I have decided to address the compulsive behavior of saying “yes” to everyone, since the holidays are fast approaching. Dr. Feldenkrais describes this type of behavior as being “compulsively kind”. It is easy to become blind to the fact that compulsive kindness creates strained relationships and is harmful to one’s health.
“The best intentions when enacted compulsively yield opposite results.” ~Moshe Feldenkrais, The Potent Self
Genuinely saying “yes” to others is a good behavior. It turns into a problem when a person says “yes”, to avoid the anxiety caused by the mere thought of saying “no”. If this person actually said “no”, they would find their nervousness would settle more quickly compared to living with their own imagination.
Compulsively kind people ultimately end up spending most of their time doing for others thus collapsing at the end of each day. They then have no energy for loved ones and become irritable and unreasonable at home.
“Many people become “good” not by learning to live in good neighborhood with others, but by being unable to do anything that requires standing up for themselves. They cannot refuse anything asked from them, simply because they are afraid of other people. Thus their goodness is compulsive, and they then immediately experience resentment of their own behavior.” ~Moshe Feldenkrais, The Potent Self
The inability to turn down requests leads to unhealthy ways of communicating. This may look like not answering questions, avoiding people, ending relationships, telling lies, etc. “No” is a polite answer because it allows an inquisitor to immediately make alternative plans and finishes business with him.
Learning to answer people with sincere honesty is the best medicine for this type of compulsion. The first time you may fumble, but as you practice you will become more graceful. Over time your relationships will flourish!
I have included in the photo above a beautiful saying for you to contemplate. What does “moving stillness” mean to you? I suggest searching for it within yourself today and especially during this holiday season.
P.S. To schedule a Functional Integration® session with me for yourself or your child call me at 717.285.0399.