How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

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How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby Eltrym » Fri May 05, 2017 2:28 am

Hi, I am 10½ months sober and have been trying to work the steps with an online sponsor because there are no English speaking meetings near me. All was going well until I hit step 4.
I believe that I am a good person. I had quite a religious upbringing and I know the difference between right and wrong. If I have upset anyone I have always apologised.
I seem/seemed to be fearful of a lot of things but in gaining a good spiritual condition I believe I can/have resolve/resolved that. The only resentment I can find is that I feel that people take advantage of my good nature due to my weakness to be able to say no without feeling guilty. I feel that the fault stands with me for not being able to stand up for myself. But how can I do that without feeling selfish? Surely that is against AA's program isn't it? I've read that we should watch out for selfishness. So what do I do in these situations? Do I just take everything that people put on me to please them?
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 05, 2017 4:14 am

Surely that is against AA's program isn't it?


Never. You stand up. You tell them without negativity in a normal tone. They will understand. You may have heard this "we dont become a door-mat". If you keep yielding then others will be abusing you. In working with others it talks about helping others but just to an extent. Otherwise, they come to rely on you. Instead of their HP.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby Eltrym » Fri May 05, 2017 4:52 am

Brilliant, thank you Avaneesh.
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby positrac » Fri May 05, 2017 4:54 am

I will admit I wear my heart on my sleeve and it is a hindrance because when people take advantage of me I either eat it and feel extremely resentful and or I break out and let them know.

because of my upbringing I thought I had to not be seen and or heard and so I got walked on a lot. I found that as I got older and more years in sobriety that I hold my own much better. My weakness is apologies and really people are jackazzes and don't deserve any forgiveness. Now that is not always true and I've learned I do what I can to make peace and if they are still mad then it is on them as I tried to make a wrong right! Had a similar situation occur where I made some rude and yet truthful comments. I went back to make peace 3 times and finally said to heck with these people and I have to accept that people are who they are and I live my way and they live their way.

I would also say that you have to be true to YOU! So put up boundaries, protect what is yours and hold your own as you don't need to get drunk over some BS that some other yahoo laid on you. Keep doing your step work and this too shall pass in time. As I mentioned your maturity in sobriety will greatly help you become more personally manageable regarding the door mat syndrome.

I'm a hard head and yet a decent soul who would do most anything for another person with my caveat being to pay it forward. Life is much harder and people want in some cases just to scam us because of our nature. I tell them that I need to wipe the stupid sticker off my forehead so they know I am not an idiot. I am more vocal and so treat me right or leave me alone.

You'll be ok and keep up the good work life does get better even when it is hard and you'll see this one day.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby tomsteve » Fri May 05, 2017 5:44 am

we grovel before no one and don't have to be a doormat. we are allowed to say no. we are allowed to put our own well being first,.if someone asked me if id run to the store to get them a case of beer:"hell no" even. is that selfish? in a way yes.my peace,sanity, and sobriety are important and I must protect them. in another way no. im not going to enable plus im not going to do for others what they can do for themselves.

there are 3 inventories to the 4th step- resentment, fear, and sex inventories.
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby Brock » Fri May 05, 2017 7:50 am

One of the things I like about Eltrym's post, is that whether he intended to or not, he demonstrated how the 4th step resentment list should work. He first said - “The only resentment I can find is that I feel that people take advantage of my good nature...” followed by “due to my weakness to be able to say no without feeling guilty.” And then seeing his part in it, just as the book asks, by saying - “I feel that the fault stands with me for not being able to stand up for myself.” That is how we do this part of the step, by seeing our part it's easier to forgive the persons who we are resentful with.

And just like he finds it difficult to decide if he should be more selfish in the future, I believe there will always be questions like these, we must use common sense judgment, as someone said not doing for others what they are quite capable of doing for themselves. In my own case, someone in my family swindled me out of a large sum of money, should I have been so trusting of my family member, if I had been more careful they couldn't have robbed me. So on one hand I think it's quite normal and good to trust your family, but on the other I have to take some blame for not being more careful, because doing so is my best chance of putting it behind me.

I found from this step that I could then look in the mirror and think fairly highly of myself, and there is nothing wrong with having a good opinion of ourselves. And once I know that I am a good and decent human being, I am able to worry less about pleasing others by saying yes when I really should not, or like in my case trusting everyone, because I was scared they might take offense if I didn't.

There was an old poem from 1934, which was in the leaflet I got at my first meeting, and it spoke of pleasing others and they pat us on the back and say we are nice people, but we should be pleased with ourselves above all, it's called “The Man In The Glass,” I will put it up.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife 
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass. 
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 05, 2017 10:04 am

The only resentment I can find is that I feel that people take advantage of my good nature due to my weakness to be able to say no without feeling guilty.

Write each name of the person who "took advantage of you" and write the 4th Step on them. Feeling like a victim was a major sign of resentments for me too.

My sponsor also told me to write every member of my immediate family down and write about them even if "I was no longer mad" at them for some things they had done. I also was very generous & forgiving - but I found some feelings lurked under the surface.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby Eltrym » Fri May 05, 2017 10:47 am

Thank you everyone.
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri May 05, 2017 2:19 pm

Hi Eltrym and welcome.

Congratulations on 10½ months of sobriety!

I also had a big problem with saying "no" to friends, family & employers and always felt guilty if I managed to actually say "no". Finally, when I was hospitalized for nervous exhaustion at the ripe old age of 27, I had one of those moments of clarity and realized that I had done this to myself. I wasn't a victim--I was a volunteer. I had given everybody in my life a piece of me--except me. A friend gave me a book called "The Art of Selfishness" by David Seabury. I read it, re-read it, studied the chapters that applied to people like me who couldn't say "no" and followed its suggestions. I had learned and practiced the "Golden Rule" but I had never learned or practiced the "Iron Rule": "Never do for someone else what they can do for themselves." Things didn't change overnight for me, but the more I practiced applying the "Iron Rule", the more I respected myself and the more my life changed for better. Years later, after I joined AA, I was delighted to discover that this same book was part of AA's co-founder Dr. Bob's private library. Hope this helps.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: How do you stand up for yourself without feeling guilty?

Postby Roberth » Fri May 05, 2017 3:56 pm

hello Eltrym and welcome My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. lets start with number one...... we seem to forget that the steps all suggestions. that is what they always have been, that they still are and what they will always be. Regardless want anyone says the is the fact. With that said I was lucky enough to have a sponsor the introduced me to the principles of AA by taking me through the steps. at 25 years I am still discovering shortcomings that I didn't think were shortcomings but by going through all the steps I and able to handle what evr comes my way
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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