Made up meanings

Whilst checking the definition of the idiom bent out of shape for a future post and then the definition of bend, I realised I’d somewhat manipulated the meaning.

I use the term ‘bend’ (specifically as bend to or bend towards) as a verb, it’s an act of unspoken people pleasing. When you bend to someone you do what they want often at the expense of your own needs.

And so I expected the definition of bent out of shape to refer to the outcome of excessive people pleasing. Turns out it means getting angry or worked up.

It was a little reminder for me to check the definition of words, it’s hard to communicate a clear message when you’re using words with made up meanings.

Meet your own needs

Sometimes we put our expectations and ideals on other people without considering the other persons own wants and needs. We feel empowered when other people meet our expectations and ideals.

This is fine when things go our way. However, it is important to be able to accept that the other person is entitled to their own expectations and ideals too.

Sometimes they won’t align with yours which may lead to them saying no instead of yes. This can result in a form of tantrum behaviour.

The thing is though, even though you want what you want, it’s not healthy to want it at the expense of the other person.

It’s not healthy to want another person to be miserable, inconvenienced or go against their own needs just so you can have your way. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with asking for what you want.

You just have to keep in mind that you might not get that from the person you’re asking it of. But I believe that it is so important to give people the space to be themselves instead of trying to force them to follow your expectations and ideals.

And sometimes the best thing you can do is stop putting your stuff on other people and meet your own needs.

An unexpected outcome

Sometimes we get carried away and create ideas for how we think that situations will play out. We predict our futures through the lense of the worst case scenario, telling ourselves we’re simply being practical. The reality is that it is a form of protection that leads to self sabotage.

Although it is said that having low expectations avoids disappointment, it can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe things will turn out badly, you’re likely to start acting in a way that supports that and it will end up coming true.

However, sometimes life gives us an unexpected outcome as a reminder that things can be different but more specifically that things can be better.

By any other name

New years resolution have garnered a bad reputation for being unreliable and not living up to their expectations.

And so instead we call them goals or intentions (or whatever else we can come up with). But as Shakespeare said ‘a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet’. We call it something else but it’s really not that different.

When you get down to the crux of it it’s simply just something that answers the question, ‘What would you like to do this year?’

Stepping back from what you think you want

There is often a lot of pressure to know what we want and then to go for it.

We’re made to feel as though we should be go, go, go, otherwise we’re seen to just be lazy or wasting time.

And often this societal pressure leads to us chasing after things we’re not even sure we really want. It’s only when you slow down and step back that you realise you’ve been moving towards a life that might be wonderful for somebody else but it’s not what you really want.

The manager you need

When it comes to mentors, managers and the people that help support us throughout our careers, we often don’t know what we need.

If you’re like me, the kind of person that needs a push, you’re progress will be hindered by someone that mollycoddles you. Perhaps you need someone that is kind yet stern who will support you but won’t allow you to hide.

Given the choice you would perhaps run from someone that you felt was stern and run towards someone who you felt was ‘nice’ and ‘kind’. Of course those 2 qualities are great but you might need a little more than that.

When it comes to your career, you’ll always have to push yourself to achieve what you want. However, the case may be that the best person to support to along that journey is the person you least expected.

It isn’t worth pretending

When people have an expectation of who they think or want you to be, they have a difficult time I’m accepting when you become something else.

It could be a permanent thing or perhaps you are just going through a phase but either way who you become is your choice. I think we all need to have the space to explore and experiment in order to find ourselves and figure out the kind of person that we want to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes because of the people around you, you end up pushing self-exploration aside. Instead, you’re so focused on what other people think, people pleasing and wanting to feel accepted that you would rather pretend to be someone you’re not.

Being yourself doesn’t even feel like an option.

I think it’s important to remember that being accepted for the person you’re pretending to be isn’t true acceptance. Once you really take that in, you’ll end up realising that it isn’t worth pretending anymore. You may as well just be yourself.

Put yourself first

People that are considerate of others, to the point of putting others before themselves often end up feeling let down.

This occurs when they base their expectations of how others should be on themselves. But not everyone is as considerate as you might be. Not everyone thinks about how other people may be impacted. Sometimes people just think about themselves. They think about their own wants, needs and conveniences.

To someone who is used to putting other people first (often to their own detriment), it can be hard to accept when others won’t do the same. But the important thing to remember is that it almost always has nothing to do with you.

You don’t have to put other people first to prove that you care. It’s actually okay to care about yourself enough to put yourself first sometimes.

Another point of view

Sometimes when you encounter an issue you only look at it from your perspective. You focus on how you feel, how you’ve been treated and you can end up playing the victim (often unknowingly).

Sometimes we take the position of the victim because we want to be coddled and we want to be saved but doing so puts you at a disadvantage because you’ll always be waiting for someone else to make things better.

And when you go to people and tell them the problem you’re having you might find that they seem unsympathetic or as though they aren’t on your side. This can make the issue’s your having feel even worse.

But sometimes all it takes is looking at the situation from another point of view to realise that you’re so focused on yourself that you’ve ignored the experiences of everyone else around you.

Outcome based actions

If you want someone to trust you then getting angry when they try to open up won’t help.

It is so important that what you do reflects the way you want things to turn out, otherwise what’s the point?

You can’t just go around doing whatever you want and expecting or hoping that everything will turn out your way.

You have to ensure that your actions are in line with your desired outcome. But you also have to remember that sometimes things just won’t quite turn out the way you want them to.