Thursday, May 17, 2012

Confessions of a Self Made People Pleaser

I heard once, a long time ago, that I "try too hard." In a social sense.

I've tried to not let it gnaw at me, but it's not easy to, 1. hear what is said about you in private, and 2. let go of something that is true.

I do. Try too hard. Chalk it up to being the oldest child, the teacher's pet, the brown-noser, the rule-follower, the people-pleaser. I try hard to make people happy. I want to feel loved, accepted, wanted, desired, validated, needed. I'm not sure why I try. Fear? Fear of failure? Of loneliness? Of not being accepted for who I really am? Probably. I've failed many times. I've felt lonely, I've been rejected more times than I can count. You would think it would be liberating, realizing I can't escape mortality's tragedies, hmmm? That I would move on and accept my fate?

But it doesn't seem to make a difference. I keep trying. Too hard. But instead of eradicating this "weakness" (which may or may not be a weakness, truly), I have hidden it. Suffer in silence. Silent but aware; mortifingly aware of how others percieve me, how family members regard my opinions, my habits, my dreams, and worse --my failures.

And there's the irony, dear reader. For this people pleaser is aware that pleasing people has led to people not being pleased.

So what is a gal in therapy supposed to do? How does she change the chemical connections in her brain to let go and be satisfied with being mediocre in society, in private, in her mind?

Sometimes I wish my brain would turn off, as would my heart. I am one of those women who is all too much aware of her own faults. I know where I lack, what I lack, and how I lack. It's not difficult for me to wander the dirt path of "could be, should be" --I'm not blind to my weaknesses, no matter how much confidence oozes into my conversations with others. I'm hyper-aware of where I lack; I'm hyper-aware of how others lack. My heart breaks all day long and it's feasted upon by the people-pleasing trump. By fear. By worry. By anxiety. My prayers each moment are full of the word "please," too. "Please, help. Please, take it away. Please, just for a while?"

I keep trying too hard. Too hard to stop trying too hard. And you know what? It's hard work. When I'm not careful, I pine for teenage years that seem, now, so much easier. I long for early motherhood when it was new, exciting, and not as exhausting. I remember times when love was new and refreshing; when doubt was unheard, unseen. I daydream of a future filled with English cottages with manicured lawns, crashing waves, and uninterrupted afternoon naps, where time has slowed down, laughter and ease and conversation are on the to-do list --I imagine when I will never feel trapped by another's opinion of me.

So, yes, that person was right. I do try too hard. I'm trying too hard all the time. And now I'm simply trying too hard to forget what they said...


Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Hmm...I love you for you. Warts and all. <3

MamaMia said...
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