When we’re young, we assume that being disagreeable leads to ostracism and loneliness.
As a result. we quickly learn to align our feelings and opinions with those around us as a survival tactic.
Which works to a certain extent when we’re children. Especially if the people around us are angry and yelling and we don’t want to add fuel to the fire.
But as adults, if we have not properly named, tamed and reframed that fear, then we’ll start to feel obliged to choke down anything that doesn’t jive with us. We will give up all the things that are important to us because of our own lack of boundaries.
Anything to avoid causing trouble.
Adrienne writes that when we are children, we don’t usually have full agency to shift the dynamic because our safety and livelihood depend on it. And so often, these dynamics perpetuate because we are scared to be alone, scared to create conflict, scared to take a step back.
But when we are adults, we can begin to notice how we are playing into the dynamic, and to shift. That realization becomes liberation itself.
Here are a few of the things that we remind ourselves.
Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we’re betraying someone.
Just because we have the backbone to express our preferences doesn’t mean people we love are going to abandon us.
Just because we speak up in pressure situations doesn’t mean people will reject and humiliate us.
And who knows? They might even respect us more for taking the risk of having an opinion.
Either way, the boundaries we set by amplifying our voice reinforce our freedom.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Where could you afford to be to be a little less agreeable?