Virtually real- Virtuellement vraie

Micheline Harvey: Virtual Assistant, real person/Adjointe Virtuelle, mais tout à fait vraie

Big decision number 2 – Letting go January 4, 2013

decision-diceRecently, I had been feeling sad and somewhat trapped by my life. I had to do something to change this. All around me, I was witnessing people making major life decisions, difficult ones, separations, quitting their job to pursue a dream, giving up things that were part of their lives, shaking things up and, not only feeling better about themselves as a result, but also looking better, feeling healthier and more optimistic about their future.

My first big decision was to end a relationship with a client who treated me as an employee instead of a collaborator or consultant.

My second big decision touches every sphere of my life, but mostly my personal life and my relationships with my spouse, my daughter, my family, and my friends.

This decision is to do my very best to let go. In French, we use the lovely expression lâcher prise. Although I know that I should always live by this simple rule, it is very difficult to achieve, as I am a perfectionist and a worrier and I tend to take on other people’s problems and situations as if they were my own.

I am the one who reminds my spouse not to forget someone’s birthday, or to return a call, to show up where he’s expected, to call his dad or his brother, etc. I am the one who organizes and frets over family gatherings, meals, gift exchanges, and so on. I am the one who reminds my daughter to thank people or give them some news. I am the one who reminds people about deadlines, payments, to check up on things, to remember appointments, meetings, etc.

Nobody reminds me or acts as my backup brain. Not many take charge and organize things. And if they don’t happen, the other people implicated don’t seem overly bothered by this.

So I’m setting myself free. I will strive to stop thinking for others. I will not feel that I have to remind people of things and it will not be my fault if they forget. It will only be theirs. I will not take things so seriously and if an event doesn’t happen, then it was simply not meant to be.

I will focus on my things, my schedule, and my projects. I will focus on ME.

Stay tuned for big decision number three.

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Where have all the good men gone? January 3, 2013

insecurity1Is life with an insecure man possible, long term? Or is it a road to disaster? I understand that insecurity often stems from childhood, the way he was brought up, bad experiences, trauma, being overly criticized. I know it can come from a previous bad relationship if he was taken advantage of.

The thing is, we’ve all been through stuff, and we all have baggage. At some point, you have to grow up and let it go.

Most of the time, you can’t even spot an insecure man in a crowd. The insecure man will put on a show when in the presence of others, acting as if he’s fully secure in his own identity and has total confidence in himself, his ideas, his beliefs, his actions.

But the insecure man is unable to laugh at himself. If you make a joke about something he says or does, even if it’s quite funny, he’ll become insulted. He’ll accuse you of attacking him. He’ll shut down and give you the silent treatment. He’ll lash out at you, and insult your personality, your character traits. He’ll fight dirty and attack you personally.

You may laugh because he’s all excited about going to the gym and talking about it for the umpteenth time, although every time he talks about this, he never goes. Or he goes a few times and then gives up, letting his costly membership run out without getting his money’s worth. Will he laugh and sheepishly admit that you’re right, he’s a big talker but he never quite makes the commitment? Oh no. He’ll stop talking to you, turn his back, and ignore you if you talk to him. And when you ask him what’s wrong, he’ll tell you that you are a mean spirited person, that you constantly attack him all the time, you don’t encourage him, and so on.

The insecure man needs constant praise. Whether he paints a fence, washes the car, cooks a meal, picks up take-out or gives you a ride to work. If you don’t give him praise, he will feel neglected and hurt. He will take it personally. Does he praise you when you perform your multiple daily, weekly, monthly tasks? Of course he doesn’t. Praising you is quite secondary. He only cares about what he gets.

It makes you wonder what on earth his mother did to make him so needy. It makes you wish moms would step up and raise their little boys to be real men.

The recipe for survival with an insecure man is to never, ever say anything negative, derogatory or laugh at anything he does or says. Never tease him. Not even in good spirit. He’ll take it the wrong way and make you feel like crap for days. The price is too high to pay.

You have two choices, either you praise him for every little thing that he does or at the very least agree with him and say “okay”. Don’t express yourself. Don’t react normally. Whatever you do, do not laugh.

If you are able to live while constantly walking on eggshells, or turn yourself off and become partially dead inside, then things will probably run smoothly for a number of years. If the very thought of turning into some deranged robotic Stepford Wife terrifies you, the operative word would probably be… RUN.

Or you could just rethink the whole thing over a glass or two of wine and practice the fine art of “letting go”. This way you don’t even notice the insecurity. You just smile and carry on.