After all these years of becoming an individual, of celebrating individuality, of becoming my own person–there is still a part of this personality which wants to be a people-pleaser. Who is oh-way-too-sensitive for her own good.
What, you ask is a people-pleaser?
A people-pleaser is someone who wants to please people. All of them. All of the time.
Of course, we know this is Impossible.
Of course, we know we must First Please Ourselves, and then others will be pleased as a result.
However, there are usually parts of ourselves which did not get the Memo.
I am trying to be a reformed-people-pleaser and less sensitive to implied criticism, but haven’t graduated yet. (Teacher gave me a B+ and says, keep trying, someday you won’t care as much.)
Life can be very hard for us sensitive people pleasers. Blogging has been very hard at times.
I know I’ve told you this before, but please sit patiently for a second or third time while Kathy expresses herself. (Her sensitive side insists.)
Here are examples of readers who offer well-meaning opinions on this blog via email, comments or in person. (OK, OK, not all are daring enough to comment. Some of these views are intuited because I know how some of the readership thinks, because I know who you are and, gosh, we sensitive folk just know what you’re thinking, because we’re oh-so-sensitive.)
Here are the mixed messages your blogger receives:
1. You should post more photos. I like your photos. Please post more photos.
2. You should write more blogs from a writing angle. Please. I like the writing.
This leaves your blogger scratching her head.
Then comes another opinion:
1. You should write more introspective blogs.
2. I like your action blogs best. PLEASE write more action blogs! Blogs which describe what is really happening.
1. You shouldn’t write such wild headlines.
2. Your headlines draw me in. Thank you for them. If it weren’t for your headlines, I wouldn’t visit, and I would miss the message in your posts.
1. I like it when you write serious posts.
2. Oh, the only reason I visit is the humorous blogs. You’re funny.
Blogger is stymied. How to satisfy these two?
1. Why don’t you write more blogs about the Upper Peninsula? I want to see nature photos.
2. C’mon, Kathy, write sensitive spiritual blogs. That’s what I want to hear.
Sensitive? Upper Peninsula? Oh no! How can she possibly satisfy both?
1. Do NOT write such long blogs. I hate long blogs. I don’t have the time, energy, or commitment to wade through 1,000 words.
2. PLEASE write long blogs. They make me think. They are entertaining. They make my day. Please.
Blogger whimpers, stomps feet, wonders. This is impossible.
1. Do not post every day. I hate it when bloggers post every day. I can’t keep up. Yes, it’s my fault, but you shouldn’t post every day.
2. Please post every day! You make my day. I love it when you post regularly. Please.
Blogger hits head, chastises herself, remembers not to blame self, soldiers on.
1. I don’t like your emphasis on “I”.
2. Your personal blogs are the best!
Blogger wonders if she should quit blogging.
1. I like educational or instructive posts.
2. I LIKE PERSONAL BLOGS!
3. No, No, please, why don’t you just write NATURE posts?
4. I thought I knew who you were, why aren’t you CONSISTENT?
5. What is the matter with you, are you trying to get hits, stats, numbers?
6. I like vulnerable blogs. Be vulnerable. Be real.
Blogger falls to the floor in frustration. No matter WHAT she does, she’s bound to fail, isn’t she? (Wise inner self replies: no, no, turn it around, sister. Whatever you do, you’re bound to succeed. Sensitive self scowls at wise advice.)
1. Please post ordinary serious posts. Don’t dramatize or exaggerate. We like just calm ordinary blogs. Don’t do any fancy writing.
2. We only like literary posts. We only like inspiring posts. We like Annie Dillard writing. Write more about eating peaches. We like the spiritual posts. No, no, I’m sorry, I don’t like those spiritual blogs. We only like… We only like…
Fill in the blank.
So these have been some of my challenges during the past four years. I know many of you regular readers enjoy the variety of posts. That’s why you current readers are still here reading, right? The people-pleasing self blows kisses in your direction. You like that this blog is unpredictable.
You like that I don’t let the people-pleaser rule. You like that the individual chooses to create, again and again, from how she feels in the moment.
I will not succumb to the people-pleasing part of self, no matter how it waggles its fingers and begs. I keep writing, day in, month out, from what the heart insists.
Are YOU a people pleaser? Do YOU write only for yourself, or for some combination of self and other? Do you succumb to the pressure of others, or do you soldier on pleasing yourself, your ever-knowing heart?
P.S. You don’t have to tell the people-pleasing blogger that you like her posts (or don’t like her posts.) Tell us about your OWN experiences with people pleasing and sensitivity; thank you kindly for visiting and do come again. It will please the sensitive blogger very much.