Ever have a day when you try to please everyone and you can’t do anything right no matter how hard you try? Cranky kids, hubs isn’t real happy and your boss didn’t like your last report. You try to please everyone and the ugly truth is, you end up pleasing no one. I’ve had my share of those days.
For many years, I moved through life trying to please everyone in my path; trying with all my might to be all things to all people. It’s an exhausting way of life to be sure. There are responsibilities everywhere and, of course, being the strong person that I am (snort), I can do everything and make everyone in my little world happy.
When everyone is happy, I can relax for the day. If said happiness comes at 9:00 am – great. If it turns into 9:00 pm – we’re in for a bumpy ride, so fasten your seatbelts!
If someone is not happy, I must find out why and fix it – NOW!
Could this be approval issues? Growing up, it was difficult, if not impossible, to make some folks around me express the tiniest bit of approval. It seemed like no matter what I did, it was wrong. If I did something right, then I did it in the wrong way and next time I should try harder. You tend to grow up with a sense of helplessness and fear – which is not good for your confidence (or your digestion).
It’s taken me a lot of years to grasp that there are people in the world who will never be happy. Period. Chronic complainers, always seeing the glass half empty – ain’t nothing you can do to fix this. So, with that realization in hand, I set out to make my own glass half full. At least as much as possible.
Several years ago, my glass was basically empty. I was exhausted, irritable, moody and a generally unhappy person. Sounds like a lot of fun to be around, doesn’t it?
I started seeing things around me – an awareness if you will – that made me think. Have you ever heard someone say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? That’s where I was. I realized there was a pattern of trying to make everyone happy and misery was my reward.
What if I said no to a request that didn’t fit my schedule or skills? What if I simply said “no I can’t accommodate your request at this time” and left it at that? Would I die? Would I be the object of hatred and scorn? Would I be fed to the wolves? What if I tried to stop being all things to all people and find my happy which in turn might make others around me a bit happier, too?
I finally figured out that I would survive as well as or better than the one(s) who were more unhappy than me, even if I couldn’t or wouldn’t please them.
Now, before you jump off the cliff and swear you’ll never try to please anyone again, take a deep breath. There is a balance between exhausting yourself hoping for approval and setting boundaries so tight that you become a grinch.
I’ve actually had to step away from obligations before because every time I tried to do something good, it just wasn’t enough. Really? I volunteered with kindness and a can-do attitude and all you do is bitch?
Yeah, somebody is probably mad at me, but I can’t take on everyone’s problems and solve them. I can’t and I no longer will try to be Atlas and carry the world on my shoulders.
Middle children tend to be peacemakers and yes, I’m a middle child. Sigh… Chances are, you have a full time job, kids and parents who aren’t getting any younger. You already have your hands full.
Bottom line, you need to please yourself sometimes without suffering over it. The world will not go into a holding pattern if you don’t take on more than you can physically and emotionally handle. In case you didn’t know it, you can’t make everyone happy, so stop trying.
Give yourself a break, learn to say no when it’s right for you and your sanity. Be strong – the takers will respect you more in the long run for setting your boundaries and maybe learn to help themselves.
The next time you do need to say yes, you’ll have more energy and a brighter outlook. Honestly, when YOU are happy, those around you (who want to be happy) are happy with or without your assistance. And those who leave your life because you aren’t doing anything for them? Maybe it’s time to let them go.
Maybe you’re stressed out at this point and not sure what to do? Try Stress Support Aromatherapy Rollerball. Simply apply it to your adrenal glands (just above your kidneys) 3 to 4 times daily for support during stressful times.
This has not been an easy lesson for me to learn. How did you handle a situation like this? Were you able to let it go and move on or did you keep suffering (and because someone was unhappy?
Please leave a comment below to let me know how you handled this issue. Need help learning how to say no gracefully? Simply fill out the contact form and let’s get started today.