Roll With the {Punches}

Relationships are hard. And not just with a significant other. I'm talking about relationships with friends, siblings, co-workers, parents, aunts and uncles, significant others and their families...the world revolves around relationships. They're everywhere! And they're work. A lot of work.

I'm the one that people go to - I listen and give advice when it's asked of me. I'm always willing to lend a helping hand or do favors for people when in need because I know that I'm being helpful. I'm nice. I do my absolute best to keep my plans and be on time when I say I will as to not inconvenience those around me. But not everyone is this way. In fact, a lot of people aren't. They don't mull over their words before they say them as to not hurt others' feelings. Sometimes it makes me think if they care about anyone other than themselves at all...

Normally, I just accept what others say and/or do, knowing that that's just how they are, and I am how I am. But every now and then, I try to put my foot down and push back against those that are hurting me. But every time I stand up for myself or call someone out on something, I feel terrible. And by terrible, I mean that I will dwell on my force words and/or actions for hours and hours later, sometimes even days later if I don't have contact with that person. It's happened twice recently, and what I said to stand up for myself wasn't even that harsh. I'm a wuss...

But, I take the abuse over and over again because I'd rather my feelings be hurt or me to be put out than for it to be the other way around, which often results in my sadness and resentment against others for continually treating me badly. So let's face it, I'm a people pleaser. I show up. It's what I do.

People pleasers "want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to" keep it that way.

I struggle with this. Daily.

No matter how I feel, though, I continue to roll with the punches. These people are my family. These people are my friends. It's my problem, right?

Yes, it is my problem. But it's also up to me to do something about it. But that can also be tricky. What if I try to change things and it results in lost friendships and bad blood? What if the other party doesn't understand where I'm coming from and gets their feelings hurt? What if I stop hearing from these people? What if they begin to think of me as a bad friend? What if... What if... What if... I could drown in the what ifs. But it's got to stop.

I recently looked into this and found that consistently putting others' needs above my own could develop into some negative consequences, therefore causing other problems:

Neglect of self. People pleasers devote very little time to taking care of themselves. This can cause me to be more prone to health problems. Umm, no thank you!

Passive aggression and/or resentment. Being passive aggressive is making sharp comments, crack sarcastic jokes, or make subtle actions that let a little of our negative feelings seep out. Check! And apparently, this is the biggest destroyer of relationships. Awesome...

Reduces ability to enjoy other people and activities. Constantly thinking of all the things that need to be done, especially for others, leads us to be disengaged. What good does that do?! None, that's what. Being present but disengaged is not better than being absent.

Stress and depression. The definition of stress is having more demands than you can handle. This website says that people pleasing can turn into a vicious cycle of chronic stress and unhealthy behaviors. And who wants that added with other stressors of the world?

Be taken advantage of. By always saying yes to requests for favors, people may begin to take advantage of your kindss by asking for more than is reasonable. Even worse, you may become the target of exploitive people because they will quickly see that you can't say no and take as much as they can from you. {Okay, this one maybe takes it a little far, as I haven't personally experienced this yet, but I'd rather keep from doing so!}

So really, I must stop this behavior before it really causes chaos in my life. I tend to lean towards being passive aggressive with those that I feel are hurting me. I stew over it and don't let it go. But luckily, it hasn't developed into anything super serious where I'm constantly resenting those that I love or truly neglect myself {hey, I've recently lost 11 pounds, so you can't say I'm neglecting my health!}. But, why not just nip this in the bud right here and right now?! Well, it may take time, but I'm determined to do it. I've got to teach others that my opinion is important, too, and that my time is valuable. If I'm upset about something and feel the need to talk about it, I have to do so without letting the other person turn the focus of the conversation on them. Although this is hard to do with the elitists of the world, it'll be a work in progress. After all, there's a difference in being nice and being a people pleaser. I can still be me without being mean!

And the thing is, these people most likely don't even know that sometimes their actions and/or words hurt me, as I'm so used to just bottling it up and hiding my hurt feelings from everyone {besides my husband of course}. It's time to make some changes in this aspect of my life, and I've found 8 ways to be a God pleaser and not a people pleaser that I'm keeping close by:
  1. Be honest; no matter how hard it is to face the truth, remember that the only person you're cheating is yourself.
  2. Be humble; never get ahead of yourself and allow yourself room for growth.
  3. Dedicate time for God; dedicate a portion of your free time to God. Go to church. Pray. Allow God to be present in your life.
  4. Don't change who you are for others; you do not pray to your friends and family; therefore, you shouldn't change for them either. God wants you to be the best version of yourself. Do not be influenced by the people surrounding you, instead be influenced by the man who gave up everything for you.
  5. Hold on to your values; do not cave into temptation or evil. Deep down, you know the difference between right and wrong. Don't lose yourself trying to be something that you're not.
  6. Live every day like it's your last; never let a single second or minute get away from you. Live each day like it is your last because you are blessed to be alive with your family and friends. Life is unpredictable and will throw you curve balls, but remain appreciative to God for giving you the opportunity to live your dreams.
  7. Put others before yourself; God sacrificed himself so you could have a fulfilled life. Help others that are in need of assistance and charity. Your good deeds will not go unnoticed because God is always amongst us.
  8. Put your faith in Him; it may not always seem like he's listening, but God has a reason and a plan for everything. No matter how hard a situation may be, you must put your faith in God. He is the one person you can always count on.
Being aware of this 'problem' of mine is the first step. The second step: put a plan into action! It'll be a work in progress, but I've got to start somewhere! :) I got this. And until then, I'm just going to keep rollin' with the punches!

How do you balance others' happiness and your own?  
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Rachel said...

I find that in real life, I cut friends out easily..I tend to passive aggressive and I am trying to work on it as well!


Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself. If it results in the loss of a relationship and they stop calling/coming around then that person really doesn't care about the relationship in the first place. Like you said, it takes work!

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