3 Things I Don’t Like About You

by lizclark on October 9, 2014


Ok, here’s the rub:

I love people. Seriously.

I love my family and friends.

I love to meet new people, get to know them, laugh with them.

I love hearing stories and different points of view. I love to see a diverse team of people come together and get stuff done.

As a business owner and project manager, I can honestly say that people are the most important asset any organization can have.

However, as much as I LOVE people, I also don’t like some of the behaviors that people choose to do.

Perfectly wonderful people who are talented and smart often choose negative behaviors that end up holding them back from achieving their best.

How do I know?

Because I’ve had mentors care enough to smack me – I meanshow me that I was holding myself back with these very same behaviors over the years.

These behaviors are often ones that we can’t see in ourselves without a little help. I call them “blind spots.”

So, because I care, I am going to be honest and let you know about 3 common “blind spots” that may be holding you back.

If you aren’t progressing in your career/relationships/life, take a step back and ask yourself honestly if any of these sound familiar:

1. You’re a Chronic Apologizer.

Look, the humility required to apologize when you’re wrong is a beautiful thing.  I do not want you to stop apologizing if you have truly wronged someone. HOWEVER. Stop apologizing for simply being alive! I was at an event recently and a woman who I barely knew sat down next to me. She apologized to me SIX times in ten minutes. Her coat barely touched my arm: “So sorry!” Her empty water bottle fell under my chair: “Oh, gosh! Sorry!” She asked to borrow a pen: “Sorry to bother you!” I used to be just like this woman (and sometimes I still am on bad days.) These are “NO APOLOGY NEEDED” social interactions.

Be confident in who you are! Listen to yourself – if you’re apologizing for every little thing, make a concentrated effort to STOP IT. (And don’t apologize for “accidentally” apologizing, either.)

2. You’re “Villain” Obsessed.

You’re OBSESSED with that ONE person in your life who DRIVES YOU NUTS! You assure us that you get along just fine with everyone except this one ridiculous person! Despite the absolute anguish this person brings into your life, you keep a stalker-like tabs on this person’s every move.  They answer a question = they had an attitude. They don’t answer a question = they’re ignoring you.

Let me say this nicely, this “villain” in your life may be legitimately evil. But YOU HAVE TO LET THEM GO. Stop obsessing. Stop thinking. Stop fuming. Build some boundaries. You cannot change a crazy/mean/ridiculous person. You can only change the way you choose to interact with them.

If you must work with them or see them at holidays or interact with them in some way, have a professional/polite conversation with them to clear the air, lay some ground rules and move forward. Escalate or address any real moral or ethical issues.  Forgive them (even if they don’t deserve it), and move on. Then, invest ALL the energy you used to spend angry at them and use it to do YOUR work, improve YOUR life and invest in relationships that bring you life and peace. You’re welcome.

(CAUTION: Once you evict a villain from your life, you WILL find a new villain to replace them – so become aware of this pattern and STOP IT!)

3. You’re Always Overwhelmed.

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person”? The premise here is that a “busy person” is “organized” so they know how to “get things done.”

BUT, when you “graduate” from busy to overwhelmed, you immediately limit opportunity for yourself. No one wants to work with someone who is overwhelmed.  A busy person might know how to get things done, but an overwhelmed person does not know how to manage their plate and certainly cannot take on more. If you’re constantly overwhelmed, I guarantee you that behind your back people are saying, “I don’t want to talk to/ask/work with him/her because she’s already got too much on his/her plate.” Opportunity gone.

I can hear you trying to tell me that you’re overwhelmed because you have to do everything and you don’t have a choice, but you always have a choice. Learn to say “no.” If you find yourself constantly overwhelmed with work, you may find this post and workbook about the dangers of over-working to be helpful.

Whew! Ok, I feel better having finally gotten that off my chest.

I DO LOVE YOU. And I also probably like you. I just thought you should know about the “blind spots” because knowing about them helped me stop doing them (most days).  We could all use a little more honesty in our lives, right?

Still friends?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie Burchit October 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Not mean at all. Very wise words. I have seen myself in each of these damaging behaviors. And, unfortunately identified others who could really stand to read this.


lizclark October 10, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Natalie! Thank you for letting me know you identified with this! I lived it, so there is no judgment here. Taking small steps each day to grow makes a world of difference. Glad to be alongside you on this journey!


Amy Latta October 15, 2014 at 8:21 AM

These are necessary words, Liz! I, too, can see parts of myself in all three. Can I get a little sign to hang in my office to remind myself of these? ;)


lizclark October 15, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Thanks, Amy! And great idea! I’ll see what I can come up with. :)


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