Tuesday, September 6, 2011

People pleasing, happiness, and respect

I am a people-pleaser.*

*Note:  I didn't say was.  I am.

But I'm learning how to be a positive people pleaser rather than a negative one.

What's the difference, you ask?  Instead of focusing solely on what other people want, I'm taking into account what I want.

I don't know what changed to make me care more about me in terms of what other people want.  I know I'm not the type of girl who goes on dates with guys simply because they ask and I feel bad I don't like them in that way so they get a pity yes.  As I'm sure you're all aware, I don't like to waste my time.

I think it started around the time Goatboy and I broke up and my best friend and I had a falling out.  Both of those effects stemmed from a cause: I started telling them what I wanted and/or I started standing up for myself.  When it came to me and Goatboy, we had been together just over nine months and I was beginning to feel like I was in limbo, waiting around for something I wasn't sure was going to actually happen. Nine months together and we had yet to make our relationship official.  When I'm with someone, I give my all.  There's no room for half-way when it comes to me, and I was beginning to feel exhausted at pouring all of me into the relationship when he was only giving me a bit of him.  Of course, I now realize that he was giving me all he possibly could, all he had, but he couldn't fully commit.  And as much as I loved him - he was my first real love, after all - it wasn't enough.  And, still in sync, we seemed to realize it at the same time and parted ways mutually with the promise of maintaining our friendship.

When it comes to the friend situation, I confronted her about not inviting me to her little sister's sixth grade graduation, inviting someone else in my place who, while my friend too, didn't have the same relationship with that girl that I did.  And my best friend knew it.  Her little sister and I were incredibly close to the point where I considered her to be my little sister.  And I told my friend I wanted to come, and despite this, she didn't invite me, even though she invited our other friend over Facebook and it would have been rather easy to copy and paste that comment onto my Wall, but she didn't.  That's not the end, though.  The guy that she's been in love with - let's call him A - randomly started flirting with me on Facebook.  I didn't respond to the flirting, but he kept doing so.  So my friend blocked me on Facebook.  She threw seven years of friendship away because her unrequited love was flirting with me - flirting which I ignored and even tried to thwart.

How do you know it was because of A?

Because I checked and she blocked him too.

It was the final straw.  She gave up our friendship because of a guy who didn't return her sentiments, without even having the decency to ask my side.

But this isn't where the story ends, folks.

A asked me out.

I've never been interested in him that way and though me and my friend were over, I'd still never do something like that to her.  So I said I'd love to hang but we didn't have to date.  As guys are wont to do, he mistook my meaning and we decided we'd go hiking the following week.  I came clean the day before thanks to my anxiety at doing something intimate alone with a guy when I'd rather be at home reading, telling him I had just gotten out of a relationship, I didn't want to date because I didn't want to lead anyone on, and I certainly wasn't ready for anything serious.  He took the message well, going so far as to tell me he respected me even more because of my honesty.

You'd think that would be the end of it, right?

Haha.  No.

He kept inviting me to go hiking, to go to the movies.  Sometimes, I'd ignore the texts, sometimes I'd respond a long while after, telling him I was hanging out with my brother.

I didn't understand: couldn't he take a hint?  I don't want to date him.  We were barely friends, barely knew each other.  As unsocial as it sounds, if I'm not interested in being friends with you, I'm not going to waste gas and my time hanging out with you.

The climax came when he texted me at one in the morning with the simple message: Help me.  You read that right.  Help me.  Um, I keep my phone on vibrate at night specifically for this very reason: if one of my friends need me.  Middle of the night calls/texts are reserved for emergencies (at least with me since my real friends know I go to bed early).  On top of that, it took a while for me to finally fall asleep and I had a doctor's appointment really early in the morning.

So I sent a snappish text in return, asking him what he needed my help with at one in the morning.

He replied with something along the lines of how cranky I was in the early morning.  Note that he had yet to tell me what he needed help with and actually apologize.

Um, yes.  So I told him I had a doctor's appointment and was fast asleep before he woke me up.

He seemed to think this was funny because he literally wrote "LOL sorry damn."  Or something like that.

I was so pissed, I didn't respond.

How dare he?  Who the eff did he think he was?

No kiddies, the story isn't over.  I know.  I can't believe it either.

It was a week before he texted me, asking me to go on another hike with him and a group of friends.  But here's the kicker: he called me grouchy.

That pissed me off more than I can comprehend.  I hate when people think they're closer to me than they really are and, as such, seem to think they're entitled to treat me more intimate than what propriety actually calls for.

I thought about how I was supposed to respond for a while before coming up with something that stated how the fact that he texted me at one in the morning and the way he handled my less than enthusiastic reaction was completely inappropriate.  I reminded him we've never hung out and we barely know each other and that, while I thought he was a decent guy, I didn't want to hang out with him at all.

His response?  Haha, k.

Okay, I was upset but whatever.  I thought I wouldn't be hearing from him after that.

I thought wrong.

A few hours later, he texted me this really long message asking me why I was so upset, how he thought I was going through something in my life that I was taking out on him (are you effing kidding me?) and all he was doing was inviting me to go on a hike, and by the way, he already apologized for that text.

Yeah, my mouth still drops open when I think about it.

I had two options: I could respond or I could let it go.

While I wanted nothing more than to point out his stupidity at not taking a hint and completely overstepping the proper boundaries of Facebook friendship, I decided to let it go.  His behavior was already worrisome and I didn't want aggravate it any more because I wasn't sure how he'd react in terms of harassing me.  Plus, if he couldn't see how inappropriate his behavior was, even with me telling him, than there was no way I could make him understand. 

So, why am I telling these personal (and probably boring) stories?  Because going through each one, and ending with what I went through with A taught me something.  I've always said the universe is working WITH you and never AGAINST you.  But if you work against yourself, what is the universe supposed to do?

Standing up for myself, even though it was hard and hurt and painful, was the best thing I ever did.  I'm not worried about how Goatboy truly feels about me and if I can really depend on him anymore.  I'm not trying to be the perfect best friend when she doesn't take me all that seriously and treat me the way I deserve to be treated anymore.  And I'm not going to let some guy make me roll over because of his incessant persistence and lack of understanding of the word no.

Here's how I see it: the moment I start respecting myself to the point of action then I'll attract people who will respect me.  It's common sense, right?  Well, I'm the type of girl that has to feel it to understand, rather than simply know it.

I still like making people happy.  I realize that upon meeting people I admire or the cute guy in my class, I will never be the mysterious siren oozing sexuality.  I'm not cool.  I'll be uber-polite, probably blushing and smiling way too much girl.  But, the things is, I'd rather be sweet than sexy.  (Most of the time.)  Because that's who I am.  However, I'm not going to sacrifice my self-respect over it, especially to people who really don't deserve to be in my life anyways.

We all deserve happiness.  The universe wants nothing more than to make us happy.   But you have to help too.  Sometimes, happiness is a result of letting something you cherish, something you love with all your heart and will still probably love for the rest of your life, go.  Your happiness is more important than theirs.  You are the first person you should want to please.  Because you're worthy of it.

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