Saturday, June 26, 2010

Being " Nice" Is not Empowering

I am speaking with a dear friend of mine about some feelings of frustration and resentment I have towards my nanny and assistant. I don't want to feel this way, I adore and appreciate her, but right now, GRRRRR. I want to get these feelings out...

What happened was I was trying to take a nap, she was at my home and checked on me...then later brought me food to give me energy and woke me up.
What I made that mean is that I "shouldn't be napping" in her eyes, she needs to take care of me, because I wasn't taking care of myself the way she thinks I should, and I can't do what I want in my own house!!!!

My friend asked me "What do you want to say to her?"
I said "You're awesome, but No Thanks."
She said, " That's NICE. What do you really want to say to her?"
I got it.
" Leave me the F*(^&* alone!!!! You are not my Mother or Nurse!!! When I need to nap I need to nap!!!"
I was really surprised by the ferocious energy behind the resentment.
My friend said " Being "Nice" is not empowering."
Whoa. That is a complete shift in perspective for me.
Aren't we supposed to be nice? Especially so important to be nice!

I got suddenly though, that being nice...when something isn't working for me, leaves me resentful and not getting what I need and the other person completely in the dark, not able to give me what I need if they want to and not understanding any resentment they may sense from me. I saw that me trying to be nice and let her talk to me while I am resting or wake me up was just not working for us. It's also completely irresponsible of me in my communication!

Being straight with people is much more effective. And it empowers both of us.
Being authentic and creative was missing in that interaction.
I don't have to be rude and spit fire, but I can just say what I need. REALLY I can do that. The world won't cave in. She won't melt. I won't turn into a harpy.

I suddenly saw new actions I could take to create empowerment for both of us. A fun creative sign for the door when I am napping or want to be alone...
"HALT!! The Queen Rests. Thank you for your loyalty. YOU SHALL BE REWARDED" So in a few minutes I made one with a crown and hearts. This will empower my husband and kids as well, to respect the times when I need privacy. Yeah!! Multiple issues solved!

I take on being authentic and creative with my friend/nanny/assistant as well and we connect and create partnership. She tells me what works and doesn't work for her and I learn about how I can be of support to her too. I feel like a huge sigh is released from my body. I am straight with her and she gets me. And we get to create something new and empowering that is new for both of us. She will live with us part time and save money on expenses while supporting me part time with the kids and business. Our family still has alone time and she has friend, work and fun time.

In the old days, my father, who is 85, told us that his mother Cora and her sister Fanny lived in connecting houses and would lift up the toilet seat and holler down it in high pitched voices " CooooooorAAAAA!" " Yes Fannnnnnieeeeeee!" and that would be the sign that they needed each other. They had each other at nearly arms reach. Most woman go it alone sister or aunt living next door.

My generous friend/nanny/assistant and I are creating that kind of partnership...but not by being "nice" being straight with what matters to us, what works and doesn't work for us and creating something new with responsible Communication....just minus the toilet.

Zen Honeycutt


  1. Perhaps the subtitle of the post should be "But speaking straight is!"

  2. It is not always healthy to keep things in. Be nice and simply tell her kindly what you feel. I am following you from MBC! I look forward to reading more! Come visit me at Mama's Little Chick.

    Mama Hen