I am a people pleaser.
I suppose this is something that I’ve known for quite awhile, but I’m only now beginning to realize what that really means. I’m not sure if it stems from my particularly intense desire for approval, or if I just never properly learned to say no. What I do know is not only do I fail to say no when I ought to, I somehow manage to volunteer for any number of things I’m not actually capable of, or have any real interest in.
It really is a problem, because at this point in my life, I ought to be able to politely decline a request or a favor. I might decline because I am too busy, or maybe I don’t have the particular skill set required to accomplish the request without significant additional time commitment to learn how. It’s possible I should decline because I am allowing myself to be taken advantage of. It’s also possible that I should decline because by agreeing, I’m actually allowing someone else to continue to ignore something they should be paying attention to.
What it really comes down to is that it’s beginning to become a problem for me. I set unrealistic goals for myself and then come down very hard on myself when they aren’t met. I guilt myself into feeling obligated to attend something or do something so that it becomes impossible to enjoy myself. I don’t want to do something, but I feel I ought to, and then I feel angry that I feel I’m only doing it because I’m guilty. It then becomes an impossible situation because I’m going to end up viewing it negatively no matter what.
It certainly doesn’t help that I tend to be negative and cynical. I’m not sure if that’s caused by my lack of patience, or if both the negativity and lack of patience are the result of some other underlying factor. What I really need to do is decide what is important to me, and begin to make active decisions according to that. If I feel a particular family gathering is not something I care to be a part of, I should politely decline attending, and be satisfied that I have made a decision for myself, based on what I believe to be important.
That’s all well and good, but it’s all a little bit easier said than done.