“I can’t tell you the key to success; but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.”
– Ed Sheeran
Let me tell you about the kind of person I used to be…
Oh, wait. Never mind! I found an old picture of myself. Maybe that will be enough of an explanation.
I’m serious, people, I was the biggest doormat you’d ever meet in your life. I would bend and bend and bend until I felt broken. The word “no” was not in my vocabulary. If someone wanted/needed something, I was there (regardless of whatever personal sacrifice had to be made in order to do so). If plans were made and I wasn’t involved in the planning or it wasn’t convenient to participate, you’d still see me trotting along with everyone else anyway. Going with the flow – making sure no toes were stepped on. (Except my own, of course.)
Well, to be perfectly honest, not a whole lot has changed. But as I get older, there does seem to be a slight shift. Now, here’s how it generally plays out.
Someone asks if I’ll do something (or in some cases informs me that I’m already signed up to do it without my knowledge), and what do I do? I throw a hissy fit. Oh yeah, gone are the “oh sure, no problem” days of my past. I gripe, I complain, I shout all the reasons why I’m certainly not going to do it and stand my ground. And then what happens after that?
I do it.
And what happens after that? I apologize for the way I acted when I said I wasn’t going to do it because I’m so afraid that I may have hurt someone’s feelings or made them uncomfortable.
But you know what? I’m not really sorry. Rather than just trusting my instinct – trusting my gut -I fall back into my old ways and just do what is expected of me to try to not rock the boat. The only difference is that I’m a little more verbal than I used to be about why I don’t really want to be doing it. In other words, I’m still a doormat, I’m just a bitchy doormat now.
And that’s not cool.
Riding the fence like this is not going to get me anywhere. Nobody likes a bitchy doormat.
So, here’s what needs to happen. I have two choices. I need to:
A) Go back to the way I was. Be the girl who keeps her mouth shut, goes with the flow and does what is expected of her regardless of personal sacrifice or gut instinct, and yet have bunches and bunches of “friends” because of it.
B) Cut the balancing act and just slip full force into sticking to my guns. Sure, I may lose friends (which I think I probably already have by being in bitchy doormat mode, so that’s nothing entirely new), but I will stop sacrificing the friendship that actually matters – the friendship with myself.
Well, guess what? I think I may be just a little too far over the edge of the fence to be able to turn around and go back at this point. I’m thinking it’s going to be choice “B” for me for now on. (And you can let that capital “B” stand for whatever you’d like…)
Let me go ahead and issue my public service announcement:
I have a feeling that disclaimer is necessary. But while others are reading that disclaimer, let me just go ahead and give myself a little reminder as well:
I’m tired of saying no to myself in order to say yes to everyone else. I deserve the same respect that I have been giving to others, don’t I?
Just a thought.
“No more bitchy doormat-ism.”
– Melissa Edmondson