I have always been a people pleaser. Always. It has just been part of who I am as a person. I feel obligated to make others happy. So when someone doesn’t like me, doesn’t jive with my personality, whatever the reason may be, I take it so personally.
It literally hurts me to feel like I can’t make someone else happy.
Looking at that statement now I see so many things wrong with it, but over the years I wouldn’t have. How did I come to a place in life where I am acknowledging this as a bad behavior and addressing it? Well, that is a pretty new process to me and it all came about over the past year.
The turning point in this attitude on life was when I saw my daughter following in my footsteps. She apologizes for things she has no control over and she tries her best to make everyone happy; she is a miniature version of me and I hate it. Don’t get me wrong; I love how much she is like her momma in other ways, but not this one. I know being like this and having this mentality has been hard on me and I do not want her to go down the same road I did.
So, I started making changes. Kids learn so much by what they see firsthand. If I don’t want my daughter to follow in my footsteps, I need to change my path. I need to model the behavior I want my kids to imitate. This means I needed to give myself permission to put myself first, to say no and to rid myself of toxic relationships that only bring me down.
The last part I had already started on over the past few years. Having toxic people in my life was draining me emotionally and mentally. Allowing myself to say goodbye to those relationships allowed me to focus on the things that actually matter. Learning to say no was harder for me. I tend to be the queen of ‘yes’ when it comes to other people. Need me to take on some extra work or teach an extra class? No problem. Need me to babysit? You got it. Need me to drop everything and do you a favor? Sure thing!
I wanted to make everyone happy, but in the process of making everyone else happy, I was drowning myself and becoming miserable.
So I started allowing myself to say ‘no’ to things. Does this mean I always say ‘no’? Absolutely not. I love to help out and I love to make people happy, but the difference now is that I know when my plate is full and I am unable to take on any more. The last thing to tackle is allowing myself to put myself first. This is hard for me. I put everyone else first usually. The kids, my husband, family, friends, and sometimes even strangers, but I have given myself permission to put myself first right now and get my health in order and find myself in the process. It’s an ongoing battle and some days I lose, but it’s a process and it’s not going to change overnight.