Stop Being a Buttinsky
Today I want to talk about doing self-work for others. Maybe you’re thinking, huh? That doesn’t make sense. Well you’re right, it doesn’t. But it’s something so many of us do, even unintentionally (and rarely maliciously.)
My name is Nicole and I’m a Buttinsky. What does that mean? I am too involved in other people’s lives. In other words, I butt my way into others’ hopes and dreams. I spend far too much time sending loved ones links to “life-changing podcasts”, “workshops that will enhance their career”, or newsletters featuring '“cheap flights to your home town.”
Though I like to think my intentions are pure (I want my friends and family members to realize their potential and live happier healthier lives) — most of the times my “suggestions” are unwarranted (and coincidentally end up getting in the way of my own growth). Once I began looking deeper into my “intentions”, I realized this Buttinsky-Behaviour was usually rooted in ego. The truth is, making connections on behalf of others makes me feel important, needed, & relevant. It’s also a subtle way of nudging people into shape. The problem is that this “shape” is really just my own perception of what they SHOULD be, not the shape they envision for themselves.
While sending art studio vacancies to a friend who has repeatedly expressed interest in painting seems helpful on the surface, in reality, it’s not. You know what would be more helpful? Telling that same friend that you won’t be able to make it to dinner on Tuesday because you’ve just started singing lessons after dreaming of being in a band your whole life.
Why is canceling dinner with a friend more helpful?
Because the best way to help someone is to help yourself.
Sounds too good to be true, but it really is that simple.
We are all influencing one another whether we realize it or not, especially those you spend the most time with. If you start going to the gym regularly or cut back on your drinking, you’ll likely influence those around in a positive way. The same goes if you adopt unhealthy habits.
I am done pushing the potential I see in others down their own throats. Everyone is on their own path and will actualize their dreams in due time — if they do their own self-work. It’s none of my business when or where that happens. The only way I will be extending my olive branch is if a friend reaches out for my help directly…. then it’s all systems go!