In fact, many of us have been raised with the idea (or certainly interpreted it as such) that if we are good, people will treat us well, hence ipso facto the assumption is that if we’re not treated well then we must have been “bad”.This sticks with us from our childhoods and even when we become adults, we forget to mature our perceptions or adjust our behaviours.
The trouble with our obsession with being “good” is that we all have different interpretations of what that means and if the readers of this site are anything to go by, here are just some examples of what it can mean.
Being agreeable to the point where you don’t have any strong opinions on anything and you silence your own feedback and criticism.
Never making any waves because when you were little, you were appreciated for “not making trouble”.
You say what you think people want to hear and you do what you think people want you to do.
When people are explaining their relationship issues to me or how they’re struggling with a breakup, I often hear something along the lines of, “I tried so hard to be a good girlfriend/boyfriend” or even “I did everything that someone could want from a good girlfriend/boyfriend” and it immediately alerts me to someone who was very much devoted to pleasing the other party, likely at the expense of themselves.
It also reminds me of when I tell my daughters that they can’t do/have something and they go, “But I’ve been a good girl mummy!
” and I’m thinking “Er, that’s got nothing to do with my answer!
” Many of us have been raised with this idea that being “good” is super-important.
Over-giving which is where you keep giving and giving and giving in the hope that there will be a tipping point and you’ll eventually start to receive.
Over-giving is also a way of trying to minimise conflict and criticism. Being over-empathetic so you end up putting you in the other party’s shoes and then imaging what you would do, projecting it onto them and then being too compassionate while being blinded to their behaviour.
Suppressing your needs, expectations and desires to prioritise those of others, while somehow expecting these very things to be met even though you don’t assert yourself.