I said a joke to a family member the other day on the phone and their response was to hand the phone to someone else. Instead of talking about why it triggered them.
I apologized because obviously I didn’t mean to hurt their feelings, but the apology meant nothing and this individual retorted by screaming into the phone that they no longer wanted to talk to me.
End of conversation.
As a people pleaser, my first feeling was guilt. “Shit, I shouldn’t have said that.” Then, the sinking feeling in my stomach that ruined the next 15 minutes…. until I reached out to someone and vented.
She reminded me that I am NOT responsible for how people handle situations/not responsible for their behavior, it’s their responsibility. An apology is needed, but after that, there’s nothing else you can do.
You can’t fix it simply because it already happened. Feeling guilty or ruining your day is not the answer.
You need to pick yourself up and move on. Let the person bask in their feelings while you try to deal with yours.
I am working on my people pleasing behavior. It is IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone around you. No matter what decision you make, someone will take issues with it. And, do you know what? That’s on them. That’s not on you.
So, I’ve learned spending your life trying to make everyone else comfortable is bullshit.
Whose life are you living anyway if that’s your purpose?
When are you going to be in control?
When are you going to take the wheel and finally drive?
All of my life, I have let others make decisions for me, dictate what they want me to do, tell me that the decision I’m making is wrong, and tell me maybe I should re-think a situation.
But, now that I’ve identified that I didn’t want confrontation, I wanted the person to like me, I wanted to comply, follow the rules, not ask questions, I’m working on ending that behavior.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for me as I’ve always sought other people’s opinions and needed their approval in order to do something.
Now is the time to stop continuing on that path and make decisions based on what I want.
What do I want in life?
What do I need?
How do I want to live my life?
If you’re dealing with the same patterns, just know you’re never alone.