I have a friend, Tessa. Actually she is leaving the friend category and moving to the acquaintance category.
Let me tell you why. I have known Tessa for two years. Tessa and I met a club. Tessa volunteered for almost every position that was open at this club. I actually volunteered for one of the positions but Tessa took over. She made a statement that she had to leave early so she is volunteering for everything and then left the meeting instantly. I had no time to say anything.
I got over it. After Tessa volunteered for everything she rarely attended the club meetings. Once in a while she would pop in and say she is sorry she is busy and will get going shortly. Then we did not see her again at the meetings until she would pop in again and say the same thing.
Eventually there was a discussion of where she was and what was she doing. Did she leave the club? No one was happy with Tessa. She took on a responsibility and did not follow through.
These questions were directed at me because I was her friend. I did not want to get down on her although I had to agree with the members. She volunteered for everything and was not in attendance nor did she do what she promised. All I could say was that I would call her.
Tessa suffers from "pretending to do too much." This is true in her personal life also. If I call her to just talk she is too busy. If and when we can talk all Tessa talks about is what she has to do. Yet she rarely gets anything done. She is still attempting to do things she wanted to do two years ago. Not long range, big things. Just little every day things like cleaning a room in her house.
Once Tessa told me she has a slight (?) problem with organization and getting things done. I told her I could help her with that. She never took up the offer. Actually she was a little defensive with my offer.
When you suffer from "pretending to do too much" this is a typical reaction.
If I take apart Tessa's behavior I see a person that is disorganized, in chaos and unable to get out of that state. Thinking you are busy can allow you to run away from what is really going on in your life. I mean how can you look at much? You are too busy and you have so much to do?
This behavior is also a way to feel sorry for yourself. You set yourself up to fail and you do fail. Tessa knows she is not accomplishing anything. Every time she starts to do what she needs to a "pretend" emergency pops up and she has to take care of the "pretend" emergency. By the end of the day all she has done is deal with "pretend" emergencies.
Here is the really bizarre thing. The more Tessa "pretends" how busy she is and what she has to do the less prodcutive Tessa is. Yet Tessa does not recognize this. Likewise the less Tessa gets done the more down she is on herself. And this feeling is better to sit with than the ones she is running away from.
What a crazy way to live, but we all have been there. The problem is not that we have all been there but only if we stay there like Tessa.
So how do we get out of this whirlpool?
First off realize that volunteering to do too much will not make you important or respected. It won't. It will just piss people off if you do not follow through.
Second recognize what you really need to do and what can wait.
Third do not get distracted by "pretend" emergencies. Stick to what you decied to get done. Then do it.
Lastly stop running away from those problems that are giving you stress and sorrow. You may not be able to solve them but you must acknowledge them. If you don't you will be like Tessa. You will be running around in a circle disappointing yourself and those around you.
Next you will get angry and feel unappreciated. Next you will either get pissy or depressed. All because you "pretended" to be too busy.
Gte back into your life. You can't run away from it. It follows you wherever you go.
If you must feel important then feel important becasue you accomplished something. Not beause you volunteered for everything and then did nothing.
If you are another Tessa get help now. Here is how.
Marcia, Your Confidence Coach