Demanding Things

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Freya, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN

    I guess this is half question and half rant. The rant part is that I am tired of my life being affected by people who kick off and demand their own way, who determine that their needs and wants are more important than anyone else's, who conclude that rules should not apply to them and kick up a fuss until people relent and agree to their terms simply for an easier life. And, if I am perfectly honest, I am also tired (though to a far lesser level of annoyance) of the fact that people who are prepared to get angry and kick off get ahead in life while my natural inclination toward accommodating people and 'being nice' gets me precisely nowhere.

    Why is kicking off about something a more successful life strategy than being nice? Professionally, personally, socially... it seems that the people who are higher maintenance and make more demands get a better deal in every area. And sure, you could just argue that I should adopt that strategy - but should I have to work against my basic personality in order to be given basic respect and consideration? Or to have my contributions (whether to work, a friendship, any given situation) recognised?

    Not to mention why is it considered reasonable and understandable and an acceptable thing when other people stand up for themselves, but if I happen to on a very rare occasion do the same, I am being unreasonable/overreacting? I am sick of saying "its okay" - because expressing that it ISN'T is apparently unreasonable. I am tired of being sidelined, overlooked, ignored and considered unimportant. In EVERY aspect of my life. I have tried standing up for myself and it is clear that expressing my feelings on a topic does not make them any more worthy of consideration - simply gets me labeled unreasonable, wrong, or a trouble maker.

    Why is there one rule for one set of people and another rule for another?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014
  2. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    :hug:

    I've been having a similar struggle lately. For me, the real issue is learning to set boundaries so people don't keep asking more of me than I can or am prepare to give. Saying "no" can be very difficult. However, it is valid to say no when we cannot fulfill someone else's request/demand/expectation - and it doesn't really matter why we cannot (other commitment, don't feel like it, can't afford to, too much to do already, the person asks too often, we need some down time for ourselves...), we just have to be able to say kindly, "I'm sorry. No, I can't do that for you."

    When we allow someone to cross our boundaries, we tend to feel a little used, that our good will has been violated. It is hard to do something for others with a smile and positive outlook when we feel used/violated. Better to say "No, not this time." Maybe the next time they ask, we'll be in different spot and more able to give to them. Or not. Thing is, we do not have to say yes to everyone for everything. The other person might not be happy, but it doesn't make us bad people or uncaring. It means that we care enough about ourselves not to let others use us. And that also takes care of the other person because they don't get exposed to our resentment.

    Most relationships have some reciprocity to them, some give and take. Your question about different rules for different people suggests that people put pressure on you/others to get what they want. That's kind of a bullying tactic. Sounds like they don't have reciprocal respect for the person they are asking things of. Every situation will have some variables that affect what we choose to do for others. The bottom line is that as individuals, we do have the option to say yes or no...We cannot choose how others will react to our response, but that's not our issue, it's theirs. I'm working on setting boundaries with some people. It's hard, but it's doable. :)

    Don't know if my ramblings helped, but kind of where I've been with similar things lately. :)
     
  3. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN

    Thank you for your reply Acy. It did make sense and I understand what you are saying. I am not really talking about people asking things of me, however. I know that we have the right to say yes or no when someone asks something.

    What I am ranting about is people acting in ways that affect me without regard for anyone other than themselves, making choices and decisions that impact on me - or working hard for something that is then given to someone else because they shouted louder instead of because they did a better job - in my personal life, having my feelings or opinions sidelined because someone else is higher maintenance and less flexible or accommodating.

    In principle I agree with you that we cannot choose how people react to our actions/choices/feelings - but in reality that seems to be untrue. Some people (many people) do choose how people react via their behaviour. By making a fuss until they get their own way. By getting angry and making life difficult about something until people stop doing it, or do it differently to avoid the headache. By making the alternative to their choice of reaction the less pleasant option. It seems you can make people react a certain way by making any other reaction less desirable to them, so they respond how you want them to in order to avoid the fallout of not doing so.

    I very often choose not to express how I feel because a) I don't want to make anyone feel bad - my feelings are not more important than theirs so what right do I have to express them if it will upset them? b) I feel worse if I try to tell someone how they feel and get told to suck it up and get over it, or they don't even bother to stick around to listen.

    In my stupid idealistic world, if someone cares about you, your feelings are important; if you work hard and do a good job, your work is valued. In reality this obviously isn't the case.

    I feel very much like it is considered that my opinions, feelings and abilities are less important or worth less because I do not insist that they are worth more than other people's. I do not want or need to be considered 'more' than anyone - it does, however, make me feel upset and hurt and damages my self esteem and confidence when I am consistently considered to be less than other people.

    I understand that many people would claim that your sense of self worth should come from within and you should not require external validation - it impresses me that some few individuals are that confident (arrogant?) but I do not agree with the premise at all. Values of any kind are externally influenced, by nurture of parents, by society, by the people around you - you do not develop them in a vacuum or spontaneously manifest them from some place inside you. Why should that be different when it comes to how much you value yourself?

    I feel like I am rambling myself now. In short, it seems that some people stomp/yell/sulk/nag/make life uncomfortable until they 'teach' people to do what they want. I am not that person. Maybe I could learn to be that person, but I am of the opinion that my wants and needs are not MORE important than anyone else's. I do not want to have to insist they are in order to be respected/considered/heard.

    I am upset and frustrated and exhausted. I am sure I sound whiney as hell and I am not explaining myself well at all. I am certain there are people reading this thinking "its life - suck it up". Probably they are right.

    Adapt or die. The new Darwinism; survival of the stroppiest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014
  4. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    It is true that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". That is why the learned behavior of pitching a fit is so effective- it is much easier to deal with the the subdued head shaking disappointment of 10 people than the full blown hissy fit of one. Many people have taken the tool of having a fit and turned it into a standard way of doing things- they have learned it is the fastest method to a desirable result. It is first learned when a baby that has a crying bout until picked up and changed, fed, or whatever to have its needs met and some people rather than learning more positive behaviors as the mature simply learn to do that in a more effective (louder) manner. Many environments foster this by continually rewarding that behavior while ignoring more appropriate behaviors that are more deserving.

    Sadly, yes , it is sometimes necessary to resort to that. I spent a year using appropriate methods to get a proper school placement for my daughter with no results, but after throwing one very loud and over the top tantrum (albeit by email) filled with threats the situation was fixed in an hour. This type of response tends to make some people choose to skip the other methods entirely.

    I like to think that there is an end to the tolerance of the over the top attention seeking loud fits. Eventually people get tired of it and stop responding or even better respond by telling the person to take a hike. if there is any justice it is the fact when the person does finally get there comeuppance, it typically is a lesson that is far less easily recovered from the the very minor points they have one in the past. But that does not change it from being very annoying for the months that it goes by rewarding them for the ridiculous childish actions....
     
  5. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I very often choose not to express how I feel because a) I don't want to make anyone feel bad - my feelings are not more important than theirs so what right do I have to express them if it will upset them? b) I feel worse if I try to tell someone how they feel and get told to suck it up and get over it, or they don't even bother to stick around to listen.

    ...some people stomp/yell/sulk/nag/make life uncomfortable until they 'teach' people to do what they want. I am not that person. Maybe I could learn to be that person, but I am of the opinion that my wants and needs are not MORE important than anyone else's. I do not want to have to insist they are in order to be respected/considered/heard.

    Your feelings might not be "more important" but they are at least equally important. You DO have a right to express yourself. (In this type of situation, we are not saying "no" to doing something, we are saying no to being overlooked, passed by, unheard, or not considered.)

    Being told to suck it up is a dreadful experience. (I have my own experiences with that.) I'm sorry you've been told that! Sucking up our feelings without even trying to express them, though, is kind of saying, "Oh well, my feelings really don't count, so I won't even try to speak up and ask you to listen." At least when we try, we can tell ourselves we didn't walk away without asking the other person to listen to our side (i.e., to be a mature, respectful, and fair minded individual with us). It actually reverses the situation so they are the person who didn't try.

    It's crummy to have "ask" for common courtesy and fair treatment. I don't know why some people start out loud and bullying and get ahead. I think quieter more reserved people need to speak up when someone is trampling us, otherwise, our silence is a little like saying we don't mind if they don't listen or care about our feelings and opinions. Respecting others is always good. I think we all have to have as much respect for our own feelings not just everyone else's - especially when others are essentially taking us for granted, using us, hurting us, not caring about our needs, wants, and feelings.

    It is very possible to speak up and be heard in an assertive way that doesn't compromise your basic self, hun. It takes practice speaking up and it takes time for others to see that we are being assertive not aggressive. People often resist change, especially if the change means they might not get their way. This makes it really hard for loud-mouthed pushy people to hear others. So yes, they are likely to tell us to suck it up, to remind us that they need whatever, that they think their feelings count and ours don't. But they're wrong. I think we need to keep speaking up for ourselves.

    Survival of the stroppiest.

    Succinct. Sadly, it happens too often. :hug: