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Monday, July 23, 2012

2 Cents 2 Many

In my attempt to seek self liberation, I have decided to write about my journey to self acceptance. To some readers, self acceptance may not correlate with the title. However, it is all too apposite.

I am a people pleaser. I am passive aggressive. I lack satisfactory communication skills when facing conflict. And I give one damn too many in regards to what people think of me.

Conflict cripples me. I shut down. I shut out. And I get stuck in time. The world keeps revolving. Time keeps ticking. But I am stuck. I replay the situation over and over and over again. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. What could I have done differently? What could I have said differently? How could I have avoided the situation entirely? And then it starts to eat at me. I question myself. I question my relationships and then the depression kicks in.

Now with me, I have a tendency to go AWAL. I shut people out when I feel this way. Regardless if it makes the situation worse, it’s the only way I know how to handle it. I image what the person may think of me, and in my mind, their opinions start to define me. In my attempts to put an end to these mental breakdowns, I started asking myself questions. Why are you responding to the situation like this? And this is when ish started to get real. This required self awareness and I tried to analysis myself as I went through this episode of conflict.

I discovered that I react like this because I care too much about what people think… and this is due to lack of love and respect for myself. I shouldn’t need someone’s approval to live my life. I shouldn’t need to feel accepted by the people around me in order to accept myself. I try to please people. I want everyone to be happy with me, and at the end I always end up pissing someone off in the process. As my sister would say, ‘this is a vicious cycle’. However, it is to the point where I have lost touch with parts of me. I can see myself becoming more of what I think people want me to be. Now, discovering this about myself is only half of the battle. What can I do to fix this?

I can learn how to communicate. I can say how I feel and not ask for permission. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am 26 years old, and I have been taking care of myself for a long time. So, why do I need other peoples blessing in my life? Well, It is nice to have support and someone to stand by you, but at what cost?

In many situations I feel misunderstood. And we all have moments where our actions have been mistaken for something entirely antipode to what we intended. But in my world, this occurs to often in my case. And I have realized that this occurs because somewhere, I have missed a step in communication. It all can be a side effect of not being able to speak up for myself, or not knowing how to communicate in situations where I feel as if the person is expecting something from me outside of what I want to accomplish.


Dwelling about the situation would have to be my greatest down fall. When you play the situation over and over in your mind, you tend to over analyse. And majority of the time, your analysis of what triggered the other person will be incorrect.

THE CURE

So my first plan of action is to stop asking for permission. It’s my life.

People-pleasers often worry that after they say no, the fallout will be catastrophic. But as Newman said, “the fallout is never as bad as we think it is.” In fact, “it’s usually very insignificant.” Why? For starters, “people are not thinking about you as much as you think.” Usually after you say no, a person is more focused on who they’ll be asking next to help them than your so-called betrayal, she said. - 
MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY

Second plan of action will be to be confident. Walk boldly. Talk boldly. Say what I mean and mean what I say. Words have meaning. And I want to be calculated with my speech. I don't want to leave any room for interpretation. I want to lay things out on the table (politely), no beating around the bush.

Third plan of action will be accepting the fact that I can’t please everybody and really stop trying to.

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

– Bill Cosby 

"People-pleasers yearn for outside validation. Their ‘personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,’ said Linda Tillman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Atlanta, GA and assertiveness expert. Thus, at the core, people-pleasers lack confidence, she said. 

They worry how others will view them when they say no. “People don’t want to be seen as lazy, uncaring, selfish or totally egocentric,” Newman said. They fear “they’ll be disliked and cut from the group,” whether it’s friends, family or co-workers. "
- MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY

And lastly, I will love myself. Although, this has never been my priority, it will be now. And I will fake it until I make it. If no one on this earth loves me, at least I will love myself.

So… with that being said… I am ready to live my life... if that's okay with you? LOL.

For do I now seek the favor of men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatioans 1:10

Recommended reading: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/21-tips-to-stop-being-a-people-pleaser/all/1/

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