A voice is a very powerful thing. It can be soft and subtle, loud and boisterous,or stern and with a purpose; regardless of the voice it can come across and mean different things. Have you ever experienced losing your voice though?
No, I am not talking on the literal sense, but lost your voice to the point that you become a human doormat? If you stand for nothing you will fall for everything, I have been told.
I have always been in the sales field my whole life. I have sold everything from Petro Heating Oil over the phone, to door to door sales for Cutco Cutlery (very very awesome knives, if you don’t have them you should look into investing), to customizable databases for businesses; a voice is very important, but not even as important as being heard.
My whole life I have felt muffled by the people around me. Work was the only way I was ever able to be heard properly because I was able to persuade people into what I have wanted them to do. Ok, ok…my dad says I am a good B.Ser and maybe that’s it. Honestly, I do not even think that is categorized as having a voice, but to me people actually listened to me and I was actually right for once. Recently though I have had a real hard time with the fact that I have a voice or even how to use it.
During my relationship with my daughter’s father it was his voice that was heard. I couldn’t voice my opinion, I was wrong even if I was right. Honestly, I think I have to go further back than that and retrace most of my relationships starting with the most basic one…my mother and I. I can remember her saying that I should fear her. I remember that even if I thought something different than what she told me I was wrong and that she was always right. From then on I was always afraid to speak up for myself. Besides, if I am always wrong anyways, why would I speak up?
That has always followed me my whole life; even today, with my mom if I speak up it’s virtually impossible to ever be anything but wrong and if I try to speak up 9 times out of 10 it causes a fight. This will translate to anyone that I feel is of an authority figure. Some will suggest to approach these situations in a different matter, but it is so deep-seated within me that sometimes I do not know I am even doing it. Most the time when a person is so use to being wrong all the time they automatically take the back seat. A few qualities surface as a person grows into a teenager and an adult: defensive, codependent, controlling, approval seeking doormat.
Wait, look at those words…how can all those possibly go together?
First and foremost, I want to make sure everyone understands…I do not blame my mom for any of this. Maybe this was taught to her, maybe she is like me or I am like her rather and that it’s just getting passed down from generation to generation. .
Ok, back to these qualities, these words that just seem so funny to be put together. Let’s break it down.
According to dictionary.com this word has quite a few meaning. (I like to look up words because half the time I THINK I know the meaning and I really don’t) The meanings that stood out to me are; 1. serving to defend; protective. and 2.
I feel attacked more or less.
Based on my experience with this, if someone is trying to overpower me. Let’s take my mom and I’s relationship; when she tries to tell me something that I know isn’t right I automatically get defensive with her. It is a mechanism within me that gets switched on because I want to show her I am right. This ALWAYS ends badly and always in a fight, frustrated and still wrong.
Codependent and Controlling
A lot of people misconstrue what codependent really is. It is a word with so many meaning and just about everyone who is codependent has a different definition of it, but the core of itis manipulation and control.
Control is an illusion! Say that again, Control…is…an…illusion!
When I am around a person that I feel like I am not able to speak up for myself or have a “hard conversation” with I try to control the conversation, or how the outcome of it, or even if the person is going to like me by making sure to be a “yes ma’am” or “yes sir” type of person…people pleasing. I’ll tell you a secret…NO is a complete sentence. When you feel that you do not have a voice, you dance around that word like playing tag when you are a kid.
Approval Seeking Doormat
I know what you’re thinking….this sounds so mean! It is, but its the ugly truth about myself. I would much rather be walked on by my friends and family then see them not like me. It is much the same as people pleasing, but I think it is a little more. When you not only want to make sure you are liked, you will not only try as hard as you can to make that person like you, but you will also accept or do some things that you do not want to which is essentially being a doormat or a push-over, which ever is easier for you take.
Why are you telling me all this? What does this stuff have to do with my voice?
All of these qualities can affect your day to day relationships with people; not just a romantic partner, but your friends, you boss, you family, or your children. This is something that I struggle with. There has been a situation placed in my life where I had to look hard at myself because I was feeling something that was not normal with a relationship. It took me close to a year of approval seeking, of trying to control, and even getting defensive slightly with this person when I decided the pain was great enough and I need to do something about it…enough was enough.
I am the type of person that will have a conversation with a person then it takes a moment to fully digest or for me to fully take it in. After this conversation I still have questions that have gone unanswered and it was the VERY questions that prompted me to have the conversation. How does that happen? It happens when I do not get everything that I wanted out, the questions I wanted answered…answered, or if something just doesn’t sit right. Regardless, it all goes down to one basic fact….FEAR.
I say this reader, do not let someone over power you. Stand up for yourself. Practice this with me. Remember: Stand for something or fall for everything. Can we do this together?