Friday, July 15, 2011

This Blog's Purpose and Origin

Man, did I have it good.  Seriously.

I grew up in a house with both a mom and a dad; I had a sister, dog and a few cats, too.  My dad always worked, and my mom stayed home and took great care of us all.  I went to good schools, participated in extracurricular activities and generally sashayed through childhood.  There were no raised voices in my house.  We went out to dinner every Tuesday and attended church (and Sunday School) most Sundays.  We took road trips in our Winnebago and hugged when we got home.  We still say "I love you" when we hang up the phone.  If one of us needs something, the others give it, without question or censure.  We are NICE.  I grew up thinking that everyone's family operated thusly.

I was wrong.

And learning that lesson was painful and expensive.  Throughout my personal and professional life I have met many people whose default behavior is particularly damaging to nice people.  They rely on our altruism, selflessness, and yes, naivete, to meet their needs.  Meantime, we apply the same rules of engagement with these people as in our families of origin.  Here's the thing: they're not playing by the same rules.  These  people will take until you have nothing left to give, and leave when you are completely depleted (and not a moment sooner).

The purpose of this blog is to shine a light on these not-so-nice characters, in the hopes of informing and protecting those of us who would otherwise fall victim to their machinations.  I'm not nice anymore; nice just doesn't get it done.  I hope that my observations are compassionate and honest but no more Mrs. Nice Guy.

This is what they do to your life.

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