Quietly effective

Loving relationships work because there is not work. If you have to explain yourself to others, trying to make others understand you all the time, or if you are always trying to prove your worth to people through your behaviour and your words, then you are a victim of the “not being quietly effective” malady, says Dr. Wayne Dyer

Being quietly effective means that you do not have to tell anyone else about your victories to make them meaningful to you. Dr.

Dyer posits that while it is quite often appropriate to tell others about your life happenings, you will become a victim if you NEED to inform others before you can be satisfied.

“Once you put the word need into your vocabulary, you are at the mercy of the other people’s recognition of you – then if they refuse to recognize your value or your achievements for whatever reasons, you will collapse and they will end up pulling your strings.”

Being quietly effective also means that you do not have to rub your fellow man’s face in your victories. If you have to do such things, you will find others retaliating, trying to frustrate you in one way or other.

The most important key in being quietly effective lies in how you feel about yourself. If you have self-con­fidence, then pleasing yourself will be enough, since the self you are pleasing is worthy.

However, if you lack self-esteem, then you will look to others for a ver­ification of your esteem, and this will be where you get into trouble. “Once you HAVE to get that reinforcement from without, you are volunteering for victim status.”


When you begin to develop your self-confidence, you will stop expecting everyone to want to hear your stories, as well as find solitude more acceptable. Your privacy is a very important part of your life, and it is necessary to your own sense of well-be­ing. “Wanting to have everyone understand and share everything that you think, feel, say and do is a self-victimizing attitude.”

Additionally, not feeling a need to be understood, and keeping some things private, are ways of avoiding being pulled around by other people.

While this is not an argument for hermit behaviour, it is a suggestion to take a hard look at your own personal right to your privacy, and to look even harder at those who would attempt to vic­timize you by encroaching in those areas, or even worse, denying your privacy.

It takes an element of courage to insist on your privacy, partic­ularly when other people insist that your desire for privacy are rejections of them.

But trying to explain this to most people is an exercise in fu­tility. You simply have to exercise your rights with behaviour, and by doing it often enough, you will be teaching them how you want to be treated.




You will recall from last week’s discussion on existential aloneness that no one can ever understand you all the time, nor can you ever understand anyone else all the time. Your spouse will do things that you do not under­stand, your children will be incomprehensible perplexities virtually all of their lives, politi­cians will say and do things that you would never believe, and people will go right on being disappointing and disappointed most of the time.

If you feel, you have to sit down and ‘work on’ your relationships on a regular basis; you may be participating in a more neurotic exercise than you think.

Working on relationships of­ten involves long conversations about things, trying to under­stand each other’s motivations, and vowing to be each other emotionally all the time.

These things may be fine oc­casionally, but if they become a regular part of the relationship, they become straining, frustrating, and just plain tiresome. The most beautiful relationships are those in which people accept each other for what they are, rather than ana­lyzing everything they do. “Loving relationships work because there is no work.”

While sharing thoughts and feelings can be a beautiful experi­ence and Dr. Dyer will encourage it if it is not ‘pushed’ as a regular duty, he believes that a great many relationships are over-analyzed nowadays and this is perhaps why for many couples, being together is more torment than passion. \The facts are that you are two different people and that you will never completely understand each other, nor would you ever want to, if you thought about it. So why not work at accepting one another for what you are, and put a stop to all of that hashing, rehashing, analyzing and trying to ‘work on’ your relationship. Let each other be unique, and as Kahlil Gibran, said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.”



The old thinking that people argue with each other as a sign of love ought to be seriously chal­lenged when arguing leads to your becoming a victim in any way.

You can be seduced into argu­ment with someone, find yourself all upset, your blood pressure up, moving toward violence, then leave the situation, calling that normal. But it is not normal, it is self-defeating.

Repudiate the idea that arguing is always healthy. While a good squabble can be fun when no one gets hurt, this is not generally pos­sible with argumentative people, people who really need to argue. “They are boorish to be around, with their punishing language and volatile outbursts.” Centuries ago a sage ad­vised us to avoid loud and aggressive people, as they are “vexations to the spirit.”

When you are arguing with some­one who does not understand you, you will be surprised how often you will find your argumentation rein­forcing the non-understanding and helping the other person to believe even more strongly in his own point of view. The argument only cements his obstinacy – and yet you are likely to defend such arguing as worth­while.

The moral is clear. If you allow yourself to be seduced into argu­ments expecting to make people understand your position, you will al­most always end up the victim. Even if you ‘win’ an intense argument, the physical strain on you should be enough to make you realize that you have not really won.


Having to prove yourself to others means being controlled by others to whom you must show the proof. Quietly effective behaviour involves no such need for proving yourself.

Dr. Dyer believes that having to prove yourself to everyone will victi­mise you a great deal in your life. You will find yourself upset when others do not notice you enough or when they disapprove of you or when they do not understand you. Consequent­ly, you will strive even harder to get them to understand, and when they see you doing this, they will be able to exercise more power over you.

The converse of you feeling that you have to prove yourself is other people expecting you to do so. Please, you must be on the alert for having to prove anything to anyone. You can be quietly at times like these, and simply have an internal consulta­tion with yourself which goes, “Do I really have to prove anything to this person?

Will my proving myself make things any better? Maybe I will just pass on this, and let him think what­ever he chooses.”

The primary family is one social unit in which it is particularly im­portant for you to practice yourself internally, rather than heated con­frontations. Many families operate under the assumption that members have the right to know all about each other’s business, and that privacy is a direct challenge to the family’s very existence.

Being quietly effective involves being able to wink at the world, with the cunning understanding that you are making things happen for you and that you are free enough within yourself that you do not have to tell anyone else about it.

“To be completely appreciated for what you are, you have to be long gone from this planet – and if you understand this, then you will stop needing to be appreciated and make your life work for better while you are still here to enjoy it.”


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