Fight, Flight, Freeze… Fawn?: Responding to Danger by Becoming a People Pleaser

a sign that's broken that says "yes"
Image by Anthony Clearn / CC BY

Many long-time readers of the blog know that I identify as a recovering people pleaser. It’s been a long road to recovery, bolstered by an excellent support system and a round of assertiveness therapy several years back.

Growing up under the thumb of a difficult mercurial parent, I learned early on how to anticipate her needs and accommodate them,  » Read more

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Assertiveness as Honesty Exchange: Sender to Receiver and Back Again

the recycling symbol (3 areas all pointing towards one another, forming a triangle) with white arrows on a green background
Image by Nicolas Raymond / CC BY

When many folks think of assertiveness, they think of sender skills. An assertive person is one who communicates their thoughts and feelings confidently. Openly.

And while this is true, it’s not the entire picture. In practice, the most difficult part of assertive communication is the receiver half.

Because an assertive communicator is not only open to speaking their own truths —  » Read more

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Old is New Again

When I was in grade school, I was friends with a group of the shyest girls at school. My best friend was the soft-spoken daughter of two zoology professors, and when she got headgear, the bullies descended on her with a fury. Looking back, I’m amazed that my reaction as an 8-year-old was to attack the bullies relentlessly,  » Read more

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Growing Spines

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There’s a reason why a cactus has spines. Cacti live and thrive in deserts, one of the harshest classes of biome on the face of the Earth, surrounded by creatures that have adapted to survive those conditions. Their spines not only help dissuade other life forms from eating them but also dramatically increase a cactus’s surface area and allow them to better absorb water from infrequent rains.  » Read more

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