5 Ways I Was Simultaneously Hindered And Helped By My Family

Our families are God’s gift to us. They are the set of people God has ordained to program us. Sometimes they do a great job and sometimes they drop the ball. A family should be where you find encouragement, comfort, and hope. It is where you should learn faith, morals, ideals, and values. Within your family, you are supposed to feel secure and happy no matter what is happening in your life. You ought to be provided with protection and security. The way you are raised greatly affects you in every way possible. Your family is your first school. It is where you learn the tools that you will use throughout life. How they talk to you becomes your inner voice. It becomes the way you speak to yourself, and also to others. How they treat you, is the way you, in turn, treat yourself, and eventually others. How they see you, is how you will view yourself, and by default your outer world.

If you have read my previous posts, you will realize that I didn’t grow up in the ideal family. They have their faults but they also had their benefits. Compared to some stories that I have heard, I was very blessed to have them. They have affected me in a negative manner, but let me not sit here and pretend that everything that some of these qualities that I possess, which I am benefiting from, were not because of them as well. I have more positive than negative attributes because of my family. Listed below are a few.

1. Always Trying To Do Better

For as long as I can remember, I have never been satisfied with my performance. Whether it be in games, academics or simple day to day activities, I always try to do better than I did the previous time. If I was not the best or on top I didn’t feel accomplished, even if I did great. Though I believe this stemmed from not being acknowledged as I child and I had a craving for acknowledgment which is still present today, it has forced me to do my best and never settle for mediocre work. This has always placed me at an advantage over my coworkers. The supervisors and my employers gave me he acknowledgment I was starving for and along came with that benefits such as getting the days off that I wanted, or overtime when I wanted, not being punished when I ought to be, etc.

2. Being a Good Listener

As a child, I was very talkative and active. These were two qualities that were despised by my mother and she worked her hardest to get rid of. She wanted me to be the child who was seen and not heard. Unfortunately, I was probably always the loudest child in the lot…..no matter which lot. She subdued that aspect of me very well. Through numerous slaps, pinches, yelling and stern stares of disapproval, she eventually got the child she wanted. Though a lot may see this as negative, I was always praised by others for my behavior. Parents, teachers, my mother’s coworkers always admired me for being quiet and soft-spoken and or always listening and staying still. Today I can sit and listen for hours. Which is great for people who love to talk. Friends, associates, and bosses all praise that quality within me. People would always find me when they need to get something off their chest. This worked out for me as they also used to have my back. They would save a seat for me if I was late, defend me when I was being wronged, loan me money if I needed to borrow, etc.

  1. Being Assertive and Doing More Than What Is Expected

One of the worst childhood memories that I have was being blamed for things that had nothing to do with me. I despised it. I still do. It is one of my triggers and it brings out the worst side of me. On one occasion as a child, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes and someone went into the fridge and didn’t close the door properly. My mother came into the kitchen and saw the fridge door open, she automatically started to yell at me about it. When I said that I didn’t go near the fridge, her response was that I am in the kitchen and I should have closed it. When I replied that I didn’t see that it was open, she said that I needed to be more vigilant about my surroundings. She always found a way to blame me, especially if my younger brother did something. This trained me to look out for an issue and correct it immediately, even if it has nothing to do with me. My employers loved that about me. It always landed me in good favors with them, so I always granted my requests.

4. Never Saying No (Being Overly Kind)

In my family, questions were never asked, instructions were just given and you had to follow. This created a do as I say behavior within me and it didn’t just limit itself to my family. I had serious issues saying no to people, and I still do even today. People love this quality however. All my friends and employers are having a field day with me on this. They constantly ask for favors and assign tasks to me that were not originally meant for me. This has worked for my advantage as I was able to work efficiently in any section that I was placed in at work and I learned skills that I can take to other places of work. I have become a master in many areas, instead of just being the master of my area.

5. Always following rules (fear discipline)

As mentioned before, I grew up in a do as I say household. I was trained to do so, which means that the times when I didn’t, there were severe consequences. I was beaten or punished, sometimes both. As a result of this, I became very obedient. And this obedience comes in very handy at work and at school. I followed every rule to the ‘T’, no matter how ridiculous it was. I am not the type of person to be an advocate for change, to stand up against something that is unfair, to speak up when I am being wronged. As an adult, I must admit that this behavior is crippling me. I have been cheated so many time it is not funny. And whenever I am to defend myself, I get anxious and have panic attacks. This is something I have decided to get professional help with. But as it stands, lectures, employers and seniors all love and adore me because of this trait, and getting recommendations and references from them is easier than ever.

Everything is life is about perspective. How you see the things around you will affect how you react to them. These qualities are working out in my favor at the moment, but I know in the long run they will cause more harm than good. Some already has caused serious harm. Which is why I am actively working to reprogram myself. I am learning to use these qualities in moderation and to develop new ones. I am aiming to have a healthy mindset so that I can also be spiritually and emotionally balanced to avoid the overuse or misuse of the above-listed characteristics. I am trying to figure out how to manage….BEING ALIVE!

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