For as long as I can remember I have been a people pleaser. I have always placed others thoughts and feelings above my own. I have never wanted to stir the pot or make anyone upset. However, over the years I have learned that this isn’t necessarily a favorable trait to behold. As natural givers we find ourselves so wrapped up in others that we tend to lose touch with what it is we truly want, and in those fleeting moments we actually do feel what we want, we don’t communicate our wishes to the necessary individuals.
The deepest pain I have ever felt was denying my own feelings to make everyone else comfortable. And while self-care is sometimes written off as selfish, taking care of yourself is essential. I had to learn (and am still learning) that if I take care of my own needs first, I have more to give to others. Putting your own needs first is not selfish. Let’s repeat that. PUTTING YOUR OWN NEEDS FIRST IS NOT SELFISH. Before I could stop being a people pleaser, I had to learn that even though conflict and confrontation are borderline unbearable or me, they can be helpful tools.
The relationship that I value the most in my life – the one with my husband – is also the one that I have worked at the hardest. And a lot of that work has included confronting the other person when there is an issue and working through conflicts.
In this one relationship, I have felt safe enough to let go of my people pleasing persona and the result is a very close connection that has continued to improve over time. We are two VERY different people and we have been through some VERY tough times together, but the reason we have survived as a couple is that we have been willing to ask each other for what we need and keep the lines of communication open.
If you want a close and meaningful relationship, it’s absolutely necessary to make your authentic voice heard. The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, will point blank not like you. But it is also filled with those who will love you fiercely. They are your people, you are not for everyone and that is OK. Talk to the people who can hear you. Don’t waste your precious time and gifts trying to convince them of your value. Don’t convince them to walk alongside you. You’ll be wasting both your time and theirs and will likely inflict unnecessary wounds, which will take precious time to heal. You are not for them and they are not for you; politely wave them on and continue along your way. Sharing your path with someone is a sacred gift; don’t cheapen this gift by rolling yours in the wrong direction.
When you say yes to others make sure you are not saying no to yourself. You only have so much emotional energy each day. Don’t spend it on things that don’t matter or people who don’t value your time. Develop a strong opinion about yourself so that you don’t accidentally start believing what others say about you. The world deserves the best you. You deserve the best you. The best you will only be realized if your needs are met.