Wednesday, April 10, 2013

People Pleasing

I’m a people pleaser. I want to make people happy. I want to make people like me. I don’t want to disappoint people. So I do everything in my power to please others. I rarely say no when asked to do something…even if it’s not something I want to do. I’m a total people pleaser. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing at all. That is until I realize that it is affecting who I am…it’s affecting my life. This past weekend I was DYING to get out and do something fun. However, I’m a people pleaser. So when my husband wanted to work in the garden, I said ‘why yes’. So I spent both Saturday and Sunday in the garden. I didn’t get a bike ride in. I didn’t get a run in. I didn’t get my day of pictures in DC (cherry blossoms are blooming) in. I didn’t do anything that I wanted. Now don’t get me wrong, the work I did in the garden netted me a LOT of calories burned (it burns calories to shovel manure and compost and turn a garden…..for HOURS) and I was able to enjoy eating out at some higher calorie restaurants. I will also freely admit that I like the sense of accomplishment when I see a project that is shaping up or even completed…especially when I know that my sore body and my manual labor resulted in that project being completed. BUT, I gave up on everything that I wanted to do……to please my husband. And what did it get me????? It didn’t get me anything….I didn’t get to exercise my muscles in the way that I wanted to exercise them. I didn’t get to exercise my mind (photography) in the way that I wanted to exercise….and honestly, it depresses the hell out of me.
So how does a people pleaser reform themselves to say “I’m important…and my wants and needs are important too… we WILL do something that I want even if it means saying no?” And this is not just with my husband…this is with my family…my work….EVERYTHING. At work I just roll over and do things just because I like to please people…to make their life easier…even if it messes up mine.
I have been feeling utterly alone lately. I just feel totally alone in this weight loss journey. I feel alone on this weight loss journey but more specifically the exercise portion. I know that it’s not true. I have so many people supporting me. I have great friends that are behind me 100% some of whom are doing this journey at the same time. So I’m not utterly alone. I just feel so alone sometimes.
I know some of these feelings stem from my husband backing out of the biking things this year so that he can dedicate all his time to the garden (and to his iphone and computer if I want to be honest). I was looking forward to getting out there with my husband and riding together. I was looking forward to completing some of these things. In fairness, my husband still thinks we can do some of these things. In his words “We will just get on the bike and ride at these events, we don’t have to ride to prepare” I’ve tried to tell him that some people can…but that’s not how my body works. I was looking forward to having an exercise where I would not be alone. My husband knows I want a road bike and he’s gung ho to get it for me…but it will be another activity that MF does by herself.
Running has been a very solitary activity for me. Sherry and I do our weekly run/walks…and I looked forward to them. She and I are still walking together and I love those….but running has been a solitary activity. I will most likely be running Paws on the Pavement by my lonesome. That’s ok. I’m doing it (maybe it will be a face my fear type of thing….pushing myself out of my boundaries by doing it on my own). Maybe I’ll even con my husband into going with me so he can hold my keys for me! (He will have no excuse to not go as we will be on vacation.)
So I think the biggest part of the downfall of my husband putting a damper on the biking is that it has always been an activity that he and I do together. It’s been an activity that has brought us together and that I was looking forward to completing WITH someone.
Tuesday morning dawned early for me. I hadn’t run or do any formal exercise Saturday or Sunday. I did go to zumba on Monday night. Tuesday morning I NEEDED to run. Furthermore, I WANTED to run. (yeah, shocked the heck out of me too!). I laid in bed for a few minutes and my husband turned to me and said some words that made my heart stop. “I have to get to the studio, can you water the garden this morning” (We have some things in our garden…spring stuff). Uhhhh I knew that if I took the time to water the garden that I would have to forego my jog…well maybe not…it would be cutting the time really close…REALLY close). In my mind I was calculating time. Could I do it? Then I looked at my husband and said….. “NO” I explained my reasons. Furthermore I reminded him that he had a tour at 9…..but that would only last for an hour or two and then he didn’t have any clients until late afternoon/early evening, he could come back and water. He wasn’t happy with my answer. But he eventually changed his tune and ‘realized’ that he had the time before heading over to the studio to attend to the garden himself. I don’t want to be a big (thinning) old meanie, but that is a victory…I stood up for what I need and what I want.
Did it get through to my husband? Maybe…he has made plans to bike with me this afternoon. Maybe he realizes that I’m going to exercise regardless of his actions so he may as well join in.


timothy said...

BRAVO! saying no can be a good thing and making your hubby think of your needs is a neccesity. now i dont know him personally but guys (myself included) can be pretty dense and we seem to have less of a hard time being selfish. mayhaps it's time he made your wants a priority after all you're a babe (YES YOU ARE!) and he's lucky to have you! a gentle reminder once in a while will do you BOTH good!

Unknown said...

I find myself doing the same things. My son needs something or my husband or a friend. I put aside what I need and take care if them. I am also getting better at saying, "No". Not because I don't want to help them, but because I already had plans for myself.

Gwen said...

I'm gonna be honest here; I was a TOTAL doormat until I hit menopause. By then, things had progressed downhill so badly in my marriage, that it ended. I look back now, and wonder if I had gently spoken up for myself, and -being uber honest-TRAINED my husband to be more considerate, might we still be together? Probably not, but maybe. I am in a far better place now, with a husband who adores me. He didn't need to be trained. LOL

My point is, we are only as 'abused' or 'neglected' as we allow ourselves to be. HOWEVER, we don't have to be abrasive to get our needs recognized (if not met.) We can train those around us to respect us more, and our needs. Your needs are every bit as important as anyone else's. You need to value yourself enough to start to learn to gently speak up for yourself. Not to paint anyone n a corner, but to offer as alternatives things that you want and need.

Be strong; you will need to be. But you need to release your inner needs; they are important!

Stained Glass Butterfly said...

There is nothing at all mean about looking out for yourself and the things that are important to you.

Other people may have gotten used to you always saying yes, but guess what? They will live, they will get over it, and they can just get used to you saying no once in a while!

Darcy Winters said...

Way to go! I sometimes have the same problem. I now try to make myself wait to give an answer on things like that until I can think through it. Before - I would agree to things - thinking I would have enough time, but knowing in my heart that I wouldn't.

Debsdailylife said...

Thanks for the encouraging words!!! The camp was held at New Life Bible Camp in Hyndman PA.