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  • How to have your cake and eat it!
    Monday, April 15, 2019

    How to have your cake and eat it!

    You can have your cake and eat it!

    The difference between 'want' and 'need'

    Too often we give up what we really need in preference for what others want.  We buy, or make a cake with the idea of eating it all ourselves (hopefully in moderation) or sharing it with others and what actually happens is that we give up the whole thing because someone else wants it.  We give away the cake and often, don’t even keep a slice back for ourselves.  The cost in currency or time doesn’t come into it.  We give it away with a ‘maybe I’ll get the next one to myself.’
    Many will acceptingly spend their hard earned money on anything else but themselves.  Like the house, the family, the pets, the job, the garden.  That is commendable and should be encouraged provided we don’t go into martyrdom and deny ourselves what is good for us; what will benefit us and help us to grow and develop as individuals, not just as employees or in a family role.
    It’s all well and good nurturing our careers or families providing we do some nurturing on ‘us’.  It’s hard, keeping back a portion of cake for ourselves.  It’s even harder keeping back the largest portion for our own consumption.  Making two cakes means more expense and more work, so what’s the solution?  How are we to have our cake and eat it?

    The Birthday cake

    Let me tell you the story of a five year old’s Birthday Tea.  The ages present ranged from 3 to 80 years, who all wanted their cake and to eat it but only the five year old nailed it!
    A selection of cupcakes was presented to the Birthday Girl for first choice. The younger sibling thought they should have had first choice so there was a bit of a pout and the beginnings of a strop.  The Birthday Girl chose the one with three Dolly Mixture sweets on top; the cake that happened to be the one the sibling wanted. The strop turned into tears and unfounded cries of ‘unfair’ were heard.  The Parents insisted that the Birthday girl kept her choice whilst the Grandparents tried to reason with the tearful sibling.  It was the perfect recipe for a toddler meltdown with tension in the air, when the Birthday Girl took one of three sweets on top of the cupcake and gave it to her sibling. 
    Instantly, the mood changed and the potential tantrum was avoided.  Children were happy and adults relieved and amazed.  Win: Win: Win. Sibling won a sweet from the coveted cupcake; Birthday girl won all the cake (apart from one little sweet) and heaps of praise for avoiding major meltdown of younger sibling; parents and grandparents won a few moments more peace.
    The emotional intelligence of the Birthday Girl saved the day (and her cupcake) because she knew just what it was that her younger sibling would settle for.  Her sibling may have wanted the whole cake, but actually only needed one sweet on the top for satisfaction. 

    Guilt can spoil the party

    So often we give the whole cake away when all that’s really needed is the sweet on top.  Guilt confuses the difference between the ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ of others.  We selflessly give the whole cake away, thinking we are doing the right thing but what we are actually doing is depriving ourselves of a beneficial, nutritious morsel (you may want to query that description) and giving it to someone who doesn’t
    a.       Need it
    b.       Benefit from it
    c.       Value it
    Those who have the skill of recognising the difference between want and need in others AND themselves, live a far more balanced, less dramatic life, (providing they put their skill into action) because they can practise self-care and put themselves first occasionally.  They go for the win: win instead of the sacrifice.

    We can do it too!

    Would you like more time to yourself? Would you like to be more assertive? Would you like a perfectly reasonable opportunity to improve how you operate?
    Here’s how to do it by improving your emotional intelligence in eight easy steps

    1.       What I really want to do is ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
     
    2.       I really need to do this because ………………………………………………………………………………………………
     
    3.       To achieve this, I must start doing (make this list as long as you need to using your emotional intelligence) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
     
    4.       To achieve this, I must stop doing (make this list as long as you need to using your emotional intelligence) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
     
    Following the four steps above should get you nearer to a win: win situation or having your cake and eating it.  If you’re not getting much success, contact me and we can talk in more detail – over a coffee and a cake!
     

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