Over the past fews months i’ve come to a realization being a chronic people-pleaser. Although i’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, there’s always room for improvement. I decided to compile a list because i’m always looking for ways on how I can improve myself and learn from my mistakes.
1. I don’t know how to cut ties with anyone.
I’ve always struggled with how to let go of all the toxic people in my life out of fear of hurting their feelings or making them hate me. However, I have made some drastic changes in who I keep in my life and who I allow into my personal space including the cleansing of all my social media accounts. Why keep people who add nothing to my life?
I think the one thing i’ve come to realize is there’s no point in adding “random” people into your circle just to feel a sense of validation. If i’m close to someone then by all means, welcome to my life, but I don’t see the need anymore to add people to my social media accounts in order to feel a sense of ‘popularity’ or feel like it brings me closer to people or groups of people because in theory it doesn’t really do anything. If I really need to hang out with or reach someone there’s always a will and a way, including just sending a one off message. I see people do it all the time, adding people they talked to once or twice and it makes me question, why? What benefit does it add to your life, maybe if it’s LinkedIn then sure, but even there i’m slightly selective with who I add to my network.
2. I apologize for literally everything.
My most used phrase is probably somewhere along the lines of I’m sorry. I literally apologize for everything in my life even when things aren’t necessarily my own fault. I seriously hate making other people feel bad about themselves, so I often blame a lot of things that happen on myself and on what I did that was wrong.
I know i’ve been called out on it numerous times with people questioning, what are you apologizing for? Sometimes I literally have no idea why, it’s almost like a reflex at times. It’s kind of like an innate response. But I mean as humans we are all accountable for mistakes and disagreements, I should never have to apologize for feeling a certain way about something or wanting something (within reason).
3. I don’t know how to say ‘no’.
I almost never say no. Even if I am deathly sick, I will generally still go to work (permitted i’m not contagious). Even if it’s a stranger needing my help in the middle of the night and I have an early exam, I will be there for them. Even when I am exhausted from no sleep the night beforehand, I still make the effort to go out with your friends when I should be recharging.
4. Some people call or think of me as being weak.
Some people don’t understand why I do so much for others and why I care so much. They don’t get that it brings me immense pleasure to make other people smile, and they truly don’t understand how anyone sane could push aside their feelings for other people.
I know at the end of the day i’m not weak though and i’ve slowly learned I don’t need validation from other people in order to feel good about myself. Flattery comes in all shapes and sizes including jealousy, i’ve come across so many people that would try to cut me down in order to gain an advantage over me and it didn’t phase me. I’d be more than happy to pull out the ladder to help someone get to the next level, because I believe in good karma. I am also not afraid to help people because I know what it’s like to be let down, to struggle, and to even fall on my face and have to find the motivation to get back up. Do good and good will come back to you is one of my motto’s.
5. I haven’t always known how to be selfish.
I think this is one of the areas in which I most improved upon over the years. I struggled with learning how to make decisions just for myself or go after what I wanted knowing people around me didn’t agree with it. I always felt incredibly uncomfortable doing things that other people disagreed with.
I would beat myself up trying to make them feel better, rather than going after what I truly needed and wanted. In the end I would give up my desires and dreams, losing out on opportunities that could have immensely benefited myself whether professionally or organically. I’ve learned to follow my own intuition to guide me with making decisions. If something feels wrong to me whether in school, work, or relationships, I listen to my gut to guide me.
I think there’s also a negative connotation associated with the word ‘selfish’. It’s not always a bad thing, sometimes you need to put you first because at the end of the day you matter. As cliche as it sounds you’re only given one life, so live it up and don’t settle for less than you want.
6. I would rather hurt myself than hurt someone else.
Before I do practically anything, I always think to myself, what would my friends think? How would my loved ones feel? Instead of making a decision based on your feelings, you make it solely about everyone else.
Sometimes it puts me in a tough position, especially when I should be giving information that I have that may hurt someone else. I always struggle with this because on some level there’s always apart of me that hopes someone would have done it for me or had said something that would have prevented me from getting even more hurt or burned than I should have been. But i’ve also been told recently in my self-healing process that the only person you can control is you, you can’t control how someone else will react or respond to you (regardless of your intention) and i’ve witnessed this first hand in recent times.
But for the most part I think sometimes I am too empathetic when it comes to other people and will accept less than I know I deserve. In the past, I was willing to accept behaviour that no rational person would condone because I didn’t want to hurt the other person but I also didn’t want to believe it myself, so I kept quiet. In the past I have been too willing to put myself in someone else’s shoes that I often took on their moods instead of taking care of my own mental well-being.
Even when something does bother me I hate to make other people feel bad or trouble others so I often just settle, even when I shouldn’t. I’ve slowly learned to change this reflecting on my past but still habits don’t just disappear over night and people have every right to be weary of your past mistakes.
7. I am the queen of overanalyzing and overthinking anything and everything.
There is nothing that I don’t over-analyze, but I honestly can’t help it. I have the habit of always asking other people what they think about something and I am always wanting to do the best thing for them given the situation. It’s always about their feelings and their well-being, but I never take a step back to reflect on myself and how I feel about something.
Sometimes I get so caught up that I forget to take care of myself. When someone is unhappy with something wrong that happened in their life/relationship/work environment, i’m the type of person that would run out into the middle of the night to buy them something to cheer them up. Even worse when I thought someone was upset with me I had the habit of becoming anxious (something I now recognize) trying to fix things even when thing’s had nothing to do with me.
While I could probably come up with a countless number of points, I think these are the main ones that I been reflecting on over the past 2-3 months. I am not perfect and I hope to God I never preach to be or come across that. I enjoy having flaws because it gives me something to work on for myself and I like the concept of growing to be a good person. That’s really all I aspire to be and I hope when the time comes I can reflect back on my life and be proud of myself, my relationships, and my accomplishments in saying I did all that I could but that I never sacrificed myself in the process.