Remember on Friends when Phoebe called Monica controlling and Rachel a pushover?!
Then they argued defensively but it was very clear when the accused were choosing a restaurant for lunch that Phoebe was right: Monica overpowered and Rachel conceded.
When we consider the conundrum between self love and consideration for others, there is often a pendulum between the two personalities similar to Monica and Rachel. Monica could represent how we feel when we find our sense of self-confidence:
Firm with Preferences
More often than not we discover our self worth after years of putting others first when we were more like Rachel:
Considered Others First
Only Loud When Extreme Boundaries are Crossed
When we do think of ourselves as worthy of the things we desire, there's a point where we can become guilty of not compromising for the betterment of the whole and focus solely on what's best for us. Honestly, this is OK, especially if you’re just starting out on your self-love path. If someone is truly concerned with a lack of compromise on your end they’ll speak up or they won’t care. Furthermore, it might feel uncomfortable to you if you’re expressing yourself more often or for the first couple of times but it will likely be a great help to others; they’ll know what you want and will be able to act/react accordingly.
If you think about it, speaking up for yourself is a very considerate thing to do since you’re potentially taking the pressure off of the one person who constantly makes all of the decisions.
How often do you hear men complain about women saying, “I don’t know,” or, “I don’t care,” when prompted to choose a restaurant?!
Being able to “speak your truth” is extremely important especially as you recover from a less than perfect relationship or home life. If you’re just discovering how to do this for yourself, please stop here and be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you!
The rest of this article will speak to those of you who have reveled in the “love yourself first” mindset for a fair amount of time and now have the capacity to allow space for considering others.
This is a somewhat tricky topic. I don’t want you to begin forsaking yourself, your voice, nor your desires for the comfort of others - that would be a complete backslide! Keep the good: the self worth; and keep some of the good of the old: being considerate and thoughtful of others. Striking a balance between the two is important to you and to humanity as a whole, but how do you unbundle what’s happened in the past, your current positive mental space, and considering others?
There are some things you need to know and some things you need to act upon:
Not everyone is out to get you;
History doesn’t have to repeat itself;
Most people don't want to take your self worth away;
Compromising doesn't automatically equate to a loss of self;
Compare the offered compromise to your core values;
If you have intuition, use it;
If the person is not crossing your boundaries and the request is reasonable, try considering it as a viable solution;
If you’re feeling like your self-worth is being imposed upon, get space from the issue and the person until you can have a clear head to analyze.
It can be very difficult at times to know when you should compromise and when you shouldn’t. Your newfound self-love is like a new car! You don’t want to scratch your baby, or worse, impound it, never to be seen again!
However, when someone is posing a reasonable request and you’re able to accomodate, we should allow space for their needs as well.
So, how do you compromise?
Know your stance well
Know the parts of your stance that won’t be compromised
Know the parts of your stance you will compromise
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes - are each of you being reasonable?
Now, restate what you understand their argument to be, restate your needs, then state your compromise and/or solution.
By seemingly releasing your power, you’re actually gaining power. One of the healthiest things people can do in business and in relationships is trust. As humans, we need to know there are people in the world we can trust and how do we learn their capability if we don’t empower them first? You can certainly start small such as a quick compromise about a meal and then build to include more responsibility. If you’ve been reading my blog I know you’ve likely been through a lot but ultimately, if we don’t trust others - which is exactly what we’re doing when we put their needs first - it will be our demise.
I dare you to trust someone new with something small. I dare you to trust someone you’ve known for awhile with something big. I dare you to trust yourself with trusting others. Try it just for this week and see how you feel, are you able to let go, are you able to truly empower others with responsibilities, are you able to make space for other people’s desires?
Please feel free to email me and let me know how the week went!