People Pleasing

Yesterday, per my new boss, I sent an email to my ex boss and copied in his boss.

My old boss, K, had offered a contest where if he hit his quota and we hit ours for the last two weeks of 2018, he would pay us $500.

Both happened. But when I had asked K about the money, he kind of ignored my question.

Even so, I felt sort of like a rat copying in his boss. I almost didn’t send the email.

Why? Why wouldn’t I want to hold him to his word?

I guess I was afraid he’d be mad. Afraid he wouldn’t like me. Afraid he would badmouth me. And that it would come back to bite me in the ass.

One time, in the 90’s, when I worked on Wall Street, I was very cocky. I complained about one of the consultants, B, my company had hired. Be rarely showed up. And when he did, he would try to tell us what to do. B hadn’t even been involved in the project. It pissed me off and I felt I knew better. I had also been a consultant in a prior job. I’m pretty sure I may have contributed to B getting fired.

When Drexel, where I worked, went bankrupt, I had an interview at Solomon Brothers. B was now working there and was supposed to interview me. He refused. And, he blackballed me so I obviously didn’t get the job. And I never forgot it. You know that old saying, “don’t burn your bridges?” Well, I had obviously burnt mine.

So, as I was hitting send on the email to my old boss and his boss, I thought maybe I was making a mistake.

About an hour later I got an email from K. “What’s your address? I’m making out the check tonight,”

So, I guess it worked. Now I’m glad I sent the email. I am going to rethink my fear of speaking up and standing up for myself once again.

Sort of related, today I happened to be listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast. He was interviewing Greg McKeown, the author of a book about “Essentialism.” Tim was asking Greg how to say no to people who ask you a favor. Tim was also afraid of getting people mad and the backlash effect of saying no. In the past, he had been maligned when he had said no to doing someone a favor.

Greg said “Don’t sacrifice respect for popularity.”

He said that people who are on purpose stay on purpose. They don’t say yes to keep people happy and sacrifice their own goals. There is a way to do it that doesn’t have a negative effect.

I found this very interesting. So I will continue to inquire and explore the topic.

Below is a quote I just saw. It reminded me of my anger yesterday after my phone call.

“It is those moments after the anger subsides and the objectivity returns that your best ideas take root. “

So, I will call it all good. It’s all in the service of creating a powerful life. Trusting my upset instead of invalidating it and looking to see what isn’t working. Then seeing how to upgrade my reactions and responses to increase the amount of empowerment and joy in my life.

Because that is what I enjoy. Seeing how to make life even better. Especially when I’m not feeling the love. How can I return to affinity? What do I have to say? What do I have to complete with someone? How can I say it powerfully and not make them wrong?

Stay tuned. There is always more to learn…………………………………………

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