journey: The act of traveling from one place to another; a trip.
adolescence: A transitional period of development between youth and maturity.
Life is a journey. As we continue to age, experience and grow, we tend to believe in the constant lessons we learn that we have finally "arrived" only to find another lesson around the corner.
Friday, October 21, 2011
My name is Nica and I am a People Pleaser
Yes, as the title reads, "My name is Nica and I am a People Pleaser!" Yuck, I never considered myself a people pleaser, when did that happen? I bet my dad wishes I were trying to please him more before I've decided on a new tattoo and added more permanent ink to my skin...sorry dad. Yes, I took a long look in the mirror and came to the conclusion that somewhere along the path in my life I had developed into a people pleaser. Just realizing it was a huge step, admitting to it still puts a bad taste in my mouth. "I don't care what others think," that's what I thought anyway, because I am a little more on the vocal side of the human spectrum. I'm one that will say what I think, even if it's not the popular opinion. Well, not everything I think, but more than the average person would share. Some would disagree right there thinking that I do share everything on my mind and don't bite my tongue when I need to. Truth is I bite my tongue plenty and hold back much more than people think...that's just how dangerous my thoughts can be.
Anyway, while I didn't think I was a people pleaser, my actions spoke differently. When I took this long look at myself, I found that I was saying yes a lot. Saying "yes" to others before considering the time, energy and resources it would take to fulfill those "yeses". I found I was saying these yeses to others much more than I ever say yes to myself. In that I have found I had lost a lot of myself being what others expected instead of who I really am. I don't say this to give an excuse to not give of yourself, it is very important to serve others and is quite a rewarding experience. But it is completely possible to be so selfless a person that you lose yourself, you lose your own identification, or at least that's where I found myself. Not that I am putting myself on any type of pedestal of selflessness, I am no Mother Teresa, but I was definitely had my "yeses" out of balance. In that, I found myself completely exhausted, in a constant race against the clock to achieve all my obligations and was quickly running out of hope and happiness. I realized that there was something wrong with me when I could easily understand the women in news reports who had run away. You know the ones I am talking about, they are missing for days, missing posters and alerts are all over the media, the FBI is on a manhunt and then they suddenly turn up out of the blue only to ashamedly admit they left and had not told anyone where they were going because they did not want to be found. Yeah, I got to this point where I understood this behavior and in that realized that something had to change.
For some, change is hard, for me it was necessary. I had to change my habitual people pleasing ways or I was sure to become an example of spontaneous human combustion. Now, I have begun to train myself to not come out with a yes to something just because I am asked. I have stopped allowing myself to agree out of obligation, flattery of consideration, or just because I can and have the know-how to accomplish the action. Now I have to stop myself and ask myself if I am saying yes because I WANT to, instead of because others want me to. This has caused me to say "no" a lot lately and probably have a few people irritated or disappointed in me who think I am "pulling back" or "disengaging." I am confident they will get over this in time, if not, their motives were obviously not right in the first place. I have had to learn to say no to others so I could say yes to myself and to the people closest to me. This will make me not only a better person, but a better wife, mother, child, sister and friend to the people that matter most in my life and that I matter to more than the person just looking for another yes.