Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Yes" is Just Easier Than "No"

I've never been good at playing the "bad cop". Sure, I'm feisty and opinionated and I speak my mind the minute a thought comes to it...but I almost ALWAYS regret saying or doing anything that causes someone to be upset with me. I can't sleep at night knowing that someone is mad at me or worse yet...just plain doesn't like me.

And because I hate that feeling so much, I tend to overdo it on the "good cop". I have trouble saying no, even when I know I should. This is especially true when it comes to being a mom. I would never say yes to something that would harm my children, but if it comes down to whether or not to give them another cookie, watch one last show before bed, or even wear PJs for 4 days straight...I almost always say yes because "yes" is just easier than "no".

I tend to have this same mentality as a teacher too. I say "yes", bend my own rules, allow crappy i-totally-know-you-are-lying excuses, and make exceptions that often leave me feeling used. Sometimes, I'm glad I am this kind of teacher. When I was student, I always appreciated the instructors that were understanding, compassionate and flexible, so that's what I try to be for my students.

But what I have learned recently is that there is a very fine line between being compassionate and flexible...and being a total push-over. Sadly, that's what I feel I've become lately, especially in the classroom. I just finished a really difficult semester and looking back on it now, I realize that I spent far too much time trying to be the good cop when I should have been spending more time being the bad cop.

But I suck at being the bad cop.

I feel like when I finally decide to be the bad cop, I come in too hot and everyone either thinks it's a joke, or that I'm a total lunatic. Either way, it's not effective. I'm just struggling to find the balance between good cop and bad cop. I want to be flexible but firm with my rules. I want to be able to switch between my happy face and my bitch face seamlessly. I want people (and little people) to know I mean business when I say something, and yet still find me compassionate and approachable.

But is all this even possible? Is everyone just destined to be good at one or the other? I think what it really comes down to is the ability to shut off your feelings when you need to. Let go of emotion and think logically when the time calls for it. Or better yet, turn to Pinterest to explain it for you:

Oh how I wish I could learn to choose!!!!

Is anyone else with me here? Are you a perpetual "good cop"? Do you let your emotions take over too often? Do you stay awake at night worrying about the people who don't like you instead of focusing on all the ones that love you? Do you say "yes" way too often because it is just easier than saying "no"?

Do you ever wonder if you have become a completely BORING blogger that no one wants to read about anymore because all you do is ramble? Ha!


  1. AMEN! My neighbor were JUST talking about this as I say YES waaaay too often. Did you know that NO is a complete sentence?? But always have an "I'm sorry...I....." to follow. We all need to learn to say NO. And not feel bad about it! Good post=)

  2. Jen-Your post really struck a chord with me. I know that I want people to like me so much that it is almost unhealthy. If I think someone is upset or mad at me, it will bother me all day (or 2). It is something I try to work on, but no good solutions yet. Good luck finding your balance!

  3. I played good cop for 26 years. it cost me most of my adult life. i want to be bad cop for the rest of my adult life (with a little good cop when needed).

  4. I am with you! As a mom, even when I should say no sometimes it is always a yes. Or when someone asks me a favor and I just can't do it, I try to find a way and say yes. I put myself out way too much and find myself exhausted because of it. I need to learn to say "no" and not have a million excuses to go with it. As a mom I have learned to say, "because I said so", although I still say yes way too much but as an adult to another adult I need to just say, "because I said so, this is my life and my time and I need to concentrate on what is best for me". I know there is a balance out there for not coming across as a totally horrible person and still be known as good but I have yet to find it!

  5. Jen, I feel the same way...both with my kids and in my classroom. It's such a fine line and I am not good at walking it either! I am a total pushover... :/ If you figure out how to overcome it, let me know ;)

  6. Started following your posts a while ago, and I love your blog! I can totally relate to you as a teacher and mom too! Sometimes I feel like I'm a total pushover! Thanks for posting, I found it totally relatable!

  7. Thanks for all these great comments everyone! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my quest for balance :-) This is my favorite part about blogging. I really do have the best readers ever!

  8. WoW! i so love your blog.. really enjoyed reading this.=D


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