Living by Letting Go By Mala Shah

By Mala


It doesn't take a lot of strength to hang on.   It takes a lot of strength to let go      J. C. Watts


What is the adult version of "The Good girl?"

"The Good girl" says: “Yes every time when she may actually want to say No!”

"The Good girl" keeps her mouth shut and does not say a word even when people hurt her.

"The Good girl" may totally disagree with a situation yet will go along with it anyway.

Does this relate to you?


Ask yourself this:

Do you feel that you have to complete things/ chores just to “keep the peace” in the house?

Do friends / family members tend to manipulate you?

Do you take the pressure off others and take on the tasks yourself?

Do co-workers appear to take advantage of you?

Are you too nice for your own good?

Do people always take you for granted and say, without actually asking you first, – “Yes give it to her, she will make sure it gets done?


If you have answered yes to any one of the above questions, then you are, either unknowingly, or perhaps even knowingly a victim of the “Good Girl Syndrome”.

How and why do we fall into this trap of being nice to everyone?

This role is adopted during childhood, when we are labelled as “oh she is so good she will manage to do this” yet, there are other siblings / s, who will be regarded as very clever and the task at hand would be inferior to them.  For no reason at all you feel guilty of not making things  happen or to be right, and this guilty feeling more often than not, leads you to be a bit too nice to individuals.  We get trained to be a good girl at all costs. We are heavily submerged into thinking that pleasing other people, unselfishness and co-operation are the qualities of the good girl.  We tend to ignore our own desires, put them second in line and then we grow up convinced that fulfilling wishes of others is more important.

We tend to rescue somebody each time to avoid hurting or upsetting the other person.  We say “Yes”, and go along with something even when we really don’t want to, and want to say “No”.  In reality, we are actually making it more difficult for the other person to progress in life, as they become totally dependent on us, the Good Girl, to continually save their position.  We mean well, however the outcome for us is almost always negative. First you become frustrated as you are stopping yourself from doing what you want to do, and secondly, when you realise the situation and you want to let go of it, You fall in the trap of looking like the “Bad” girl, who abandons her responsibility be it to family, friends or career, but which was not yours in the first place.


Who is responsible for this?

Parents, teachers and whoever have a major influencing role when we are growing up.   But this does not mean that we remain a victim, throughout our life.  As we are growing up we will see a pattern forming e.g.  You want to hold a party for a special occasion, yet you are given several excuses, “Is it really worth keeping the party?”, “What about the cost involved for this party?”, “Will you be able to cope with the organisation and putting the extra touches for the party?”  Yet, if they were keeping a party the following  week they will expect you to not only help to organise, but work like you were their servant / or unpaid Event manager, down to picking up the rubbish when the party finishes.  Has this happened to you at any time in the past?


What about at work? A similar pattern, a new member/staff joins the team, he/she is good at getting others to do their work.  E.g. this new colleague comes along, sees you are doing a great job starting communication with project partners and setting up the system in place, which by the way you may have created.  She sees how well you work and achieve the successful implementation of the project without too much difficulty. Next thing you know, a few months later, this new project that you set up with continuous planning and preparations has been passed on to her. Do you see a pattern?   If you see such a pattern, or something similar where you are the person not given an opportunity to continue your projects, but to work on new projects, then start keeping notes!.  When you are certain, you should then arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss why this keeps happening.  Challenge the situation.  It is time to get tough and ASK rather than just sit there.

Sing a song to help you make the change, this reminds me of a song by Billy Ocean:

Title of the song:  When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going.


The above written material is by Mala Shah, it is copyrighted and you must seek written permission to use her work whether it be for public or private presentation or for any kind of Media Platforms on the internet or any websites. 



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