Why Being Nice and Social Conditioning Stops Self Love

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Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 99.

Today I’m going to talk about letting go of social conditioning and why being nice isn’t the answer everything.

As a reformed people pleaser, it’s taken me a long journey to get to where I am today. I can now honestly say, hand on my heart, that becoming more blunt, straight talking, no bullshit and sometimes sarcastic, sharing a bit of dry humour and saying ‘NO’ has really lifted me from the box of ‘people pleasing’ into a place where I am slowly beginning to accept all of who I am.

Anyone that tells you that you should be nicer, ignore them. For most of us we probably have been too nice for too long. My self-expression was blocked for such a long time. As I spoke about in earlier blog posts on my site, I used to cover my mouth when in group situations fearing conflict from speaking my mind. Fast forward to today and I realise how much I would rather say how I feel than hold back.

These past few years through politics and online conflict I’ve really learned a thing or two about myself, about human behaviour and how so many of us are socially conditioned. My best friend Mike often calls it social lubrication. We think if someone is mean or critical, we should just be quiet or walk away. I am learning how freeing it is to just tell someone to shut up. I would never have done this a few years back, because I wanted people to like me. I had such a low view of myself but now, over time, I am beginning to let the raw, real and sometimes mean girl out.

And more so I am not apologetic for it whatsoever.

To me this is self-love, this is self-acceptance. This is my journey and it’s so freeing.

Goodbye Politeness

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These past few years on social media for example, I have had people criticise me for sharing my voice in a ‘non-polite’ way. Sometimes I am sarcastic and sometimes I just don’t give a shit anymore and people would look at my bio details and inform me that someone who speaks or writes about mental health has no right to express themselves in that way.

In their eyes a mental health writer or speaker would be kind, courteous and not show anything but niceties to everyone around them. They soon learn the hard way that this is no longer how I roll.

In the past it would have offended me when people came at me about my work. I would have gotten deeply triggered by criticism of this kind. Now I just laugh it off and sometimes become ultra-sarcastic. Sarcasm has become a beautiful route for the freeing of my voice.

This past week I was called an idiot and that this person wished that I never get any more books published. Little did they know I self-published my books and honestly, wishing someone failure? Not a good look at the best of times, for anyone.

Another said they wished I would go to hell, when I added an animation in response to one of our Government press briefings relating to British media being quite horrifying lately, so I told the PM to press a red button and below it was a animated gif of a puppet in fiery hell. It was funny, a joke…but those offended just decided they needed to stalk my profile and try to insult me further.

I think when you have been a people pleaser for so long, initially these insults hurt you to the core, but now, because I have allowed myself to receive so many insults and vicious trolling messages, it just rolls off me.

The moment we know social conditioning has resulted in us being polite when we don’t feel it, is the moment we have given our power away.

Once we start to drop all of that, allow the raw, wilder person out, the freedom is intoxicating. And one of the added benefits is instead of people maybe mildly liking you or tolerating you, you get people who either hate you or find you amazing and have a more passionate understanding and desire to get to know you.

Why? Because you are letting the real you out finally, and don’t we all love those free-thinking rebels who honestly don’t mind what people think of them. Instead they talk and embrace who they are no matter what the circumstances. I know these types of people have been my heroes and heroines for a long time. I wanted to be like these people and now I am starting to be and this in itself makes me feel proud of me and appreciative of who I am.

How To Drop Social Conditioning

All your false politeness does is to make you become someone you are not, but I imagine you want to feel this freedom too, to feel free to be you.

The first step is acknowledging that you are socially conditioned.

The second step is starting to say ‘NO’, sticking with that NO and allowing the fall out to happen, as it will. Having healthy boundaries is absolutely paramount in changing from being alive for others to being alive for ourselves.

The third step is putting your voice out there, be it on social media, in discussion groups in person, online or in your family. Putting out the alternative voice. And then allowing the criticism to come.

The fourth step is allowing yourself to be triggered, because believe me in the beginning you will be very triggered by the criticism. You will take it as an insult and feel that they have no right to call you that, while secretly worrying they could be right, but if you allow yourself to receive enough critique so that it becomes simply noise on the periphery of your senses, you will begin to change how you experience it.

The fifth step is laughter, humour and finding the critique entertaining. Acknowledging that you are the things they say and finding this amusing that it no longer insults you. For example, I get call stupid, thick, mean, crazy… and I just tell myself they’re right, I can be this way, I have many moments like this so it’s no longer an insult.

In the accepting of the criticism as true we take back our power and simply own it. Then we can have fun and play when people are critical. I like to thank them for being ‘dear angels’ or ‘sweetiepies’. Yes, I am annoying people, sometimes deliberately, but I am okay with that, because rather they be annoyed than me, as they came to me with their criticism.

And the final step, but I am not there yet, is to not even need to do anything in response. Sometimes I just let them get on with their negativity and insults, other times I laugh back, but I guess the more sage-like response is to do nothing, but maybe it’s not, who knows. All I know is I feel a lot better about who I am now than I did many years ago.

And, it pays to remember that as humans we are a mixed bag of love, peace, sadness, anger, hypocrisy, contradictions, fear, joy and so much more. So, the more we can allow our humanity, the better we feel.

I encourage anyone who is feeling stuck communication wise and feels trapped in politeness and social conditioning to start these changes.

But and it’s a big but, you must risk losing people, because those who will not accept the true you may fall away, and this is good. The right people will join you, at the right time.

Happy de-conditioning journey everyone.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Kelly Martin Speaks

If you have a question or topic you are struggling with and would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode, please get in touch. Your name will be confidential. EMAIL me at kellymartinspeaks@gmail.com or message me on Facebook via my page Kelly Martin Speaks.

And don’t forget, if you feel that others are passing you by and ‘The Not Good Enough’ voice is screaming loudly, pop by kellymartin.uk to find out all about my books, including Book 1 ‘When Everyone Shines but You’

You can also support my channel via my podcast page on my website kellymartinspeaks.co.uk via Paypal or buy me a coffee via ko-fi.

Until next time…bye for now

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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