“My job is draining me,” Tara sighs audibly.
Tara and I meet at Cha-An—a peaceful Japanese teahouse. As we step inside, we are transported to another place and time. It’s our seventh session. We indulge in frothy matcha tea and mochi (Japanese rice balls filled with sweet red bean paste).
“Did something happen?” I ask.
“Nothing happened, per se. I am waking up. I see all the places where I have sold myself short.”
Tara is a nurse. She works for a plastic surgeon whose work is often profiled on television. The office is crammed with patients. Tara works overtime regularly— often without pay.
“What do you like about your job, Tara?”
“Honestly, I respect my boss. She is a leader in the industry,” Tara replies.
“What’s the worst part of your job?”
“My boss. She’s emotionally volatile. One minute, she says, ‘I couldn’t do this without you.’ But, when I asked for a raise, she replied, ‘Honey, consider yourself lucky. Don’t get greedy.’ I actually went home and cried.”
Before I founded School of Love NYC (www.schooloflovenyc.com), I worked as an attorney for 19 years. I witnessed (and suffered under) poor management.
Relationship skills—including empathy and conflict resolution—not only benefit romantic relationships, but workplaces, too. My most important class, “Boundaries Make For Better Relations,” gives women the skills to advocate for themselves in a way that others can hear.
“Why do you stay?”
“The same reason I stay in bad romances—I’m afraid of change. But, I can’t take much more,” she replies. “Last month, I had the flu. My boss said, ‘Fever or not, we need you. Get yourself in.’ Mind you, I have only taken one sick day in the last three years.’”
“What did you do?”
“I went in,” Tara replied sheepishly. “The doctor books appointment back-to-back. I rarely have time to go to the bathroom. I never take a lunch. That day, I thought I would faint.”
“Oh wow, Tara.”
“Five employees quit this year! My boss screams in the middle of the office. It’s like a war zone. When Friday rolls around, I crawl into bed. It takes me until Sunday to recover. Then, the cycle begins again.”
“Tara, I see a pattern,” I reply. “Do you?”
“Everyone treats me like a doormat?” she laughs.
“You undervalue yourself. Good employees—dedicated, intelligent and hard-working ones like yourself—are hard to find. Your boss needs you.”
“The doctor’s office next door has wanted to poach me! All my patients request me. But, I struggle with insecurity.”
I consider my clients the world’s best women (and men). They are intelligent, hardworking, kind, honest, and attractive. But, far too many have lost sight of their special powers.
I reconnect them to their divinity—and build their self-esteem—so they demand their worth. As they wake up, they leave toxic relationships with employers, lovers, friends and family.
They also forgive themselves--for accepting much less than they deserve. Most importantly, they vow to never do so again.
How does fear sabotage romantic and professional relationships?
What are boundaries?
Why are boundaries necessary in relationships?