Before you read this (yes all two of you ), let me be clear that I am speaking from a place of empathy and with a desire to help. I am not gas-lighting anyone, and I am completely sincere when I say I have lived this myself.
Something I observe often in myself, my clients, and humanity in general, is an obfuscation of the truth for the sake of saving face.
We are too ashamed to admit the truth for whatever reason so we come up with a way to get out of something.
A relevant example in my field is: X client messages me hours before an appointment saying they are unable to attend due to a tummy bug/sick child/etc. Then it happens again, then again, and then I never hear from them again (or them from me when it is I avoiding).
Obviously things do pop up, but I have lived long enough and done these things MYSELF enough to sense when something isn’t right.
If you fabricate an “irrefutable” excuse for being unable to live up to a responsibility, you offer yourself an option to avoid whatever the responsibility was again in the future, thus circumvent addressing the real issue.
Child claims to be sick to avoid school. They actually haven’t done their homework and are afraid to see their teacher.
Employee claims to have a tummy bug on Saturday morning. They actually stayed out drinking on Friday and are hungover.
Client claims to have sick kids an hour before an appointment. They are actually feeling stressed and overwhelmed due to other factors and can’t face the trainer.
You can add as many examples as you like, but in all three of these there is a separate issue that is circumvented temporarily by the excuse.
The child may be struggling to grasp a subject and too ashamed to say.
The employee may be suffering from alcohol addiction and be too ashamed to say.
The client may be suffering from overwork and low self esteem due to unhelpful internalized beauty standards, and be too ashamed to say.
Thus the desire to “save face” and avoid shame in the short term can create a long term pattern that leaves development stalled (we can probably all think of someone we know who has fallen in to this trap, whether they are conscious of it or not, and never broken free).
Be honest. Expose the issue. Relinquish your sensitivity to others opinions of you. If you message me and say “Bysshe I feel so low and unmotivated today and I can’t face it”, I can say “Why do you think that is and how can I help?”.
Obviously this is far easier said than done but people DO manage to overcome barriers and make positive changes.
If this post did nothing but inspire one more attempt at change that would be great.
If it did nothing more than remind me of my own values that would be great.