That's James Brown, y'all! The cat who was known as The Hardest Working Man in Show Business! Mr. Dynamite! The Godfather of Soul! Soul Brother Number One! Mr. Please Please Please! The man was bad long before Michael. Wait a minute. Did you just say, "Michael who?" Oh, ok. I was about to say! Close call. Now where were we? Oh yeah. Mr. Please Please Please. Man, how James could beg! "Please, please, please, don't go!", he'd implore. He didn't want his baby to go. Many of us can relate to that! He would do anything to please her. Certainly, there's some merit in that, right? Sure there is. But riddle me this. How many of you seek to please, please, please folk so they're not angry with you? You can't stand for anyone to be upset with you. So you do whatever they say. You bow to their every whim and whimsy. They've got you wrapped around their little finger. You're a puppet on a string. A marionette. You're dancing to their tune. No matter how offbeat it is. You are a people-pleaser. I can hear you now. "Eric, I am not! Wait. I'm sorry. You're not upset with me are you? I didn't mean to raise my voice. Are you mad at me, Eric? I'll do anything to make it right. Just don't be upset with me. Please, please, ple..." Stop! See. Told ya. People. Pleaser. I know. It's a struggle, but maybe we can help you with the please disease.
You need to know something. It's alright to say no. I know some of you just shivered, quivered, and quaked. Anyone pass out? No? Good. Because I'll say it again. It's alright to say no. In fact, it's good to say no. Sometimes, it's even ok to say it a lot! Stop smiling and laughing hysterically. I see you. Your first thought was, "Yes! I'm gonna get my kids good with this one! Eric said I could!" Whoa there, Dr. No. I didn't say get crazy with your no's. You just need to realize that it's ok to use it more than you do now. With whomever. Who's the person or people that you hardly ever or never say no to? You just pictured them. That person. Those folk. Yes, even them. You. Can. Say. No. To. Them. Even if they get upset with you. Even if you think they won't like you anymore (If they don't, that'll tell you a lot about your relationship.). It's tough, but at times, it must be done. Don't worry about upsetting folk. Even when you know it will upset them. It's ok. They'll get over it. There are times that you need to be concerned about upsetting you. Because here's the reality. They're feeling fine, because they're getting what they want. But you? You're miserable and upset, because you're doing something that you'd rather not do, flat out don't want to do or have forced yourself to do, don't have the time to do, and it's taking away from the things--watch this--you NEED to do. Uh oh. I just said something.
Some of y'all will forgo things that you need to do for yourselves just to "keep the peace" as you call it. Ask yourselves, "Is it really the peace that I'm keeping?" Or is it temporarily delaying yet another Katie Kaboom or Phillip Wellman-like outburst? I can tell you what it ain't. It ain't cool. At all. Let me be clear. This is not to say that you should do your best Alfalfa routine. Remember how he’d warm up before he sang to his boo, Darla? He’d say, “Me, me, me, me, me.” You’re not focused on yourself like that, but you must start considering yourself. And don’t give me that, “I’d rather focus on other people” jazz either. I know it’s true for some of us at times, but let’s be real. We all need to focus on ourselves at times. If we don’t, we’ll never be “in order” so we can truly help other people. Seeking to be our best selves helps us to the kind of folk we need to be for other folk.
So take some time for you. Say no every now and again. Especially when you know you need to. And do something you need to do or do nothing at all. Doing nothing is a need sometimes to, ya know. We all need rest. It matters not what it is that you do once you’ve said no. What matters is that you’ve taken some time to consider you. When you do, other folk will too. Here’s an illustration. Sometimes, a quarterback has to "throw a receiver open." We have to do the same with people in our lives. That is, a receiver won't think he's open or can't seem to get separation from the defender. The Quarterback--that's you--has to make their receiver know that they're open. In other words, you make/help them know that they can make a play. This same concept applies to folk in our lives. We have to make ‘em know that they can fend for themselves. That they're "open."
Last thing. The more you say no, that is, the more you get comfortable with it, the more folk will start to know that they're "open." They'll start to respect you more. They'll start to call on you less and that's a good thing. Sometimes, you have to "make" folk grow up and stand up and KNOW that they can do it by themselves. Those who really care about you will still love you, but something will change. They'll truly respect YOU. Not what you do for them. They'll respect YOU and your position. So go ahead and please, please, please say, “No.”
Interested in learning more about leadership? Then please, please, please (see what I did there?)...
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Friday, October 10, 2014
Communicating for Change
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