In Your Head

It seems as though every time you find something you enjoy doing, somehow someone needs your attention. Every time you find a joke hilarious, someone is there to criticize it and deflate the funny. When you commit yourself to a goal, somehow when you apply yourself fully, you have to stop what you're doing to attend to someone's needs. The shirt you find in the store is a little too long, short, ugly, or flashy; the music you love is not very good, the car you want to buy is not quite practical enough, the friend you get along with well is somehow not quite welcome with someone else in your circle. Whatever you're doing, if it has drawn your full attention, or if it seems to give you real joy, fulfillment, or satisfaction, it is always somehow stopped, stifled, criticized, diverted, or forgotten.

Is it you who is sabotaging all of your happy, all of your forward motion, all of your accomplishment?

Do you really believe that?

Take a closer look at those around you. Watch their behavior, listen to their words. Observe them a bit more clinically than you're used to doing. You might be quite surprised at who is really doing the sabotaging. Watch WHAT they do, what they SAY, and watch their TIMING. Watch them as if you are a scientist observing a group of people you've never met, from a foreign land.

If and when you figure it out, don't be too hard on them, it won't solve your problem. All you can really do is take steps to inoculate yourself against their button pushing and subtle manipulation. Learn to strengthen your boundaries so you don't feel guilt or shame for not catering to their every whim, and learn the difference between healthy relationships and narcissism. If you completely put all of your whims above their real needs, and you forget that they are human beings too, then you are not doing what's best for everyone either. It may take some time to learn the balance, but once you get a handle on it, you'll be able to sail your own ship once again, maybe for the first time. And still be there for the ones you love.

Good voyage.