I always thought axioms like Walk a Mile for Peace and Avoid Conflict at all Cost were good words to live by. Now I understand that as an ACOA, it’s simply my go-to approach to conflict.
Conflict is inevitable. It’s a part of relationships between individuals who live and work together. But ACOAs have a fear of people who are in authority, people who are angry, and we don’t take personal criticism very well. We also tend to misinterpret assertiveness for anger. So we are constantly seeking approval of others; sometimes losing our identities in the process.
I have definitely been guilty of going along to get along and people pleasing. I don’t like the back and forth people go through trying to get their point across or trying to get their own way. Aggressive people do, at times, intimidate me. Although not the alcoholic in the family, growing up, my mother was very aggressive and I could never win an argument with her. She would have a hundred reasons for why I couldn’t do something or go someplace.
I learned only ask for things that I knew fit her specifications. Consequently, I spent a great deal of my youth in a self-imposed isolation in order to please others.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.