“I’ve worked very hard at understanding myself, learning to be assertive. I’m past the point where I worry about people liking me.” – Pam Dawber, actress
“Demetria had an important job…and, she was good at it.”
Demetria had done work before with me a couple of years earlier and had found it useful. So, she called me again. This time the challenge was her boss, Deidre. Demetria worked in the tourism field as a researcher. She was a key staff person for a local small business association.
Demetria provided up to date information of current industry trends. This enabled association members to adjust their products and services to meet the coming tourist season. In their small community, this represented an annual flood of over a million visitors. Demetria had an important job to a lot of people in her field and, she was good at it.
Demetria had a friendly, but rather shy, approach to life but was self confident in her research work. She had a bright smile which got her through many situations, but was counterbalanced by a lack of self confidence in dealing with her boss and other social situations.
As well, she was turning forty and still had not developed a strong, stable relationship with a significant other, a priority of hers for some time. As she discussed both her work and her love life, I asked her what was her priority today.
“I didn’t assert myself and go for what I really wanted.”
“I think they are connected somehow. I think I need to put myself out there more, both at work and in the rest of my life.”
“Tell me more, Demetria.”
“Well…for example at work. I’ve been working there for almost ten years and every time I have applied for another job in the association, I was discouraged by my supervisor because I was too ‘vital’ in my current research role. She would usually offer me a small raise instead of a change of duties.”
“Are you saying you agreed to a raise instead of another position and now you’re regretting it?” I asked her.
“Yes I am. I didn’t assert myself and go for what I really wanted. And, it happens in my personal relationships as well. I remember my last boyfriend saying he never knew where he stood with me, never knew that I really cared about him.” she said her disappointment showing in her eyes and face.
“It sounds like you would like to learn to assert yourself both at work and outside it? Which is most pressing on you today?” I asked.
“…what do I have to offer another person?”
“I think my life is more important than my job…but both are important to me.” she replied.
“So, let’s start with your significant other. When was your last relationship and who ended it, Demetria?”
“I dated Dominic for almost a year. Then, he ended it one day about a month ago. I was completely caught off guard. I didn’t see it coming. That was when he told me he never knew where the relationship was going or how I felt about him. He was angry and hurt. I was devastated!”
“Demetria, let me ask you a question? Do you think you are a good catch? Do you think you have something to bring to a long term relationship?”
“I guess so…but I never really thought about it that way before…what do I have to offer another person?” she said, the novelty of the idea showing all over her face.
“Centenarians tend to be assertive, suspicious, and practical.” – David Shields, author
“If by happy you mean…pleasure without pain, then, yes! It can’t happen in our natural world.”
“Relationships often have an ‘overdog’ and an ‘underdog’ with the ‘overdog’ feeling empowered and the ‘underdog’ feeling depowered. This enables the ‘overdog’ to learn to be humble about themselves with others and the ‘underdog’ to learn to be proud of themselves with others.”
“Do you mean an intimate relationship isn’t supposed to make me happy! Instead, it’s supposed to make me humble or proud?” her skepticism bursting forth with a surprising energy.
“If by happy you mean a moment, an hour, a day or a week of pleasure without pain, then, yes! It can’t happen in our natural world.
“You’re saying it’s un-natural…it goes against nature…”
“There are only two groups of people who are happy…experiencing pleasure and no pain, at a given moment. They are either dead or heavily drugged. The first have no awareness of happiness and the second have a temporary illusion of it.” I said, smiling at her to see if she got the learning point.
“… equal amounts of pleasure and pain to ensure you learn what you need…”
She paused, hesitated and then, smiled back.
“OK, I get it! But, that means I’ve been looking for a fantasy…a unicorn, the Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?” she said sarcastically.
“Demetria, you may have to get in a line up because you’ll have lots of company. Many people sabotage their relationship by having fantasy based, or unrealistic, expectations.”
“Why do we do that?”
“One reason is many parts of society foster the belief we can achieve pleasure without a counterbalancing pain. It occurs in marketing, the media and many traditional belief systems.”
“Then, what should I expect in a relationship?” she asked, her curiosity surfacing again now that the shock of the truth had passed.
“What you can expect and what nature will provide will be equal amounts of support and challenge, equal amounts of pleasure and pain to ensure you learn what you need for your future survival.” I offered.
“Do you mean I should expect my partner to hurt me at times, to disappointment me at times and to get angry with me at times?”
“Yes, yes and yes! Your partner will do that unconsciously just by having different values than you. And, that will help you prepare for other people in your future so you can deal with them more effectively.”
“… it helps us build our self-esteem and self confidence for the future!”
“Why would I want to be in a relationship where I get hurt, disappointed or have to deal with anger?” she asked me.
“That Demetria, is a very profound, and the key question, most of us forget to ask. We do it because it helps us build our self-esteem and self confidence for the future!”
“It sounds like you’re saying having a partner in life makes a person smarter and stronger!”
“That’s it, exactly! That why research shows people in committed relationships tend to life longer…we are a social animal, we thrive better in groups than alone.”
“So, what needs to happen for me to be able to find a partner for my future, Ken?”
“It starts with your perception of yourself. If you learn to value yourself more, others will do the same.”
“Which means what exactly?”
“It means updating your perceptions of Demetria.”
“How do I do that, Ken?”
“I will show you how to do that. Are you ready to start right away?
“Yes, I am!”
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett, businessman
“Once I stopped trying to be happy, I started appreciating myself more!”
“OK, I want you to write down on this piece of paper the 10 traits, actions or inactions you most like about yourself. Then, list the 10 traits, actions or inactions you most dislike about yourself. Once you’ve completed that, we will set some priorities.”
That’s where Demetria started her expansion of her perceptions of herself. She worked long and hard for several sessions using the Demartini Method™.
She soon realized several important things. The first was, she didn’t know or appreciate all she had to contribute to a relationship with a partner.
The second was, while she had lots of self confidence in her work, she did not have enough or display enough, in her social interactions.
And, the third was, when she took the assertiveness she used at work to her social relationships, she built closer relationships with others.
This led to her dating more. Eventually, she found a significant other with which to build her future. This man, actually a friend of Dominic, had been part of her network for a long time. But, as she told me later, she just hadn’t thought she would be attractive enough for him.
One of her favourite sayings became, “Once I stopped trying to be happy, I started appreciating myself more!”
“One of the ways you build self-esteem is by being self-assertive when it is not easy to do so.” – Nathaniel Branden, psychologist
Until Next time…
Now you know, you’re not here to be happy, your here to learn, survive and evolve humanity by contributing to it your specialness. And, you know, no one is happy in any relationship. Rather, each person is learning to build their self esteem and self confidence to be able to deal with their future. So, your relationships help you prepare for your future. That’s why your partner is serving you by their very existence. It is in how they love you, by supporting and challenging you to believe in yourself and your own genius.
YOUR NEXT OPPORTUNITY TO UNCOVER YOUR PERFECTION:
“A COUPLES’ TRANSFORMATION DAY”
Saturday, June 17th, 2017
Suite #3 The Pierce Institute Offices
549 North River Road, Charlottetown, PE
Here is your chance to:
- Confirm Your Relationship Commitment!
- Conquer Relationships Challenges!
- Build More Emotional Stability!
- Settle Financial Disputes!
- Create A Social Life!
- Resolve Parenting Issues!
- Reinvigorate Your Intimacy!
So: Invest in YOU! – Invest in your RELATIONSHIP!
Register Today! There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities for your future well being!
Details are available at www.kenpiercepsychologist.com
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)
Be well…balanced! Ken
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com