So yesterday I realized that in various situations, I was making a (subtle) assumption about another persons intentions/desires, and then making my decisions based off of that assumption, in order to please them. However, if you don’t yet know the real mystery about people pleasing - the truth of it is that it’s for our selves. I was doing that in order to “please them”, but really, it was to save myself the trouble of letting them down because that would make me look bad or feel bad or have to deal with having a difficult conversation, or whatever.
As I looked deeper at what was going on, I realized this stems from my inability to quickly decide what’s right for me and what I want to do, often for fear of it not working, for fear of others not approving, or for fear of it affecting someone else negatively (and then it’d be my fault).
This is kind of an old problem for me. I’ve grown out of a huge chunk of my need for validation in order to make a decision, I’ve grown out of people pleasing for the most part, and I am always the one that’s willing to have the uncomfortable conversation (lol). So where was this coming from? It was an old pattern. An old pattern I experienced with some past business partners, and in some past relationships. A pattern where I rely on the other person to make decisions for me, but hide my true feelings about it until I don’t know what happened but now I have no say in the relationship. And this has me feel like the victim to the circumstance right? It has me feel like I am being pushed around by a bully, but actually, I am simply not saying and doing what is truly right for me.
Now, a couple of caveats. 1) That doesn’t necessarily mean the other person isn’t a bully. In my past, sometimes they are! But, that also doesn’t change what I am doing to exacerbate the situation. 2) That also doesn’t mean that I should just say what I want at all times, stomp on people to get my way, and anyone that’s in the way of that can leave. No. But it does mean that there is room for me to actually listen to what I want, before going along with someone else, and to communicate that in a way that allows for compromise and mutual understanding.
So what’s the point of sharing this? Well, the past few days I’ve been kind of bothered, and it took me until yesterday to realize that it was this. During that time, I was communicating to friends and observing situations, and now looking back - I’m seeing this pattern in them too. Where do you make assumptions about other people? And how does that affect the way you see them, and the decisions you make? In the moments where you feel like the other person in a relationship (any kind of relationship) is not doing what you want them to do, or a situation is not working out the way you want it to, is there room for you to take responsibility for your end?
See, when we are upset with someone or something else, it is actually about us. ALWAYS. Otherwise we truly wouldn’t be upset.
I’m gonna say that one again - when we are upset, it is about US. ALWAYS.
That doesn’t mean you are wrong or terrible or fucked up or anything of that nature. It simply means you have the power and ability to create the situation that you want. Look at what you are doing, what assumptions you are making, what decisions you are making, and decide if you are actually in line with what you want. I’ll warn you, this is a hard thing to see. Our ego steps up when we go to do this and it says “BUT I’M DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT” (and don’t get confused, that is the SAME as “I’m doing everything wrong, I’m terrible”). So be willing to see beyond the ego, and check yourself out. What do you truly want? What are you doing to create that?
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a quote from the lovely book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson (pardon the language today!).
“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is a itself a positive experience.”
Instead of making assumptions about how someone or something should be better, what if we accepted what is, and moved forward with compassion and understanding towards the self and others? Look towards growth, not cover up. Look towards showing up, not pointing the finger (at the self or others). Look to move from acceptance and love, not the need to fix.
I share my stories with you to hopefully inspire you to look within and see in yourself the ways you do these things. They are not unique to me, nor to you. They are for all of us. And we are so easily programmed by our upbringing and society and media, that we tend to slip into patterns unconsciously. Remove the judgement. See them.