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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Say No

Question: How do I overcome victim mentality disorder? I let people walk all over me then I complain about it, I am losing the few friends I have because all I ever talk about is what this one and that has done to me, I feel like I lost myself.

Click on comments to read Laura's advice.
Laura NP


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Francine,
It sounds like you are ready for a change! Sometimes our behaviors turn into habits. Some habits are good and some are bad. Since this particular habit of "letting people walk all over you" is bothersome, let's figure out how to alter the behavior and create a new "good" habit. I'm calling it a habit because it fits the definition. It's an activity that you have acquired, that you do frequently and automatically, and you are finding it difficult to stop. That is a classic example of a habit. To start, try just changing one thing at a time. Then the key is to practice that one thing until it becomes a "good habit." For example, if someone asks you for money. Try saying, "Gee, it sounds like you need some help, I'm sorry but I won't be able to help you this time." That way, you are acknowledging that your friend needs help (which is being a good friend), but you are also developing your sense of self and developing your personal boundaries. You don't need to offer endless explanations of why you can't give someone money. If the person persists, and does ask you "why not," you can simply say, "I'm sorry, I'm just not able to help you with that now." And...if the person continues pressing you for money (which many people will do until you cave in), you can say, "I'm starting to feel uncomfortable and I'm going to leave now, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time." Then leave the situation. You can practice this with a friend. Have your friend role play with you. Have your friend be that person who is asking you for money and practice what you will say. Before you know it, it will be a habit! And the added bonus will be that you regain your self-esteem! Another thing to try involves looking in the mirror in the morning and saying to yourself, "I will not be taken advantage of today." Look at yourself and say it several times and believe it. You can do it! Good luck and let us know how things go.