An old Polish proverb goes: Not my circus, not my monkeys! That’s now a chant I keep repeating to myself. Let me explain why.
I’m by nature, what you might call a drama-magnet. No, that’s quite different from a drama queen, thank you very much! So what’s a drama-magnet? I have, until recently, constantly been drawn into other people’s drama – either as the chief ‘sort-outer’ of their lives, or as the focus of their drama. Someday, I could make quite a few bucks if I told the stories I heard and was drawn into. But my lips are sealed.
I’ve realized the fact that people dumped on me, in one way or the other, was not their fault but mine. I have been giving off signals that I’m free to sort out problems and be dumped upon. Where did that come from? My own insecurities, no doubt. But I’ve learned the hard way, that you might stick your neck out for people, only to find that you are left being the ‘bad’ guy, while they come out smelling of roses!
With 50 just a year away, I’ve acquired some wisdom at last. It also helps that I have a husband who keeps me sane!
Now, if I find anyone trying to use me in this way, I politely tell them to sort out their own problems, while repeating to myself : not my circus, not my monkeys.
This works like a charm. Have you tried it?