(Closed) NWR: Anyone play “cheerleader” for their co-worker? LONG

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I would indicate – gently! – that she might want to look into therapy to deal with her criminally low self-esteem before she sabotages her own career.

If nothing else I would let her know that consistently underrating her work or refusing to take credit for it will do serious damage to her ability to progress in her field.

Post # 4
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’ve had friends like this and I’ve had to go the tough love route with them. I basically said, “Look, everyone’s their own worst critic, but you’re taking it way too far. It actually hurts me as your friend to hear you constantly bashing yourself when you know that you’re a great person who does amazing work. To me, you being self-deprecating is just the same as someone else emotionally attacking you; I wouldn’t stand for it if it were someone else, and I won’t stand for it with you either. So stop it. Seriously. You’re killing me.” It never did the trick overnight, but it definitely got them thinking, and a well-placed, “Shut up, you know damn well you’re awesome,” whenever they slipped back into self bashing mode again tended to keep them in check.

Post # 6
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@heather5743: Yeah, I’ve had friends that were chronic apologizers too and had to use the same approach with them. Whenever they said “I’m sorry” for something that had nothing to do with them, I would look them in the eye and point blank ask them, “Why? It wasn’t your fault. What do you have to be sorry for? Stop apologizing for things that you have no control over!” You really just have to beat it into some people.

And I know what you mean about sometimes just having to leave. It’s great that you want to help her but if it starts affecting your own peace of mind, get out of there. Heck, sometimes it’s a good reality check for someone when you say, “I can’t listen to you doing this to yourself,” and walk away.

Post # 7
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Ok, as someone who has had criminally low self esteem (and defeated it, Yay!)  I do have a few suggestions.

1. laughter’s the best medicine.  When someone smiles they instantly feel better about themselves,  when they laugh it’s even more so. It sounds like to me she’s uncomfortable being herself and that’s why she constantly apologizes, but if you can help her to just ‘have a good time’ and she forgets about herself for a minute, then when said project gets brought up in a good light she’s more likely to accept that she did a good job.

2. You can tell someone a thousand times that they do a great job but if they don’t know how to take a compliment they’ll get even shyer.  This is something that a person kind of has to deal with on their own.  I know that when I would get complimented I’d instantly try to find a fault with myself to counteract the compliment.  To me it was against ‘my’ rules to feel good.  With laughter you don’t have a choice, and you automatically look at things in a positive light.

3. She sounds like she doesn’t ever look at her work as ‘completed’  therefore it’s never perfect.  Being an artist I know that the toughest part of art is saying ‘I’m done!’  and to stop fiddling with it.  What might help this is little projects that have a ‘I’m done’ to them.  Such as making a bracelet or something (just for an idea)  Completion means satisfaction a lot of the time. And that satisfaction is addictive.  Once she starts liking that, then she’ll start striving for it more.

Another thing that can help that is to let her know it’s ok to ‘fudge’  If she is a perfectionist then she won’t allow herself to have any ‘ok’ areas in her work.  This is not good.  She needs to see the beauty of imperfection and be ok with it.

I’m quite a bit of a people pleaser.  And it took quite a while before I got frustrated with other people never being happy with me.  Once she works through the first steps of ‘It’s ok! I can feel great and not worry what other people think’  She’ll go into ‘Um, you’re not letting me be happy. Bye!’ 

There’s a lot of different things that can help, but it starts with a (real) smile, and a desire to smile again.

P.S. for the I’m sorry thing.  Sometimes a person doesn’t know what to say besides ‘I’m sorry’ cause saying ‘That sucks’ seems harsh to me.  I’m still learning what can take the place of I’m sorry, lol.  I’ve apologized to furniture Embarassed lol.

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