Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Plight of the People Pleaser

Before we get started, beloved reader, I know... I know.  It’s been forever; but to be entirely honest with you (something I always strive to be) I haven’t been in the proper frame of mind for blogging. To me, my blog should be about inspiration, education, and entertainment.  I haven’t been feeling any of those lately – thus the lack of noise from this site.   My outlook really hasn't changed much, but I thought maybe writing will change my mindset; or at least the things I write about will help change YOUR life. Alright, onto the good stuff.  
Hi, my name is Trinity, and I’m a People Pleaser.   Admit it, you did the “Hi Trinity” thing in your head; cookies are available in the back of the room.  Looking back, I realize I've been a People Pleasure all of my adult life; potentially starting in High School.  I won’t blame any specific event or person for this behavioral pattern, it was simply something I have become.   I am, in no way, saying that being a People Pleaser is a bad thing; it does, however, have the potential to be overwhelming a bit detrimental to someone if they don’t keep an eye on the situation. 
People Pleasers face unique challenges to their own happiness if they aren't cautious about what’s happening around them.  I, personally, have found myself struggling with all of the challenges listed here to varying degrees, which has landed me in my little unhappy slice of paradise.  

Lack of Balance
People Pleasers (I so desperately want to call them PPs ..but I just can’t bring myself to do it!) can get so wrapped up in ensuring the happiness of others in their lives that they lose balance.  No, I don’t mean they fall to the ground unexpectedly, although that’s been known to happen to me from time to time J.   We (yes, I’m including myself since I am already identified as a Pleaser) lose a sense of balance in our lives. We live to please and serve others, and forget that making ourselves happy is just as important.  This lack of balance leads to a lot of different things (see the next few points) including finding ourselves with little “alone” time, or zero time to do simple things in life, like laundry or house cleaning.   We find our schedules filled with “go here, do this”; and – at least in my personal experience – less than 10% of the things on the schedule are there because I want to do it for myself.   I know I’m not the only Pleaser that experiences this lack of balance; but I’ll be honest with you - I have no idea yet how to fix it. 

Busy, Busy Days
Who says there are only 24 hours in a day?  When you’re a Pleaser – you’re on the go constantly; making sure that everything is addressed; you often find a sense of time-warping.  If only there were a TARDIS and a sexy-smart Doctor to help us along!!   We find ourselves eating off the kitchen counter before bed, simply because there wasn't enough time to cook the dinner we had planned.  We find laundry piled up in the bedroom because there’s no way we can do laundry at 3am and still function the next day.  We have a ‘to be watched’ list in our DVR players dozens of lines long because we don’t have a day ‘off’ to just sit around and watch TV.   Of course, (at least in my case) this all explains why my house usually looks like a war zone.  And stresses me out to no end. 

Time for “Me”
Me time...I think I remember seeing that on a Lifetime Movie preview once; heheh.  The Me Time concept ties very nicely to the Busy, Busy Days.  From my personal perspective, I have not had a full day to myself (without work or other obligations) in over three months. No, I’m not exaggerating.  The opportunity simply does not present itself.  Not that I haven’t had wonderful times with people I care for, or days full of fun and laughter.  But we all need time to ourselves to stop from losing who we are.   There are several “reasons” for this that I will not elaborate on; but on top of the list is simple.  I feel an overwhelming sense of obligation when someone asks me to do something.  Saying No isn’t always an option or an ultimate outcome for a Pleaser.   We can’t stand disappointing someone simply because we want to have some time to ourselves; we do not see that as an acceptable reason.   Moreover, the more we try to please others, the harder it becomes to say no - -simply because they know we’ll give in if they ask enough.   
What would I do with me time?  OH THE LIST!!!   I won’t bore you with it, but know that it’s extensive and full of average, everyday things.   Things I simply haven’t had the chance to do, and it’s my “dream day” if I ever have one. 

Lack of Personal Joy
I've been avoiding this particular point for a while now; not just from a writing perspective, but from a personal perspective.  Pleasers rarely have an opportunity to experience their own, personal, joy. We gain joy from ensuring the people in our lives are happy; and we often do that to our own detriment. Don’t get me wrong – we have fun, we laugh, we love and we enjoy things.  However, the things we would do to make ourselves happy are not the things that would make the people in our lives happy (at least not at the time we need them) so we put them aside, and hope to get to them at another time.   The issue becomes when the time runs out, the Pleaser finds himself in a sad and sometimes empty place; and it’s a well that’s difficult to dig out of at times.

So, where do we go from here?   I’m not quite sure myself, lovely reader.  I know I’ve identified part of my unhappiness, but I’m not quite sure the resolution at this time… though I would love to hear your thoughts on it.   If you have a Pleaser in your life (they will usually not come right out and identify themselves as one, so watch for the patterns we discussed) talk to them about it (if they are open to that!).  Maybe together you can find a solution that makes everyone happy.
Remember, joy is a wonderful thing to behold…and worth pursuing. 

Much love to each of you