Lame ducks!

Right I may sound like a bit of a martyr here but stay with me on this one as my thoughts unravel. Also to clarify this is not about one specific person and is so is not about you! I am just attempting to make changes in my life for the better and reflecting on events past. I am hoping that by expressing this in an open and honest blog that other women could relate to it and I would then perhaps not feel so mad and alone!

I love humankind. I have always had lots of friends. I have a big social circle of friends in many areas of life. I talk to people. I am interested in other human beings. I have always worked in social care and have always said this is because I am nosey about other folk’s lives. In the dance world I love the big social networks it gives you. Social networking like Facebook just gives me a virtual world to befriend and chat to folks. Yes in general I love people.

I offer support to friends when needed and have many lovely friends who offer it back when I ask for support too. Lots of beautiful, wonderful, intelligent women and indeed some wonderful men surround me always happy to listen, debate and offer words of wisdom and support.

Now here is the thing I am a problem solver. Especially other peoples! Nothing seems to suit me more than sorting out a problem.  The more I reflect on my life and relationships I seem to have recurring theme.  I like to support the underdog!  Falling out with others and feel the world has done you wrong and I will be your friend and stand up for your injustice! Lonely and isolated I will introduce to my world and find you friends!  Folk who are distressed, hurt lack social skills just hang around with me and I will give you support and strength!

Just writing this is exhausting me! I am wondering why at the moment I seem to be like a magnet for the needy? There I have said it. I do it constantly. My mother used to call them my little lame ducks!

I need to work this out in order to move forward to make change.  So let me try and clarify what it is:

-Folk with needs are drawn to me as to start with I think I have an open heart and am very open handed.

– I am not convinced that I do know how to say No and often when I try to it is way too late.

– I believe I have a lack of personal boundaries

-My life experience has made me strong. I am not as strong as some folk think but I do give off an aura of confidence and strong woman behaviour. Some folk seem to tap into this. They want the strong friend to hold them up and meet their needs.

Despite being an intelligent reasonably savvy woman I never see what is happening until it is too late. I start to feel   used and confused. Generally the pattern is I get very distressed and end up pouring out my woes to my fabulous lovely friends who quite frankly I feel have probably had enough of me and my constant stream of needy friends!

I am very open hearted and what I give out I seek in return. I am often having an open dialogue about how I am feeling, seeking help with a problem or indeed just pondering my woes. Good close friends know this about me and will share the dialogue offering support and wise guidance. But this can be misguided and result in my distress. I do this with my “new close friend”.   Reflecting now as I write I realise this generally follows the same pattern.  I share my thoughts and feelings and the “new close friend” recoil from me and my “neediness”.  It seems that we have a role to play in this friendship and mine is to be the happy strong woman who helps them. This friendship is not a two way street.

Also something else happens. It is always the same.  This friend starts getting pissy with me and my life. The very reason they were drawn to me in first place my strengths , my friendly nature, my social networks , mu successes all seem to become a point of bitterness and resentment.

Gosh writing this down this is really not very nice stuff. I do it over and over again. I am fifty next year and it has got to stop. I thought I had improved over time. Having children has helped as my overwhelming protection towards them has stopped me from pulling in the extreme needy.  What I am wondering is why I feel this compulsion to rescue folk or indeed why I have so little boundaries?  Mind you waking up to this realisation and this moment of reflection I am beginning to think the compulsion is over. I do not want to do it anymore.

So having got that put of my system how to move on and make change?  Ideally I would like to stop attracting these folk to me but this is a bit of an unknown to me. So what I am considering is:

–          Working hard on personal boundaries.

–          Saying No

So time to look around at my lovely close friends and spot the ones that do both these things well.   I need to observe how they do it without being hard nasty and hard hearted. I can say No without being a Meany can’t I?

Anah x

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7 thoughts on “Lame ducks!

  1. I applaud you honesty, and am delighted you are getting it right for you! Remember, the patterned behaviour means that you may need to remind yourself of your goals often, daily, then longer. This is ok. It doesn’t mean you are not listening to yourself. It just means the old ways of doing stuff have been around a lot longer. IT IS PERFECTLY FINE to get it right for you. Indeed you must!!! You will be doing needy friends a favour too in not always being around to listen to what runs for them………for they also will in turn start to work on their issues. Love sent xxxxx

    • Thanks x I think the hardest bit is being honest with myself. I spend my life being this generous outgoing person giving and giving. But you know it does not really suit me as I have ended up burnt out , exhausted and distressed. Having spent most of this year confused and distressed it is time to change. I know I cannot change other folk’s behavior but I can certainly change my own! In order to do this though I needed to be public and honest – you see if I tell wise souls like you I will have strength and support around me x thanks x

  2. I applaud your honesty and willingness to bring this out into the open, as there are lots of people like you – I know because I used to be one of them! I spent all my life up until my 30’s trying to help others, especially those in distress- and I got used, hurt and dumped on many times. But everything changed overnight when I was doing a training course with a very astute switched on teacher. During a tutorial he told me he could see what I was doing, and suggested I was doing it because I wanted to be rescued myself. I had a big wound and was trying to heal it through helping others- and he shocked me by saying that by being the first to help anyone, I was actually preventing others from helping- as well as preventing those in need from helping themselves. And, the biggest thing was that he asked me for the remainder of the course to sit back and allow others to step in when someone needed help. Doing that was the hardest thing I have ever done- but i did it, and it turned out to be one of the biggest, most positive transformations in my life. I am forever grateful to my teacher. I now realise that for me it was a kind of addicition, and it was preventing me from facing my deepest fears. By stepping back I was giving myself and those around me space, and allowing us all the opportunity to be responsible for our own lives. It revealed to me also that people will only change or heal themselves when they are ready, and by standing in my own power I was in a much better position to help- but only if asked. Now I assess each situation before acting, but don’t allow myself to be drawn into doing too much. And I have learnt to say NO! I follow my gut feeling and decide if this person really is in need. There are many who will just use and abuse you and you have to develop a sense of who they are. It doesn’t make you a bad person to say no, and you may be doing them a favour!

  3. I hear you on this one. Many times I have been hurt by friends who I thought gave to me what I give to them, only to discover it is not the case.
    You are stronger than you realise , saying NO gets easier( I m still learning but getting better at it). When you have finished the friend cull, that is the one that follows your realisation, the ones who are left are those that make it a two way street .
    Take a moment to stop and think before you take anyone on board . Literally pause for thought, take a time out, go home, if it doesn’t
    feel right walk away before you get sucked in.
    Keep smiling and don t stop being who you are xx

  4. The balanced thought on this, is that they supplied a need in you, a need to prove that you were worthy, that somehow it reflected some feeling of lack in the self, there is also the thought that while you continue to give support, but do not seek it back until you are in crisis or drained means that there is a lack of balance – learning to say no is important, but so are the reasons why you have always attacted the needy. Its ok to be strong and supportive, but sometimes this leads to being used, and feeling unable to say no, (the confidence is on the outside, not always on the inside) the first step is to look at why!! and you are doing that, next will be to take a balanced view, and remember life is full of victims – often they are people that choose to be victims, its part of their lesson, or sometimes they actually end up with people who do all the work and sort it out, these people move from one Sorter to another, leaving a trail of drained hurt people behind them, but some how always end up convincing themselves and others that they are ‘victims’ and need help… they usually do very nicely for themselves in the end… So you have to give yourself priority, your life, your family, and those people who give just as much as they ever take – thats balance and true friendship. Your doing great, dont beat yourself up, just acknowledge what needs to change and chip away at it, there is no overnight correction, but seeing the pattern, realising the why, and you are on the right path. xx

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