Friday, March 4, 2016
You Can't Please Everyone . . .
Know what I've been learning lately?
You can't please everyone.
You can't even please some people all the time. You can't please some of the people nearly all the time. Doggone, but you can't even please some people at all.
This is a tough thing for a gal who is a people pleaser by nature. Lemme rephrase that: This is a tough thing for a gal who has a desire to please people.
This people pleasing business has gotten me into more fixes than I care to admit.
I recently had a situation where a person knew exactly what was expected and when I did it, they went off the handle. Just because they could. Because they didn't really care about me or what I was doing. They took an opportunity to criticize even though they did not really have a stake in the situation.
I would have liked to have pointed out to the person that they overstepped, except everyone in the room (but the criticizer) was already uncomfortable and I did not want to add to that.
Shortly after the above incident, I made a request of another person, making sure they knew that to refuse was fine, no explanation from them was needed. My request would put them out, but only a very little bit. I did not feel my request was extraordinary, nor out of the realm of what they could do or have done in the past. The person to whom I made the request gladly helped. A family member of that person hastened to reprimand me for the request. Not only did they reprimand me, but they made it very clear I was taking advantage of the good nature of the person to whom I made the request.
I was flabbergasted. I was hurt. I was angry and confused. Why did they step into a situation that did not pertain to them? Why did the outside person (who did not know the details of the situation to even be able to comment, let alone criticize) make the assumption that I was taking advantage of someone else? They were not trying to hold me accountable. Yes, certainly, they thought they were looking out for the other person, but that was all.
I could not hold back -- forget the people pleasing. I geared myself up and went to that outside person and, after explaining the situation to them so that they were fully informed, told them that it was hurtful for them to act as though I had taken advantage. They let me talk, watched as I trembled slightly (and got choked up) and did nothing. They remained self righteously indignant that they were in the right and I was in the wrong. Which, as you can imagine, made me even more angry and hurt. All my attempts to smooth things over were in vain. All my explaining didn't make a difference in their mind. I walked away feeling more defeated than before. And I still have trouble not feeling the residual effects of their erroneous beliefs. The worst part is that I see this person on a fairly regular basis. Forgiveness is a process even when the slights are, well, slight.
And there we are.
I know this is a vague post, but I am mostly posting to remind myself that it is not necessary to please everyone. It's even dangerous TO THINK I have to please everyone. It cannot be done. Mostly because we all have different ideas at to what is pleasing. And at different times, what pleases us (or another person) may change.
I know there are many of my dear readers who are not people pleasers. You aren't hampered by what others think of you or what you have done in a particular situation. This is a lovely, freeing quality.
Can I have some of that?
Any advice as to how to grow a thicker skin? Share in the comments.
Counting it all joy,