Why do we give more balls to the person who is struggling to keep the balls
they already have up in the air? And then blame them when they drop one
which they shouldn’t have been holding in the first place and was simply
helping out a friend or colleague…
I think this happens in the home and the workplace and both are disastrous
in terms of mental and physical health.
The thing is that I bet you anything the person with all the balls is a
people pleaser. Perhaps you are the people pleaser who is stressed with the
amount on your plate?
If you continue to say yes to other’s ‘stuff’ this may happen..
– you start to drop your own balls first as you would rather let yourself
down instead of the random friend who isn’t much of a friend if they are
putting on you like this.
– you start to become tired as it is totally relentless
– you loose confidence as you start to drop balls
– you get in trouble for dropping the balls you shouldn’t have even touched
in the first place. Infact you probably shouldn’t even have known these
balls existed but here you are keeping them in the air.
– you get resentful and cross that you are being made to take on all these
balls and yet you are barely having five minutes for yourself
– you start to get angry that you are getting the blame when you start to
drop balls for others
– you start to get a reputation that you drop balls even though you
shouldn’t have done it in the first place
You see by you saying yes and taking on things which you really shouldn’t
be you are landing yourself in potential hot water.
I think this is why as a Mother we take on EVERYTHING to keep the family
home sorted yet if one things gets left behind on a holiday or something is
missed in the super market as you were also trying to work out what you
needed to do to organise for someones birthday part and Christmas which is
2 weeks away… YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT IT. IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT.
At work people keep giving you more and more work onto of what you are
doing and so you start to drop balls… either the new ones or the ones which
were originally yours. You don’t feel able to tell your boss you are at
capacity so start to work evenings, weekends and basically give up YOU life
to service the needs of others.
In both these situations there is a simple solution but one which seems
totally out of character for a people pleaser and one which most people
will resist. And yes I will probably resist too.
“Oh I would love to help with that but I am already up to my eyes and
would’ t be able to do that to the best of my ability and would hate to let
you down. Do you think you could help with that or do you know someone else
who may be able to help in stead?
You don’t have to be aggressive. All you are doing is preserving your
boundary. Whether this is your partner, your colleague or client.
IT IS OK TO SAY NO.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO SAY NO AT SOME POINT.
The more you say YES the more people will give you so you have to put up a
boundary to protect you and then be sure you protect it and be willing to
say no in the most wonderful, gentle way but in a very firm “you have
crossed the boundary now” sort of way.
IF a boss is putting on you then it is THEIR responsibility to find more
money to hire more resources. It is not your responsibility. I find,
especially in the public sector in the UK, that budgets are being cut and
the only way the system is continuing to function is by one man doing 5
people jobs by giving up their own personal life to accommodate the
ridiculous hours. Do you think they get thanked? NO! Do you think they get
the blame for not doing the job of the 4th extra job they had to take on as
well as the person who had full time hours to do this job? YES!
THE ONLY WAY THIS BROKEN SYSTEM WILL CHANGE IS TO PUSH BACK AND SAY NO.
NO! it is not ok for me to take on another persons role onto of my full
NO! It is not ok to work into the evenings and weekends just to keep my
head above water as you don’t have the funds to replace that person.
NO! it is not ok that I have to do everything at home AND work and you only
have to worry about your work.
I could go on but you get the idea.
We need to change the system and the only way we can do this is to push
back and not allow our lives (which are limited and precious) to be taken
up by other people’s bad management .
So next time someone asks you to do something and you are already up to
your eyes… what will you say? Get the response ready and be prepared to say
those words. YOU DESERVE YOUR NEEDS TO BE MET TOO!