DO NOT ALWAYS TRY TO PLEASE EVERYBODY!

“I do not know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” (Plato)

How often do we try to please other people, because we want to have our peace, want to avoid arguments and discussions, or are seeking for love and appreciation? Although we should already know better, we fall back into these old and probably acquired patterns of behaviour from time to time.

The wish for well-being and harmony informs the nature of women to a large extent, and this is why we do our utmost so that others thrive and feel as comfortable as possible. Cost what it may! To this end, we frequently restrain ourselves, suppress our needs, bite our tongue, and take responsibility for other people and situations that do not really concern us.

You are probably already on the way towards shedding this pattern of behaviour, or you have already discarded it and left it behind you.

But, to be on the safe side, ask yourself the following questions from time to time:

  • Do I sometimes say YES, when I actually want to say NO?
  • Do I sometimes catch myself trying to impress other people?
  • Do I not want others to regard me as egotistical?
  • Do I like to avoid conflicts?
  • Do I allow my behaviour to be guided by other people’s opinions?
  • Is it easier for me to agree with someone rather than pressing my own point?
  • Do I feel responsible for other people’s well-being?
  • Do I assume responsibility for other adults?
  • Do I try to make sad or glum people happy?
  • Do I strive for the praise and appreciation of the people close to me?
  • Do I sometimes forget to draw the line?

It is easier than you might think to walk into the trying-to-please-everybody-trap and be caught in it. After all, sometimes it is very difficult to recognise the fine line between autonomy and heteronomy. But as soon as you have realised why to want to please everybody, you can easily recognise your behaviour and steer it into another direction.

This is how you can free yourself from the trap:

  • Take enough time to consider before you say YES or NO.
  • Learn to bear feelings connected with disagreements or conflicts.
  • Do not feel responsible for everything and everyone.
  • Do not lose sight of your values.
  • Do not always take the same line as other people.
  • Have the courage to stand by your opinion and needs.
  • Learn to distinguish self-love from egotism.
  • Do not think about what others might say about you.
  • Remain true to yourself.
  • Draw your boundaries, even though others might not like them.
  • Do not allow yourself to be manipulated by others.

Even though it is not always easy to discard acquired or adopted patterns of behaviour. It is worth it!

 

Women

FOLLOW YOUR FEMALE WAY, BUT DON’T GET LOST!

In these times of ‘anything-is-possible-if you-really-want-it’ there are numerous offers, aiming to lead women to their own femininity. But, unfortunately, some of them lead nowhere. Why? Because women who look for their femininity by concentrating on external matters, trying to express their femininity with frills will never find their path. They remain on the surface instead of entering a deep inner process.

THE PROBLEM WITH MISTAKEN FEMININITY

More than ever, a huge sector of industry benefits from mistaken femininity these days. Fashion and cosmetic companies, beauty surgeons, and fitness gurus, direct the lives of many women every day, trying to tell them what they should look like, and what they should do (meaning what they should buy) to appear more attractive, and feminine, to other women (rivals), and men (prospective partner or playmate).

But genuine femininity has nothing to do with pretty dresses; even with women’s self-discovery courses, with women’s business, cosmetics, jewellery, sexy lingerie or so-called arts of seduction.

Because femininity is:

  • Not an attitude to life
  • not belonging to the female sex,
  • not a conscious decision to be a woman,
  • not emancipation
  • not a special orientation.

Real femininity is a primal force, an elemental essence, a certain inner awareness which women are naturally equipped with. However, it has been hidden and covered up by the mistaken image of femininity our society tries to promote.

BUT WE WOMEN DELUDE OURSELVES 

Our generation is living in times of great illusion and self-deception. The virtual world around us strengthens the belief that we women have to present ourselves as even better and more beautiful than we naturally are. Just think of digital techniques. We can alter photos, get rid of wrinkles, and fat, before we post them on Facebook and other social media networks. Or, before we attach them to our letters of application, or upload them on online dating-services.

The Swiss author Maitreyi D. Piontek has got to the heart of this mistaken femininity. She says that women spray themselves with artificial pheromones, enlarge their breasts with silicon, inject Botox under their skins, or spice themselves up with drugs. [1] Of course, this is not applicable to all women, but globally there is a strong tendency in this direction.

EVEN SPIRITUALITY IS SOMETIMES MISTAKEN 

Spirituality has not necessarily to do with religion; nor with belief, esoteric, meditation, yoga, tantra, alleged dual souls, Bach flowers, or healing stones. Because, also spirituality is something like an elemental essence which we women naturally bear inside. No matter whether we are aware of it, or not, our mind rejects it, or not. Femininity and spirituality are like two sisters who are close.

In trying to escape from the spiritual-commercial labyrinth, in which many women have trapped themselves in a search for their femininity, it needs courageous women, women …

  • who walk their individual path,
  • who want to get in contact with their feminine soul again,
  • who want to abandon the commercial woman,
  • who want to rediscover their spirituality, and live their femininity.

Let’s return to the widespread belief that you have to work hard, and train long, to gain more femininity. The fallacy is that neither spirituality, nor femininity, can be assimilated, or trained, with special exercises. Women carry femininity and spirituality deep inside. It is more about freeing ourselves from old, rigid layers of mistaken femininity.

ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR OWN FEMALE PATH? 

There are various ways to rediscover and live your own femininity. It needs a genuine desire and an honest self-responsibility because …

  • old clichés have to be abandoned,
  • male and female polarities have to be recognized,
  • the female roots have to be discovered,
  • emotional injuries have to be healed,
  • and female healing has to be allowed.

You can imagine how important it is that, particularly now, many women care about their ‘female return home’. But it is even more important that YOU start finding, and living, your individual path.

[1] Piontek, Maitreyi. D.: Weibliches Manifest, München 2009, S. 25.

Women

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS: MEN ARE DIFFERENT, US WOMEN TOO

No, I do not want to use the usual clichés! Yes, I would like to make us women aware that most of the men are different to us women. It is important to recognize these differences, understand and accept them. Just like Yin and Yang – the female and the male – are contrary but are part of a whole, we people are the same. And although we women sometimes wonder, or are angry, about the strange behaviour of our men, we should be aware that there are not only physical, but also mental and emotional differences, between men and women.

WOMEN LIKE TO TALK ABOUT FEELINGS

Many men have been brought up to suppress their feelings; the exceptions are anger and fury. They have been told to remain controlled or relaxed in difficult, or dangerous, situations. Their fathers, and other men, show them verbally, and non-verbally, that to show feelings is a sign of weakness.

Therefore, as soon as they are adult, they find it hard, when their wives demand to know how they are, and what they are feeling. However, the majority of women want to talk about feelings openly. This is why it is hard for them when communication about feelings with their partner proves to be tough and tiresome. And is probably quickly concluded.

Women react to tense and challenging situations emotionally, whereas men might only shrug their shoulders, not feeling like talking about the topic at hand. This is why some men occasionally think women have more emotional problems than they actually have. Simply because women approach these subjects, and they don’t.

“AND THE MORAL OF THIS STORY …”

Anne Moir and David Jessel, the authors of ‘Brain Sex’ claim that women have a more efficiently organized language centre than men. It is situated at the front of the left brain hemisphere, whereas the same functions in the male brain are located in the front and back of the brain. They think this is the reason why men don’t like to talk about feelings as much as women do.

Anyway, studies show that women not only express their own feelings better, but also perceive other people’s emotions better than men. In tests where they had to recognize feelings from photos, they scored much better than their male counterparts. They also perceive the emotional content of a brief conversation better than men.

Maybe we should remember these innate (and possibly strengthened through education) differences, before we next ask our loved ones the unpopular question, “What do you feel at the moment?”.

A series of blogs for women which can help us to see men with new eyes, and understand them (even better). If you want to know more on this topic, I recommend the book ‘You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’ by Deborah Tannen

Women

ANETTE KEUCHEL. WHEN WOMEN CHANGE THE WORLD

The RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH looks like a typical Berlin in-restaurant: damaged walls and tables in retro-look. Menus handsomely written on black slate boards, by Anette Keuchel, reveal what chef Daniel is just preparing in the kitchen: beetroot soup, homemade gnocchi in parsnip and carrot sauce, avocado chocolate brownies, with banana and soya mayo. (1)

The 39 year-old Berliner avoids wasting food both in her private and professional life. Some weeks ago, with others she opened Berlin’s first leftover restaurant. She only uses food that has been rejected by supermarkets, or farmers: crooked carrots, speckled bananas, or apples with blemishes.

The expression ‘food from rubbish’ makes her feel uneasy as she is aware that companies which she cooperates with do not voluntarily dispose of the food, and look for constructive solutions. For her it is very important not only to save food in her project, but also to make people rethink. Because, only in Germany, about 18 million tons of food end up in the rubbish every year, 7.2 tons from private households.

In RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH guests can experience how accidentally purchased and happily mixed together ingredients make delicious meals. Anette hopes to influence her customers positively. Maybe people are encouraged to be more aware when they choose their next purchase, or develop more creativity when looking in the fridge the next time.

Incidentally, Anette’s idea is the result of a holiday in Denmark. She discovered the restaurant RUB & STUB in Copenhagen which used food that otherwise would only have decayed. With friends and activists from the food-sharing scene she developed a business plan, and started a crowdfunding-campaign.

This inspirational woman herself still works part-time as a foreign language correspondent. Only the chef Daniel, the manageress, and the event manager, are employed full time. Everybody else works there in a voluntary capacity. If you want to change the world you need enthusiasm and passion. And that type of person is on the increase. Even if pessimists suggest otherwise.

Anette Keuchel, 39, opened the first German leftover restaurant in Berlin-Neukölln, the ‘Restlos glücklich’ (Kienitzer Str. 22).  The mother of two daughters (aged three and seven) works there in a voluntary capacity alongside her part-time job as a foreign language correspondent. What she most enjoys is serving at tables and chatting with the guests.

(1) I discovered Anette Keuchel – along with other amazing women who change the world – in the magazine BRIGITTE (19/2016). Photo: abendblatt-berlin.de

Women