Do you play the martyr? Here’s how you can know if you do. Do you ever say things like, “I’m the only one who ever picks up around here.” “Doesn’t anyone else ever see that the dog’s water dish is empty?” “No one else seems to notice the garbage overflowing.”
Perhaps you have uttered similar words. What is the point? You say them loud enough so someone else can hear. Then you hope that they come to the realization of how truly selfish they have been. You expect them to jump up and come running to your aid, admitting how right you are.
Okay…maybe it’s just me.
But I am well known around my house for making comments such as those. I am playing the martyr. And guess what? No one ever feels sorry for me. So why do I keep doing it?
I guess I just want to hear myself complain. If no one else will feel sorry for me, then I will have to. But this doesn’t change things so I am determined to stop playing the martyr.
There is a simple way to do this. Let me replace the aforementioned comments with new ones.
I would change “I’m the only one who ever picks up around here” to “(Name of Child), can you come in here and straighten up the kitchen?”
I would change “Doesn’t anyone else ever see that the dog’s water dish is empty?” to “(Name of Child), it looks like the dog is out of water.”
I would change “No one else seems to notice the garbage overflowing” to “Honey, could you please take the trash out?”
In other words, I am requesting help. The response is more likely to be “Okay” or at the very least, “In a minute” or “When I’m done with whatever.” But when I say the other things, no one ever…and I mean ever…responds.
As Dr. Phil is notorious for saying, “How’s that working for you?” Well it hasn’t been working for me so I am going to change it. Maybe you need to do the same as well. Maybe you need to stop playing the martyr.
Photo by mgaffney in Flickr