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Come join me on the soapbox if you want to shout: Take Care of Yourself and Leave Me Be!

June 1, 2011

If you won’t say what you want, stand up for your needs or otherwise take care of yourself for your sake, do it for everyone else’s!  Or just mine 🙂


I have spent a good chunk of my time dallying in the land of “people pleasing”—treading softly with every word, every acquiescence, every opinion for fear of offending, distancing or otherwise precipitating that *doomed* notion of “rejection.”


Oh the insanity!  With the help of some dear friends giving me a right old push in the sitter, I’ve begun to move away from this pattern of obsequiousness and towards what I see as a healthier way to handle things:  say what I want, mean it, and give others the space to do the same.


What do I mean by this?  I mean things like—wow, I’m exhausted, maybe I don’t want to go do x, y or z.  So I say, yeah, no thanks—I’m kind of exhausted.   Maybe we could try alternative q, r or s? or perhaps I’ll just catch you next time.  As opposed to dragging myself through a venture I’m less than thrilled with, making myself miserable and resenting everyone else for being uncaring.  It’s a rather concrete example but it’s a good one.  Applying the former, healthier tactic to time commitments has been my latest challenge to tackle!  With gusto..


Something I have been remarkably surprised (and the shy part of me rather relieved by) is the fact that this tactic is generally better—yes Better!—for everyone.  Most folks are happier when you speak your mind truthfully, willing to work with you and often the end result is much better for all parties involved!  Whodathunkit?!


However, in this behavioral shifting kick I’ve been working through, I’ve started to become aware of other people pleasers like I never was before.  In the past, I think we gravitated towards each other with our limp-legged communication skills and gently circled on another either glad that we were equally “sensitive” or some such nonsense or equally dissatisfied with one another in a quiet, begrudging sort of way.  It’s not easy to feel happy in a friendship when no one is getting what they want!  Now, when I run across folks who are people pleasing, I often find myself frustrated.  Don’t say yes when you don’t want to!  I don’t want to deal with a grumpy gus who’d rather be sleeping!  And I’d rather you be happier and healthier for your extra sleep or whatever it is you feel you need.  I especially don’t appreciate the occasions when this dissatisfaction becomes my fault…when the reality is that you didn’t care for you.


I know I have been guilty of this type of action (for all my self-bravissimo and efforts I probably still am on occasion…) but I can say that moving away from it has been a positive change for me and probably for those around me.  So, again I repeat, if you don’t stand up for YOU for your own sake, stand up for YOU as a favor to the rest of us!  Most of us will greatly appreciate it.


Thank you.

(would anyone else like a turn on the soapbox while it’s out?)

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