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3 Reasons Why You Don’t Always Need To Go With The Flow

Reasons Dont Need To Go With Flow

Contrary to what most people believe, and advocate, you do not always need to go with the flow to be truly happy in life.

For most of my life, I was a dedicated people-pleaser. When I look back I clearly see that many of my people-pleasing behaviors derived from a fear of confrontation, conflict, and criticism. I mistakenly thought that “going with the flow” made me a better, more likable person. I thought I was just easy going when really, I was scared of voicing my opinion in fear that someone might disagree with me.

Many times, I was blinded to my own voice and opinions. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, I encourage you to take a different approach than always “going with the flow” to avoid your anxiety. It some cases it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be easy going, however, if you find yourself always giving in and doing what others want without checking in with yourself first, it could become an issue in your life.

Below are three reasons why you don’t always need to go with the flow:

1. You don’t need to bury your feelings to be accepted by others.

Start seeing your inclination to “go with the flow” as an indication that you might be trying to avoid conflict or upsetting others. Try not to be scared to disagree with others, and remember that it is actually good for your relationships to show up as you are.

2. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship.

Don’t judge yourself or think your relationship is “bad” if a conflict occurs just because you bring up your thoughts. A certain amount of conflict is typical in any relationship.

It isn’t possible to keep all of your relationships easy going. Instead of trying to avoid using your voice, you can learn how to face situations constructively, without allowing things to escalate into destructive arguments.

Related: The Secret Ingredients To A Long Lasting Relationship

3. You are probably overestimating the anger of others.

Many people “go with the flow” when they overestimate how angry others will get when they express themselves and their preferences. Some people may very well get upset; but usually, your imagination is exaggerating how angry they’ll become.

Your only responsibility is to bring up, in a rational, clear manner, how you feel about a situation, what you prefer, and your thoughts. How the other person responds is out of your control.


Written By Ilene Strauss Cohen
Originally Appeared On Doctor Ilene

Trying to go with the flow is sometimes a good thing, but giving in to that every time is not. Sometimes, you need to take care of yourself, and accept your feelings, and not be sorry about it. Just like you support people when they need it, you also deserve to have your feelings accepted, and respected. After a point, you need to put yourself first.

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Dr. Ilene S. Cohen

Dr. Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, professor, and blogger. She is also the author of the popular self-help guide, When It’s Never About You, as well as co-author (with Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein) of It’s Within You. She’s a regular contributor to Psychology Today, and her work has appeared in Psych Central and Tiny Buddha, along with many other online publications. After graduating from the University of Tampa with a B.A. in Psychology, Dr. Ilene obtained her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Both her books and her practice are fueled by her passion for helping people achieve their goals, build a strong sense of self, and lead meaningful lives. She is also guided by a passion for service and lends her time to multiple charitable causes around the world. Dr. Ilene resides in Miami, Florida with her husband and two young daughters.View Author posts

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