Thursday, March 8, 2018


Agree and appease. That was my MO when it came to any conflict. Not taking a stand when faced with anger and abuse is high-ranking among my regrets. "Let's pray," was my go-to, like an alcoholic turning to the bottle when discord arose. Nod head in agreement, sweep problem under the rug, and hope it goes away.

Listening to a lecture by Jordan Peterson, I learned that agreeableness is a natural outgrowth of motherhood. We mothers are wired to be exploited — by infants. We jump when our infant cries, laying our own desires aside without a second thought. We strive to surround our babies with a calm atmosphere, to protect them, so instead of directly addressing conflict, we smooth the waters and keep things calm. This short-term solution is a poor technique for dealing with adults. It sets us up for exploitation, hard work, and low pay.

People who spend years putting others' needs before their own can have a very hard time identifying what they themselves want. It's important to do this, though, to gain autonomy. Take a minute to write down what you dislike about your life. Then write down what you like about your life. Next think about what kind of life you want to live and how you can get there. This is not an easy task for many of us, especially mothers.

Now that my children are grown, I realize it's time for me to grow up, too. I need to decide what I want out of the years I have left on this earth, and I need to leave behind my habit of always putting others first which has made me vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. 

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