The following post I wrote well over a year ago and I never published it because it was personal, it was about someone and I was in fear they’d know it was about them. I didn’t want to hurt them so I never published it and it stayed in my draft folder until now. Now the time is right because what followed was a lot of heartache, but unfortunately, this wasn’t going to be the only time I’d experience this. History repeated itself a few months ago and I found myself once again in this position. Different circumstances, different person but the same pain. The same foolish mistake.
Trying to keep others happy and burning myself out in the process. Then when I can’t keep it up I start resenting them for it. They pick up on my change in behaviour and they dump me like I never mattered.
The pain of rejection from someone you love even if you know the relationship is toxic and all the red flags are there is always going to be painful. What I’ve learnt from this is that some people you’ll never be enough for and others you’ll be too much for, but those who love you are really gonna love you and that is all that matters.
We are all so loveable and sometimes we need to remember to focus on the people who see that with ease rather than trying to keep everyone happy. When you know you’ve genuinely tried and you’ve given it you’re all in a relationship, you’ve gone out your way to be super supportive and yet it doesn’t seem to be enough then there is nothing you can do and it’s time to let go. It doesn’t mean the other person is a bad person and in some cases, it doesn’t mean they haven’t tried either, but it does mean that relationship isn’t healthy and you can’t keep watering dead plants.
The Blog Post That Was Never Posted:
Realising early on if you’re going to live a truly fulfilled life you will upset some people along the way will save you a lot of heartache. If you are too be successful you will create enemies. You can’t avoid hurting people and I’ve been slow to accept this.
I always tell people don’t be a people pleaser because you can’t keep everyone happy. You know you’ll run yourself ragged trying too.
You can’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. That quote always sticks with me and whilst I take my own advise I also struggle to let myself off the hook with it.
You can’t become prey to other people’s insecurities, a new quote I heard from Kayln Nicholson and it struck a chord with me because I know it’s true, but yet I still try to please people.
Recently with all the stress of moving, I found myself really struggling because I simply don’t have the time for it and as soon as I stopped trying to keep everyone happy and do my own thing I felt so much better. Lighter. Energised. Happy. The problem was it was only temporary.
Then guilt set in. What if people are upset with me? Gosh, I really don’t wanna hurt anyone. What if they think I don’t care? What if they don’t see I’m simply doing my best. What if they don’t recognise that I’m stressed and I need to put myself first?
I am in fact feeling the pressure and I simply can’t deal with the trying to please. Sometimes I just need to stop. Does that make me a bad person? I feel like a pretty shitty person right now.
Why is saying “no” so hard? Truthfully I’m a coward. I will say no, but I will end up apologising for it and feeling guilty and stressed about it. What if I make them sad or hurt their feelings?
Honestly, I feel guilty because it’s all my fault. I don’t do boundaries well, I let people take the p*ss because I just wanna keep everyone happy, the thought of hurting anyone kills me a little. I hate upsetting anyone. So I stay quiet, put up with it and then I snap and I’m done. They have no clue what the hell has happened.
The worse thing about it all is that it all could have been avoided if I’d just been a little braver and said “that’s not OK, you can’t-do that too me”, but instead I don’t wanna cause a fuss or upset so I bury it and make excuses as to why that behaviour is ok. All the while knowing it’s not ok to me but I don’t put boundaries in place. I don’t make it clear this is a big no and you can’t-do that to me.
See, if you don’t have boundaries or make them clear you will get hurt and you will hurt other people. You have to take responsibility for your actions. I have to take responsibility for not being braver. For not having enough self-respect to simply not allow certain behaviour. For putting up with stuff.
See as you become more of who you truly are not everyone will like it. Not everyone will want to see you do well. Sometimes people will enjoy seeing you fail. Let them because you should celebrate failure too. Failure will always steer you in the right direction and as I write those words I realise this is all a gift.
I get to try again, but a little braver next time, to have boundaries that are really non-negotiable. To make them clear from the off and say “it’s not OK to treat me like that” and more importantly to have courage in my conviction.
I get to rise from this and choose again. I wish I could say I won’t make this mistake again, but I fear I will because I’m still not feeling brave. I’m still feeling like I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I also know I don’t have to feel brave to be brave. It’s time to have enough self-respect to stand up for myself.
Lastly, I want to end by saying I appreciate you may be reading this post thinking what on earth is she babbling on about. I guess all I really wanna say in my long-winded way is that if it’s OK to put yourself 1st and you will feel guilty, but that’s just because you’re a good person. Guilt stops us becoming psychopaths, but if you know if your heart that you really aren’t trying to hurt anyone but something is making you sad it’s absolutely OK to walk away or say no.
Be kind to yourself, but always take responsibility for your part to play too. See I’m far from innocent because I did nothing, but it’s not what we’ve done in the past that matters, it’s what we do going forward.
Where I’m At Now:
Today as I read that post I have to laugh at myself. Like, Kirsty, seriously, how did you make so many of the same mistakes again? I didn’t practise what I preached in the post and yet I meant it. Here’s the thing, unless we actually witness our own behaviour and go to work on implementing it then history will sneak up on us when we aren’t paying attention and before we know it we’ve made the same mistakes again.
I said I’d put boundaries in place and when the red flags appeared I didn’t listen to my gut instinct. I told myself that it was my ego being negative. It’s a lesson in being honest with myself. If insecurities and trust issues come up because of something someone’s done, yes they are indeed red flags and proceed accordingly but also own your triggers that cause you to be upset. Nobody is innocent, myself included.
We have to learn to pay attention to the warning signs and know that sometimes intuition can look like ego because it doesn’t seem like a positive message, but actually it’s just because we don’t like the message. That’s the ego part, that’s the confusion. The red flags were never negative I just deemed them so because I didn’t like the reality. I desperately wanted to believe in the fairytale friendship and my heart was full out. When I love someone I really frigging love them. I meant all the things I said.
I still, have some pain from the most recent event, but I can honestly say I’m ok. In fact, I’m really good and what I’ve learnt from experience is if you honour your pain and learn from it something beautiful will blossom. The pain I experience today is more of a bruised ego saying you idiot how did you let this happen again? See deep down I knew. I even had a dream warning me, but I ignored the messages because I so desperately wanted to believe I was good enough for this person, but when you try to prove yourself you lose yourself.
It’s funny looking back on the blog post especially at the line ‘I get to rise from this and choose again.’ I wrote that line before my whole ethos of Choosing To Rise was even a thing! My soul knew. This was all part of a bigger plan.
The other line that follows also sticks out ‘I wish I could say I won’t make this mistake again, but I fear I will because I’m still not feeling brave.’ I also knew whilst I wanted to not make the mistake again I probably would because I wasn’t loving myself enough to know being me was enough. It’s a bitter pill for my ego to swallow, but I read recently a quote that said “love the fool you were yesterday” and I chuckled at myself. Today as I write this post I’m in a really good place, stronger, wiser and loving myself. I no longer believe in enemies as I did when I wrote this post. I believe the only enemy is the story we make up about ourselves because of things like this happening.
I believe it’s our job to be the difference and to be more loving to ourselves and others, to never go bitter, but to simply learn. Action speaks louder than words and I’m paying more attention to my actions now. I still believe not everyone will like me, just like, not everyone will like you but I also know what people think of you is none of your business and so that’s my current motto when I find myself people pleasing.
So whilst we are being honest I have actually caught myself out a few times trying to people please in recent weeks. The beautiful thing about that is I’m learning to witness it and do things differently next time. To put down the people pleasing and if they don’t like it to remember it’s none of my business. See I had some issues with thinking if I could potentially dissatisfy someone I wasn’t being a good human. That somehow I wasn’t being the love. Now I know how ridiculous that is, love starts from within so you have to be kind to yourself. You have to let people own their own power which they won’t be able to if their happiness depends on people doing x,y and z for them.
Now I look back on the first pain that happened I smile and have so much gratitude for it. The person is doing really well for themselves and I can genuinely say I’m so happy and proud of them. The fall out needed to happen so we could both start fresh and stop playing small. I wouldn’t have done the things I have this past year if that hadn’t of happened. Having to pick myself up and literally Choose To Rise was the birthplace of everything I’ve done this year. I owe them a little thank you for that.
The most recent event is still a tad raw, but this may sound crazy I’m grateful for that too. The first time it happened it was because I didn’t love myself enough to honour my needs. This time it happened because I didn’t listen to my intuition. It was an important lesson to learn and I truly believe this person came into my life to teach me to listen to my intuition and secondly to get me into action. Once again so much got birthed from literally having to Choose To Rise and despite what’s happened I’m so grateful for it all.
So the message behind this long-winded blog post, don’t be people pleaser and always Choose To Rise,
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)