People pleasing

Written September 18th, 2015

Note: The “you” stands anyone and no one in particular. This free writing is not about or pointed at anyone at all. I’m just sharing my experience for anyone who can relate to this.

I used to be the type of person who had a hard time saying no when when’s someone asks me for help. Call it people pleasing or what have you. All I know is that if I could help “you” and it made “you” happy then it made me happy. There were times that “you” didn’t acknowledge or appreciate that I helped “you”, what I did for “you”, or what I went thru to help “you” and that made me feel hurt, angry and eventually resentful. I tried to move heaven and earth to help “you” and other people who were struggling. I eventually realized what I was doing was to no avail and I felt used, hurt and stressed. I realized by helping “you” and feeling that “you” had taken for granted made me unhappy and unhealthy. Before long I grew resentful of “you” for not living up to my expectations and myself for expecting to much of “you”.

It has taken me some time to just be able to say no. I never really had to many people telling me it wasn’t my job to take care of everyone nor did anyone tell me to check my true and honest motives, or reasons, for why I did the things I was doing. After a closer introspection of my motives, a real, true and honest look, I realized it wasn’t all just to help “you”. It was because I felt worthless and useless inside for much of my life. I wanted “you” to like and love me.

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “Check your motives”. The man that said it is more than a dear friend. He’s somewhat like a father figure to me. He’s taught me quite a bit but hasn’t always just given me the answers. He showed me where to find the answers to the knowledge I sought and I did the legwork to get that knowledge. I have to admit, there were times I became irritated every time he told me to check my motives. Sometimes I wanted to jump up(he’s much taller than I am) and punch him in the nose.

Now I come to a crossroad in my life. I’ve been involved in a circle of friends in my life and helping others in a way that I was helped not so long ago. That was and has continued to be my motive in doing the work I’ve been doing until lately. I could list all of my feelings as to why I’m not happy doing what I do but we’d be here all day and I am working harder these days to practice principles before personalities today. In particular acceptance, tolerance and brotherly love.

The crossroads I find myself at is to continue what I’ve done and become increasingly resentful towards those I call friends and family or step down and let someone else take care of my duties. If I stay my resentments would grow deeper, I would be more stressed and that has the very good potential to be the cause of my health problems. I have family history of heart disease and strokes and if I can prevent them from happening to me at an early age then I need to keep my stress level in check. Yes, there will always be stress in my life but I don’t need to add the stress that comes from drama and chaos.

If I step back from what I do now yes, I will have people angry with me and probably say untrue things about me. Today I realize that’s on them. I know I can’t please everybody I come in contact with. It’s not my job to do that anyway. It’s my job to make sure I am happy with myself today. I understand today that if I have an issue with “you” and “your” decisions it’s on me and I need to accept it and respect “you” and “your” choices. I know when I step away from what I do now that I can still help others in need and that the next person fills my shoes will do just fine. I used to think that I was irreplaceable and “you” couldn’t do what I do and do it right. Today I know better. I know it’s a control issue that I always run into with myself. Today I know that “you” can do what I do and perhaps even better. Today I choose my own happiness and health over pleasing every Tom, Dick and Jane I meet. Today I am free to be me.

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