfair and misguided.
But this. To be honest, I knew this stuff was happening, but I couldn't put words to it and I didn't want to admit it. But to see it laid out so clearly on the page is rather humbling.
Part of this whole process is about learning how to take responsibility for my own behaviour, my own convictions, for the times when I've ignored my own boundaries and needs, when I've said "yes" in order to placate a situation where I most certainly should have said "no."
The other part of this is learning to not take responsibility for other people's emotions, for other people's feelings. I can affect other people's feelings, but they need to take responsibility for themselves as well.
I don't know how to do that yet.
But that's coming up in the next few chapters, and here.
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