You Can’t Please Everyone
I have learned through these years that I certainly can’t please everyone all the time. I can’t please them most of the time. I have learned, though, that I need to try to please myself more. I have to live with myself and my decisions.
Growing up I was taught to try to please people. That’s how my Mama was raised. She wanted to please others. It often made her frustrated and torn. Her reaction to these feelings and mine were quite different. She internalized those feelings and I didn’t. I was loud and angry with mine. Neither of us were happy with these feelings. I think she was partly right. It is good to do well by others and to be helpful and kind. But it is not good to do this to your own detriment. She would do this and sometimes expect me to do so as well. While she was living I would do so, although it was quite grudgingly. As I have gotten older, I have seen the people-pleasing blow up in my face more times than I can count. (And I can count pretty high!)
It finally hit me that Mama’s way wasn’t necessarily right. She had a good heart. And she meant well. But I can’t please everyone all the time. And trying to do so was harming me. It made me feel like a failure. I already felt that way. I didn’t need that to be compounded. It was a relief to finally release myself from the burden of people-pleasing. I don’t go out of my way to be “ugly” to others, but I don’t allow other’s pleasure to take over every aspect of my life. For people I love I will make exceptions to things, but I won’t let their whims control me.
I think Mama and I both would have been a lot happier had we really understood the saying “you can’t please everyone all the time.” It would have been liberating. It is a much lighter load now that I finally get it. I miss her and talking about things like this.