Sunday, November 17, 2013
Dealing with Favor Seeking People from Your Past
Photo credit: click from morguefile.com
I haven't been terribly good at keeping up this blog over the past several months. My attention has been mostly elsewhere, but I also haven't had too much to say recently. Not out of lack of interest. In fact, I did a great workshop last month with a visiting teacher at my Zen center that gave me a lot to chew on when it comes to relationships. So, instead of pounding out sloppy, ill conceived posts, I'm sitting on it.
For those of you who have enjoyed my comments over at Evan Marc Katz's blog over the past few years, it looks like that is finished. I can't say for certain, but it seems like he's blocked me. I have tried to leave a handful of comments there in recent weeks, but they simply vanish. This started before his website overhaul, and right after I left a fairly negative comment about a post I felt was condescending to single folks, or anyone struggling in dating. It was one of those "married people are much happier" posts that, in my view, offer next to nothing in the way of support for anyone who isn't happily married.
Anyway, it's totally possible that there's something else going on. However, the fact that this not being able to post thing started after I left that comment makes me think he decided he'd had it with my comments. Regardless, it's not a terribly big deal to me. There are plenty of other places I can comment if I choose to. Plus, it gives me more time to offer up my own writing here - or elsewhere.
Speaking of other relationship bloggers, I really liked this post by Natalie over at Baggage Reclaim about dealing with people who disappear from your life, and then reappear suddenly wanting something. This issues goes far beyond romantic relationships, and definitely taps into any unresolved guilt or people pleasing tendencies you might have.
Awhile back, I had a former colleague asking out of the blue for help ending a project I had already given several years to. The organization her and I and others had started had slowly gone into the ground, and she decided that she needed to step in and direct the final close out efforts. Which was totally fine and good of her to do. However, when she came to me asking for my help, I declined. Multiple times. In large part because I was in the middle of leading a major project for my Zen center community's board, but also because I felt like I had given enough to the other organization. As I noticed a bit of guilt arising over saying no the first time, I realized that if I chose to help out it would only be to release that guilt and "look good" in the eyes of my former colleagues. It had nothing to do with genuinely wanting to offer my energy to the work at hand.
For me, in these kinds of situations, it's become important ask "What's motivating this desire to do something?" And if it seems to me that the motivation is guilt or "looking good" or some other form of people pleasing, then I do my best to say no. Which isn't always easy, but has become easier over time.