Why I’m No Longer Banking My Brownie Points

As I sat in my psychologists little room staring at her piles of psychology journals and floral couches, I wondered what we were going to talk about today. I wondered how much information I was going to divulge with her and if I’d get all emotional like I did during our last session, when the tissues needed to be pulled out.

But, in fact, this time it was more of an ‘ah ha’ or ‘light bulb’ session, I had learnt something valuable about myself and about others and it all revolved around brownies, well not the actual ones you eat (I wish it was) but, the points part.

I’ve always worried about what others think of me, for as long as I can remember. When I was working, before kids, I always put 110% into everything I did and if I do say so myself, I was good at what I did. But the problem was, I always felt like I was being taken advantage of. It always seemed to be a pattern in each job I held. I’d sort the shit out, find a better ways of doing things and, get results but, never felt like I was getting anywhere, never appreciated or recognised.

The same goes for every day life. The number of times I’ve done the right thing, I’ve been organised, I’ve planned, been a nice person only to experience the opposite from others, like they don’t hold as much importance.  This really irks me.

I explained all of this to my psychologist and how it was a great source of anxiety for me, I always have high expectations of others, and that I expect to be treated like I treat others. BZZZZZ!  *Insert Wrong Answer Buzzer Here*.

My psychologist explained it to me in layman’s terms that what I’d been doing is trying to save up a mental bank of brownie points from my efforts and just being ‘me’, in the hope to use these said brownie points for something in return,  like a promotion or recognition. And this is where realisation struck, I was indeed using this points system and it just wasn’t going to work. I had to get over the fact that some people aren’t like me, some people don’t think like me, some people just take good work for what it is and leave it at that, some people don’t even notice and some people (and not all) just simply don’t care about anyone more but themselves and you know what, I’m now OK with that.

I know it sounds like a really simple analogy, but for some ridiculous reason when I think of it this way, it makes me re-think how I approach things. The key is to remove my expectations, just be myself and, do what is right for me.  I’ve been much happier for it.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT, Jaz at Red Dolls for BOTW and Sweet Silly Sara for Tell Me About it Tuesday.
 

http://www.reddolls.com.au/index.php?page_id=1

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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22 Comments

  1. January 20, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    It’s so hard when you have such high standards for yourself and then others never seem to meet your expectations. That is exactly the same issue that I am having with trying to find a massage therapist – I just can’t find one who is as particular about what they do as I am. I think it’s great that you have been able to change your mindset and won’t have to suffer with the anxiety in this respect anymore.
    I hope you have the best week !
    Me

  2. January 20, 2014 / 10:47 pm

    What a great way of looking at it. Removing expectations is always a good start towards happiness. Sending lots of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way #teamIBOT

  3. January 21, 2014 / 2:01 am

    Good on you. I love these ahha moments when you just get something that has been holding you back. I am also guilty of this brownie point type of thinking, definitely food for thought!

  4. January 21, 2014 / 2:22 am

    Eva I think you have just described me! I get so disappointed at work and at home if things are not what I expect them to be. I struggle to believe some people at work just do not think of certain things. Why? because they don’t have ridiculous expectations they chill and relax and don’t get caught up. I also struggle with how some people are so caught up in themselves and I am not sure If I can be ok with that and therein lies the problem….. Really great well written post thank you for sharing this insight ! x What I want to know is where do these expectations come from πŸ™‚

  5. January 21, 2014 / 3:04 am

    That’s awesome Eva, nothing better than a constructive session or an a-ha moment, good on you for being honest enough with yourself to allow that to happen.
    I live by “do the best you can with the information you have for all the right reasons” its steered me well so far. If one does something to certain standard do it because it makes one happy and satisfied not because of what anyone else thinks. Excuse my french but f*ck everyone else, that’s the other thing I’ve lived by and that serves me pretty well too!

  6. January 21, 2014 / 4:24 am

    What an interesting post! This stuff is very interesting. Humans are such flawed design (not you, all of us, and it’s fascinating how we react to stuff and we don’t even know why).
    Very interesting and keep up these posts, gold star from me today. (Read it in the ton of all seriousness, not meaning it to read patronisingly or sarcasticly or whatever else). I just find this stuff fascinating (not in a judgmental way, but why are humans like this??)

  7. January 21, 2014 / 4:27 am

    That is an important realisation to come to. It is hard to change the mindset of a lifetime but writing it down here is a good start and it sounds like you are really changing the way you think. I’m glad your psychologist was able to help.

  8. January 21, 2014 / 6:56 am

    You have such an amazing attitude! Good on you for working on yourself and being so honest! xxx Lucy from Bake Play Smile

  9. January 21, 2014 / 9:38 am

    I’ve been told to lower my expectations of others quite a few times before. But all I hear is “don’t have standards”…I don’t know where the balance lies.

  10. January 21, 2014 / 10:07 am

    Hi – beautifully put and particularly true for workmates – you can choose your friends but most people don’t get to choose their workmates. Love the brownie pic – did you make it? It’s making me hungry…

  11. January 21, 2014 / 6:08 pm

    I think what you have learned along the way is priceless. Just be yourself, and do what is right for you. I think it is wonderful that you are growing and loving on you.

    xoxo
    Carica

  12. January 21, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    This is such a good point. I never thought about it this way. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  13. January 22, 2014 / 2:21 am

    Such a good point, and easier said that done too! When my little girl was born I had such high expectations of myself to perform like I did before she was born, and it wasn’t possible. I had to learn to dump so many self expectations and expectations of others.
    I think my expectations of my step kids are still too harsh, but I’m getting better.
    Hope you are doing well on your journey of not banking brownie points xxx

  14. January 22, 2014 / 4:24 am

    That makes so much sense. I think I used to do the same thing a lot – over achieve (or over perform), in both personal and professional contexts, and then get annoyed that people didn’t over perform back. But really, no-one asked me to be a doormat did they? I never thought about it in the way you are saying, but it makes sense – if you just be who you are, because that’s you, rather than doing what you do to ‘bank points’ (that no-one else is counting), you are likely to be much happier in the end, hey?

    Thanks for the insight πŸ™‚

  15. January 24, 2014 / 2:13 am

    Oh gosh, really this I feel like it is me sitting in this chair. Thank you for sharing it gave me a bit of a wake up call for myself to be honest. No counting brownies points anymore….

  16. January 24, 2014 / 4:54 am

    I am guilty of this, although in saying that in the past year I have changed a bit, it also coincides with the loss of about 6 friends! I started not worrying what others thought, banking brownie points and people’s true colours starting showing. It’s quite sad really but I suppose it’s better to realise this now. I’m happy for you Eva, I hope it helps you move forward with more confidence x

  17. January 24, 2014 / 8:22 pm

    Oh my gosh, I feel like you told a part of my story here. I needed to read this today, when I was feeling especially under-appreciated. I am not banking those points anymore either!

    I am so glad you linked up at Tell Me About it Tuesday this week. I hope you hop back over next week! See you at your party on Monday!

  18. January 25, 2014 / 5:26 am

    Wow this has really got me thinking. I’m probably not above banking the brownie points really. I like a bit of recognition for hard work.
    Thanks for this

  19. January 27, 2014 / 11:01 pm

    Hi Eva,
    I wanted to drop by and let you know we are featuring this post as a hostess favorite at Tell Me About It Tuesday!

  20. January 28, 2014 / 1:44 am

    Sounds like you may have been talking about me there. Good for you to have gotten to this point. Reality is that people, even those closest to you, will let you down, not live up to who you’d like them to be or who you thought they were. I learned a hard lesson the last two years, especially with my “family”. I had to learn to love and accept, for who they were, exactly who they were or let them go. Some I accepted and our relationships have strengthened. Some I had to walk away from, and well, I then strengthened. Thanks so much for sharing this in Tell Me About It Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what you share next week!

    Warmly,
    Lilah

  21. February 10, 2014 / 1:03 am

    A great post Eva. I can see that I have done the same in the past but have moved on from that. Well written and thought provoking. Glad you can see past this now πŸ™‚ Cheers, Tanya

  22. March 16, 2014 / 11:13 am

    Oh my! I felt like I could have written this myself…except that I haven’t had the light-bulb moment yet. I’m so glad I read this post. Thank you.