I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Doormat/nice, nice/doormat

Others stuff regarding my day will have to wait; I have to get this part out first.

I've been wracking my poor brain all morning trying to figure out how to respond to a situation that has come up. I have two conflicting instincts and I honestly can't tell if the meaner of the two instincts is the PMS talking, or if it's the part of me that has a backbone, or if I'm just plain mean-- likewise, I can't tell how much the "nice" one is just being worn down by this situation over time, giving up, feeling obligated to make soothing mouth-noises to keep friendships afloat.

I've never been good at being honest with my friends when it comes to the things they do that frustrate me. The same thing with my family, and with my darling Hub. Ten times out of ten, I will shut up and go along with things just to keep everyone happy, or because I don't want to be The Bitch, or because I second-guess myself and have this eternal inner monologue that says "It's not as bad as I think, I'm over-reacting, they don't deserve to have my opinion trotted out on this." On the one hand, this keeps it so I'm terribly nice to everyone. On the other hand, I often get so frustrated with this sort of thing that I passive-agressive my way out of gatherings just to avoid dealing with my own friends, and hide at home where it's nice and quiet.

I don't seem to trust them enough to trust them to still like me if I'm not being nice, and supportive, and giving, and putting their needs before my own. My sister once summed it up as "It's easy to have friends if you never ask them for anything; it's when you need something from them, and ask, that you risk the friendship." Very true. The problem is, I don't have any sense of scale on this. I literally have no idea where I'm overreacting to my own initial reactions; I can't tell if I'm being selfish or being a bitch or if I'm just being truthful or mindful of my own needs. This sucks.

I actually had a for-instance-this-is-what-prompted-this-rant section in here and then I deleted it. Passive-agressive I am, but I'm not dragging someone else's dirty laundry out on the internet for my own mental relief.

I'm pretty sure that I really need to land somewhere in between total truthful (and over-reacting) bitchitude, and silent but resentful compliance. There has to be some magical in-between place that I've yet to map out, and I have to find it sometime soon or I'm going to run mad.

Maybe agreeing to help while quietly taking my friend aside at some point and saying, "Okay, you got two freebies on this one, but there's not going to be a third, because this behavior makes me feel like you don't value me" (rough translation: dude, you have been an asshole, I know you don't mean to, but please stop) "and I'd rather be able to help you out without that sort of a cloud hanging over things. I know things have been really rough for you lately, and I want to help, but I would rather help in some other capacity than as your punching bag." Or words to that effect. I'd have to rehearse it a bit, because otherwise I'll just let it drop and continue resenting this friend, and while she deserves some resentment for her behavior, she doesn't deserve it due to the circumstances she's caught in.


The oujia board was half a pound up from yesterday and BF% back up three percent. I am amused. I haven't quite got to the point that I use the scale as a toy, the way that my Hub does (pre- and post-[random event] weigh-ins are his specialty), but it's certainly getting there.

I noticed something odd in the mirror today, though. I've got two slabs of fat on my middle, divided by my belly button line. The upper slab has mysteriously narrowed. It used to sort of peter out around the place where my sides start; now it peters out a good three inches closer to the front on each side. I think the poof in the middle is deflating, too. Dear God, could this thing be working?

I should take measurements this weekend. I'm almost at the end of Week 4. I'm kind of scared to do so, though, lest this turn out to be just my imagination.

My Hub discovered this morning that I had his dumbbells fully loaded (17.5 pounds) for parts of my lower-body workout, and was alternately proud and freaked. Poor babe. I assured him kindly that once I had moved past his weight set he could have them back to play with. I got glared at for that one. (And deserved it, ha!) Can't help it. He's a good 9 inches taller than I am and has 50 pounds on me, but I suspect that I'm starting to catch up on strength. Bwahaha.

I graduated to doing step-ups onto a chair today, as opposed to the stack of books I'd been using. Quads are definitely stronger, folks. Hell, I launched myself up a set of stairs two at a time today, something I don't think I've done before. I've been opening my own jars, too. Not even using the trick of popping the lid suction by prying at the lid with a spoon. My grip is definitely improving just from having to hold those damn dumbbells.

I need to hit Play It Again Sports and see what they've got for weights. I still can't afford an actual gym membership, although I have to admit, I'm starting to yearn for the $90/month club attached to our office building... it has EVERYTHING, dude. I want it like fire. Particularly these days when it truly pisses me off that I am stuck running on the treadmill at home in a room with no a/c in the summer and no heat in the winter-- and that I'm bound to grow out of this weight set soon and I want to have options...

Sigh. I might be able to afford it after the next round of raises... but then again, I might not. Current plan: invest in another 10-20 lbs of weight for home use, then re-evaluate when we have a little more money in the budget. (There are so very many things I ought to be spending this money on, but... aaaargh. WANT.) I should call the local YMCA and ask what their membership fees are, as a back-up plan. Nowhere near as convenient to get to, by a LONG shot. Sigh. Can't I just win the lottery?

On the up side, in the middle of my hugely stressful workday, my Hub showed up with a bouquet of roses. Just because. ::happy glow::

Also, I don't have to come in until 8:30 A.M. tomorrow AND we leave at lunchtime, thankyouverymuch Summer Hours Program! WOOOO!


  • My sister and I were talking recently about how we have only ever learnt to either repress what we feel or else, when that gets too much, to totally explode. Either way isn't really good or satisifactory. It would be so nice to know a way to actually deal with these situations without either feeling like a doormat or a bitch. Sounds like you are working out it out anyway.

    I know in the long run that I'd rather have a friend point out that my behaviour was out of line rather than having them simmering away with resentment (of course in the short term I might fume a little).

    Anyway, I found your site the other day and have been reading through the archives. I've really enjoyed the stuff you write.

    By Blogger kathrynoh, at 11:13 PM  

  • One of my colleagues just had me take a Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) assessment . Basically it measures how you deal with conflict: compete, collaborate, avoid, accomodate or compromise. All of these are valid methods but some are better than others in a given situation. I was surprised to find that I was fairly balanced in my approach but could collaborate more.

    From your self assessment above it sounds like you predominantly avoid and/or accomodate. You might want to explore some of the other avenues as your comfort level permits. Or you could take the test and see how you in fact objectively deal with conflict. A sample report can be found here:
    While it assesses a given score and such it does describe each scenario when some approaches might be better than others. Perhaps one will apply to your situation.
    more info can be found here:


    By Anonymous Cathy, at 11:31 PM  

  • Well, without using any particular tools, most of us with weight problems tend to be people pleasers. It's one of the reasons we let ourselves get the way we do, because we're too busy taking care of everyone else to take care of ourselves.

    One of the big side effects of losing a lot of weight is starting to value yourself more and not tolerating that sort of behaviour anymore. Then people start accusing you of 'changing' because you won't tolerate their BS anymore.

    Do it. Tell them how you really feel about it. Be honest, respect yourself and demand respect from others. Because you deserve it.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger ladymisstree, at 4:18 AM  

  • For me, an interesting side effect of losing weight is the willingness not only to make time to work out, but I actually say things like "I/we can't do ___ that weekend because I have a long run scheduled." Sometimes, plans revolve around me. Ha!

    In the past, I let people take advantage and I whined about it. In the new world order, I try hard not to. It's been hard to learn, but I've gotten surprisingly little flack about it from friends or family.

    By Blogger neca, at 6:24 AM  

  • Based on what you've said, it sounds like there's a line being crossed, and your friend needs to hear about it. And I don't think it's a question of finding out whether they like you enough to stick around when you're not being 110% accommodating. Because if they can't handle giving a little, then that's a flaw in them, not in you for asking for it.

    Anyway, we like you, honesty, rants, and all.

    Oh, also, the gym membership thing--if your company doesn't offer gym benefits (i.e. discounts at local gyms) check with your health insurance. Many of them have wellness programs that either offer discounted memberships or reimbursement for part of the fee if you go to the gym enough times.

    By Blogger Noames, at 8:35 AM  

  • Oh, Meg, how I identify with your dilemma, girl! The best way I've found to confront it without being bitchy is to totally own my feelings (like you said, "I don't feel valued, I'm uncomfortable with this, and I don't want it to continue because I'm going to start feeling resentful of our friendship.") I avoid things that will put people on the defensive as much as possible, like saying "You blah blah blah". In fact, I avoid the word "you" as much as possible because it seems to trigger a defensive shut down in most people and they stop listening to what I have to say about how I've been affected. Of course, your questions about what to do may have been rhetorical, in which case I'll shut up now and let you work through it yourself. ;) That's so great about your whittling middle and the roses. Points for the Hub!

    By Blogger Zara, at 11:23 AM  

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