I probably won’t surprise any of you when I say we have limiting beliefs that our petty tyrant reminds us of on a regular basis. While there is wisdom in choosing our battles, letting people walk all over us will eventually backfire in one way or another taking its toll on our health and our relationships when our petty tyrant keeps us in her grip of fear and forever behaving like the "Good Girl."
- “Listen to me! Who do you think you are to say such a thing?”
- “Don’t talk back to people!”
- “Be good. Be noble. Be responsible and don’t rock the boat!”
Does any of that sound familiar? We all have our own petty tyrant who was born from all the beliefs, rules and behaviors imposed on us by parents, society, educators, clergy and anyone else who had their two cents to add in the words of guidance as we were growing up.
“Debby, now responsible people take the high road. They rise above arguments and confrontation.”
“Yes, Dad. Does that mean just being quiet and walking away?”
“Nana always told us, sisters never fight and we never did. We always got along.”
“Uh, huh, Mom,” refraining from rolling my eyes.
“Are you done? Good, I’m leaving,” I heard my mother say when standing up and looking down her nose at a salesman who failed miserably at closing the deal.
I was raised in a family where confrontation between my parents appeared simple. It was called avoidance. I was 18 years old the first time I heard my parents raise their voices. My father came home with a new car in a color that he was really excited about and thought my mom would love, a metallic royal blue Pontiac with a white vinyl top. My mother went ballistic about it because she wasn’t consulted and could not accept the fact that my dad bought himself a new 2-door car that was blue with a white vinyl top. My dad thought he was doing something really super by surprising her and besides, his company bought it so it wasn’t even about the money.
I was so upset by hearing all the screaming that I had never heard in our house before that I jumped into my car and headed toward that destination called inner peace and quiet, the place you go to when gripped by confusion and fear. I didn’t know where it was geographically but it was about 4 hours round trip. My disappearance caused my parents sufficient worry to deflect the knock-down drag out fight that I imagined was taking place in their bedroom. All over a stupid car!
Time To Set Your Boundaries And Find Your Voice On The High Road!
Fast forward to my adult life where I had to learn all about healthy relationships and conflict and confrontation on my own and break free from the avoidance booby trap. I, too, had prided myself on “never getting angry.” I even married a man who also claimed, “Anger? I never get mad. I don’t do negative emotions!”