I have, and occasionally remain, guilty of people pleasing because like most people (I would hope) I want people to like me.
Even writing that sounds pathetic but – here we are. The reality of being me and I am hoping that some of you can relate.
However, I realised that in order to avoid conflict, the awkward clashes of personality, and to ensure that I didn’t ruffle too many feathers, I really do put myself out. A few months ago I found myself drafting an email to a colleague which would’ve avoided conflict and an irritated phonecall but, inadvertedly, would’ve had me doing more work which I didn’t have to do and neither did I have the time to do. Basically, I was adding to my already full plate to please someone else and keep the peace…
How many times do we add to our own stress in order to alleviate irritations from other people? We ‘give in’ for a ‘quieter life’? We don’t speak up when someone pisses us off because we fear the backlash? How many times do we hurt ourselves biting our tongue on words we should say? How often do we go around the mountain because we are too fearful to climb?
Well, fuck that. Let’s stop that right now. Women, I speak to you because I am guessing that most of those are things that we do because we are socialised very young to be serving and selfless and uncomplaining. I repeat – Fuck. That.
Life is full of conflict and reconciliation. It’s full of love and hate, joy and anger, laughter and tears. And it is, more or less, holding these moments in balance. So, let the conflict come and follow it with laughter. Defend yourself when you are insulted. Tell someone ‘no’ when they are expecting you to say yes. Remind someone that you are fucking busy and don’t have time for their shit. You do not have to justify your position to anyone because your word stands just as much as anyone elses.
You cannot control what other’s think of you and you cannot control other’s perceptions of you, no matter how much you try to. Stop wasting your energy trying to please people, trying to win people over, and biting your tongue when they hurt you to avoid confrontation. Your energy is better served elsewhere. Do not be afraid of that powerful, feminine energy that rises up in you when someone asks one more fucking thing of you when they know you are busy. When someone says something offensive, don’t be afraid to call them out on their bullshit. Who cares if they like you? Who cares if they’re pleased with you? As long as you have lived your day well, with kindness for kindness’ sake (not to please others because there is a huge difference), and can look at yourself in the mirror each night pleased with yourself…that’s all that fucking matters, honey.
Truth be told, their opinion of you is not gospel, and neither is yours. Their thoughts about you are just a summation of their personality, experiences, and outlook on their life shaped by their unique circumstances, as is yours.
Long story short – do not be afraid to defend yourself and say what you need to. Speak your truth with passion, with power, and from your heart. Stop apologising and excusing and serving until you are weary. Start living unapologetically. And do not justify your personality to anyone. You are you, and if they don’t understand you, then they are not for you.
Head up, baby girl; you got this.
(By the way, I didn’t send the email. I had a shitty reply. I felt fucking amazing for not taking on someone else’s bullshit unnecssarily.)