I’ve been holding onto this post for a long time. You see, when I get a thought about something I want to write about I create a title, sometimes make a few notes and then save it in my drafts until I feel ready to tackle the subject. This one has just been sitting and staring me down each day. I don’t exactly know how to put into words what “it” is–this part of me that I need to work on, because I’m not really sure that I want to fix it. It’s been so long a part of who I am that I’m not sure I can be any other way. I’m also betting there are a lot of out there who can relate to this particular personality nugget.
I’m sure my parents can attest to the fact that I was indeed the family Pleaser growing up. I got perfect grades, never misbehaved and always did what was expected of me to the greatest of my ability (for the most part). I was the child that rebelled or the child that strayed. I was the child that grew up and went to college, became a teacher, got married, had a child and always went to church. I fit the mold. In fact, I’m sure that molds were created just for me.
You see, I can tell the difference between good and bad; happy and sad; up and down; excited and depressed. And, I much prefer the positive in all those sets. But, when I am living out the good and happy and up and excited parts of my life, I am a little nervous. I feel like I have to be on my toes. I’m sure that if I let something drop then it will all come crashing down around me. I feel like I’m always on the alert to keep everyone happy. I feel like I alone hold the thread in my family that keeps each aspect of it in a “just so” state and loosening my grip, even for a minute, it all falls apart and back to the places I desperately want to stay away from.
And it’s exhausting to feel like the one who always has to hold it together.
Some days I feel like I should put on some sort of costume for the role so that everyone knows it’s me: The People Pleaser. What can I do to make you happy? Cut flips? Cook your favorite meal? Smile the perfect smile and speak the perfect words? Make a balloon animal? And the sad part is, I’m not sure I’m all that good at playing this role. I still fail. There’s still unhappiness. But, not matter what, I feel like I always have to be the one to keep it together, keep things moving, fix all the problems and do what everyone else wants.
Can anyone relate? Are you a People Pleaser, too?