People pleasing – I am so over it!

There is much talk about stress as a cause of disease and inflammation, and in my experience, among other factors, much of that stress is caused by people in our lives.
There is my family, my close friends – my “tribe”, and there are other friends, those I just run into, know in passing, neighbors, acquaintances, who I walk by or engage in a small talk with. As I get older I don’t take things personally so much, for me, it is more about protecting my own space, my bubble of peace, joy, contemplation, sadness – whatever my present state may be. I no longer run away and cover up my feelings, my emotions – I allow them, and ones they are done with me they go, so I do not mind being with whatever is happening, whatever I am feeling in my moment. However, our culture is such that we are expected to put on a happy face, to socialize, to mingle, to be friendly. A smile and a nod are not enough, we expected to go through this fake “I give a shit” routine of stopping, pausing, asking “how are you” and following through with this “I care” game of pretending. Yet we are not expected to really say how we are, no one outside of your “tribe” really wants to hear that something in your life sucks or even if something awesome is happening (that may make them feel bad about themselves).
People pleasing – I am so over it!
I have been very careful lately about who I intentionally spend my time with. Those that I don’t feel like hanging out with – I just don’t. Like, why would I?! Why would I go have coffee with someone if I don’t feel like it? If they do not contribute in any way to my growth, if they are not into the same things as I, if all we do is gossip, talk about meaningless stuff and shopping and other people. I leave those encounters feeling drained, conflicted – I do not share my opinions and I keep my mouth shut because they don’t really want me to be honest, to be myself, they are just talking to hear themselves talk, to complain and to judge. This goes against my integrity.
There are those who will reach out and I will drop everything to see them and they’ll do the same for me, at the very least we will find time to talk on the phone. We rearrange our schedules, we plan and we make it happen. These are the connections that I want, I nurture and I cherish. Collette for example, whose life is like mine, so full, hard to meet in person, we hop on the phone, every chance we get and we share, we inspire, we support and give each other 100% in those 10-20minutes (sometimes hours 🙂 ) We have so much in common, and we may not share same views on everything, but that is not what makes us friends – we challenge each other, we understand each other, it’s like we are on the same wavelength, we inspire each other to be a better person, to go deeper, to grow.
Expanding my energy to support relationships that have no deep meaning is no longer okay with me.
Some days I am ON – a chatty, shallow, bubbly, friendly extrovert and on other days (most I’d say 🙂 I am a full-on introvert, quiet, doing my own thing. I have actually started telling people that I am anti-social 🙂 So that next time they see me they do not get offended (not that I care really) if I do not make an effort to go do the “small talk” exercise with them. My life at this time includes many circumstances where I am surrounded by people I kinda know or see often (like gym, tennis courts, my kids’ tournaments, school, and after-school activities are just some of them). So if we make eye contact I nod and smile, genuinely, and go back to what I was doing (watching my kids, reading, listening to an audio-book, music, writing).
Some will think I am unfriendly, and that is fine. What do I care really? What they think of me in no way defines me. I love my solitude, my quiet. Being along among others does not bother me, on contrary, I love it, it allows me to practice being present, being in the moment, really being with my kids, my man, by watching them play, or just enjoying my book.
If there is a person out there who I am drawn towards, I will most definitely make an effort to get to know them, for real, not just by engaging in a small talk. I trust my intuition.
So here is to the integrity of true relationships! To my tribe 🙂
To your health,
Elena

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