Sonny says "YES" to whatever request is made of him,
but never follow through with the agreement.

Afterward, he feels guilty, becomes defensive, and occasionally, aggressive. He, on the one hand, cannot say no, mainly because he fears rejection and conflict. On the other hand, he feels suppressed by whatever he has to do for two reasons. First, he lacks the self-confidence that he can do something right. He is very afraid of making a mistake, something for which he repeatedly received rejection and punishment from his father as a child. His father assured him that he would "never be able to do anything with his life."

The second reason is that he feels his freedom is being restricted because he has to do what others ask of him and has not desire to do it. For him, since he is afraid to say no whenever someone asks something from him, the request is like a command or order. He constantly feels that someone is telling him what to do, even when they are simply asking if he would like to help. This, too, is a result of his being ordered around by his parents as a child.

His wife Dorothy and his family have a serious problem with his tendency to leave things undone, especially when he has agreed to do them. They cannot depend on him and feel they are being cheated. His apparent laziness and lack of sense of responsibility anger them. They criticize and reject him.

In response, Sonny feels he is the victim and sometimes adopts the role of the Intimidator, to stop them from pressuring him.

Dorothy is the "responsible one" in the family. She has created the belief that she cannot depend on Sonny, thus she expects him to be irresponsible. She waits for him to foul up so she can jump on him. She criticizes him in front of others something that hurts him deeply.

She, on other hand, feels alone, cheated and seriously abandoned by his lack of participation in their family life.

What does each need to learn here?


Is his lesson is to overcome his fear of making a mistake?

Or is it to feel free to say no when he is asked to do something?

Does he need to learn to feel free even when he has something to do?

Does he need to work on his childhood years?

Perhaps he must free himself from the role of the irresponsible one and become more conscientious about what he has agreed to do?

Does he need to learn that he is free not to agree to do something when he so chooses?

Does he also need to overcome his fear of conflict?

Does he need to share his fears with his wife?


Does she need to be more understanding or more demanding?

Does she need to change her image of Sonny in order to help him change?

Does she need to analyze why she criticizes him in front of others?

What does she do that causes Sonny to stay in his role? What role is she playing?

They can find solutions to this problem if they look into themselves and communicate honestly and openly.

From the book "Relationships of Conscious Love"

Author's Bio: 

Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience, is the author of over 20 books, 600 articles and 400 lectures on Human Harmony. Download wonderful ebooks, 100's of free articles, courses, and mp3 audio lectures at . Find 8 of his books at .