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  • Writer's picturethriveinc

Are you squishing yourself?

Are you squishing yourself to make other people happy? This happens all the time and in so many ways.

Do you:

  • buy the "respectable" black car instead of the red (or pink) one you really wanted?

  • say "sure honey, no problem," when you actually mean, "uh, not in this lifetime."?

  • tell your manager the project only took two hours when it reality it took six, because you don't want to disappoint her or cause any trouble?

  • agree to work with a client who's not ideal and you then feel suffocated?

Squish, squish. Ick.

There was a time when I was pretty darn squished in my life. Friends would ask, “Where do you want to go for dinner?” I’d reply, “Wherever you want to go.” Squish.

Growing up, I adopted the strategy of focusing on what other people wanted to protect myself from their criticism, analysis, or argument. While this might seem like a great strategy to “get along,” I became so good at it that I lost the connection to my preferences, my joy, my pleasure…me!

Susan, my partner, is the first person who I’ve really let get to know me. It’s because she’s so dang pushy about wanting to get to know me that I’ve had to learn to locate my own preferences. Can you say double-edged sword?

However, over the years, I’ve risen to the challenge more and more.

No, I don’t want to take that camping trip with you.

No, I don’t want to keep this rescue dog.

No, I don’t want to lead a month-long program at The Haven.

Yes, I do want to try out for another play.

Yes, I do want to join a hip-hop class.

Yes, I do want to go on a retreat to Italy, alone.


Each time I recognized that I had a preference, I’d bump up against the terror of rejection that I would get yelled at, or even “get in trouble” – definitely, the younger part of me was being triggered.

I’m fifty-frickin’-three and all grown up, but I was letting the little kid inside drive my bus. Today, that feeling is a red flag that I need some little girl love and that my adult self needs to get back into the driver seat of my life.

Today, I can make my own choices, and yes, I can tolerate someone being upset about those choices.

As I’ve un-squished myself:

  • my energy has skyrocketed

  • my health has improved

  • people have told me I look younger

  • my life has become much more fun

  • more and more people want to work with me

I’m not saying I’m perfect at this. Far from it. Susan will tell you that. I never would have guessed that making me happy would be the key to a successful life, relationship, and business plan!

People stay in relationships that are fun. If you’re not showing up as you, you won’t be having a good time, nor will the people you’re relating with.

You too can un-squish yourself! Here’s how:

​1. Get back in touch with what you want. Make a desire list. A list of all the things you want, crave, long for in your life, in your relationship and in your work. Listen to your body – notice how it feels when you choose the “respectable car”, rather than the one you really want.

2. Ask for what you want. Remember the worse thing someone can say to you is no. You’re grown up and can tolerate hearing no. Yes, you can. Besides, I’ll bet there’s some other way to make what you want happen.

3. Practice tolerating people’s emotional responses to your preferences. Remember, you’re all grown up and just because someone is upset, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up what you want.

Un-squish yourself!

Making yourself small won’t help anyone.

So shine, shine, shine!



P.S. If you want some help un-squishing, why not join us for Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo, or our signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Can’t make that yet still want to un-squish? Let’s do some coaching together. I’ll help you un-squish and start thriving in your life!

CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.

Want to take a class? Sign up for one of their virtual classes: Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo or come to their signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Click here to check out all their service offerings.

Click here to contact them to coach with you, consult with your team, or speak at your next event.

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