I’m such an awkward blog starter!!! Round two leggo:
Hi I’m a people pleaser and I avoid conflict like it’s the bubonic plague.
I love to be liked.
Some of my earliest memories bring me back to *needing* EVERYONE TO LIKE ME. I remember in 1st grade I would give my friends food out of my lunchbox so they would stay in the cafeteria because I didn’t want to miss out on recess if I wasn’t done eating. No, really.
If I made a mistake/accident (like dropping the glass mixing bowl of salad all over the kitchen) I would apologize until my parents made me stop.
I literally got in trouble for saying sorry too much.
It wasn’t the idea that I wanted to be perfect because even at young age I was pretty realistic, but instead I wanted so desperately to be liked. (Yes, even by my own parents who obviously had to like me.)
As I got older I always knew what my tendencies were but just figured that this is how I was wired. We all have our flaws, right?
Now looking back I think WHY WERE YOU CONSTANTLY LETTING PEOPLE RUN ALL OVER YOU???
I look back at a Kaitlin who feared to be disliked, to be seen as mean, or unapproachable. I always craved positive affirmation that I was the “nice friend” the “fun friend”. I was nice and I have always been fun but the harsh reality is that I had NO boundaries.
Saying no for me, was like nails on chalkboard. It made me so uncomfy. What if it makes them mad? What if they won’t invite me out again? Will they think I’m selfish?
The truth is yes. Yes, people will think those things. Especially people who you’ve never said no to before, and not always people but situations, relationships, and attention.
I gave and gave and gave and gave until I was empty. I was tired. I was drained.
It wasn’t until I laid in bed after one of my *weekly* longest days ever.
I had gone to school, gone into work on my day off because they really needed me, and then scrambled to dye a friends hair and spend my last $10 on a meal I didn’t want. Then I got home around 10pm to get home with a paper I needed to whip out in 2 hours while my laundry pile had quickly doubled in size. It wasn’t until that nightly talk I had with God, that I got my wake up call.
You see, every time I said YES when I didn’t really want to, I was saying NO to myself.
I was constantly and consistently putting Kaitlin on the back burner and then wondering why I was always so tired, stagnate and not getting done what I needed/wanted to.
I asked God one night a couple months ago around 2am when I usually attempted to go to bed. I said, “God I am so tired, I feel like I’m stuck, I don’t ever finish things, but I’m going a hundred miles an hour. I need a change.”
*This is the part where I insert some magical story about the world beginning treating me nicer & other worldly expectations that are unrealistic*
The truth is, people really aren’t going to change. They will always ask, and sometimes they will ask of TOO MUCH. This is where the change comes into play.
Followed by a quote from the cinematic masterpiece Evan Almighty: “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”
DING DING DING (by the way this whole self care thing didn’t come to me this easy so I’m trying to set you up for an easier road here.)
The next day after 12 of my alarms go off I grab my phone. It’s 9am and I have 28 unread texts, and about 13 social media notifications, a few emails.
This is the test.
I have a brand new day before me, I know what I need to do. Let’s prioritize Kaitlin today. (At least for the morning.)
Now, I’m not telling you to ignore your phone all day BUT often my first bout with “fighting no” begins first thing in the morning when I grab my phone. If you can relate to this – try leaving that phone alone until you’ve completed at least one task for yourself. Saying NO to virtual requests is important too!!! You don’t have to reply to their tweet at the drop of a hat I promise!!!
SPOILER ALERT: you can say NO and still be a compassionate friend, family member, etc.
I’m talking the big things and the little things here people!!!
If you don’t want to go out because you really just want to stay in and watch a movie – stay in. You don’t have to weigh the pros and cons for a choice YOU are choosing to make, and you DO NOT need to feel guilty for doing so.
I found this quote on Pinterest that I LOVE.
Isn’t that good????
We can LOVE people and LOVE God without having to sacrifice our own boundaries and love for ourselves.
I challenge you to start saying YES to yourself and make that awkward-nervous-uncomfortable leap to say NO to that someone, something, situation, relationship (whatever it may be) that is draining you.
No excuses, no demand for explanation. Just simply decline.
“No” might make them angry, but it will set you free.
I love you people pleasers out there and I wrote this just for you (and me.) Let’s focus on being people lovers. You can’t pour from an empty cup.