Yesterday, I heard the same sentence three times from three different women on one single day: I am tired of molding myself into a person someone else wants me to be!
Since I believe in synchronicity, I couldn’t just let this be without thinking more about it.
Most women who grapple with this tend to mold themselves mostly according to the expectations of an intimate relationship: a husband or life partner, a parent, even a child. Then of course there are also the expectations of bosses and colleagues, friends and relatives.
Many of us had mothers who did just that: always trying to tend to their family’s wishes, maybe even being afraid of or intimidated by their spouses at times. It becomes ingrained into our view of the world, and it takes an effort to correct it. We’ve all heard that the advice: Just be yourself! Well, if it only were that easy.
Here are three examples how to go about starting to change:
DESIRE: First, we have to become aware when and how we do it. Often it’s not even conscious. We are so used to asking everyone else “what do you want to do?” that we forget to check in with ourselves. Pause and ask yourself: What is it that YOU want?
BOUNDARIES: Start saying no. No, I don’t want to plan another dinner party for your friends because you can do it also. I can’t run that errand because I’m already overstretched. I don’t want to have sex every day (yes, it’s important to have sex, but ask yourself: what is right for you as opposed to your partner? Is there a way that both of you can be happy? It all depends on the degree of boundary violations. The key word is balance.)
SUPPORT: A lot of women don’t feel strong enough to say No. Too much seems to depend on making other people happy. If you don’t feel confident try to get support. Open up to someone you can trust. Share with a girlfriend or a relative. Join a support group (there are tons of free groups on Meetup.com). Get a therapist.
You CAN stop the cycle of molding yourself into someone else at the expense of your own identity.