Sometimes I have a hard time thinking about topics to write about now that my dad isn’t a drunk lunatic anymore. It’s challenging to keep my “blog at least once a month” policy because I find that I’m leaning towards exploring more personal topics and other relationships, which is not the reason I started writing this.
I have written about my tendency to be a people pleaser in the past. I know from doing research and through therapy that this is a direct result of my upbringing. I am not usually one to “blame” things on my childhood, but this is a pretty obvious side effect of living with an alcoholic. Dad drinks, kid tries to keep him happy so he doesn’t, kid “fails” and dad gets drunk anyway…and repeat. Even though therapy is wonderful, I really didn’t need to have that one explained to me.
However, I have been trying to be a little less…pleasing? For example, I have a good friend who over the years has become more self-absorbed. When we talk or get together, conversation mostly revolves around her and her life. It used to hurt my feelings, but I either just got used it or stopped caring (I think it’s the latter), although it still does bother me sometimes. I decided to not get myself all upset about it anymore or to overanalyze it. I can’t control other people and I can’t make anyone care about me more.
Sometimes I confuse even myself about whether I am genuinely doing something nice for someone or if I am trying to please them….like “please love me and think I am a good person”. I have another friend (not the same one as above) who had some medical issues over the past couple of years. I made sure to check in with her a lot, sent her little cards to brighten her day, and genuinely made an effort to let her know I was thinking about her. I am pretty positive this wasn’t manipulative on my part- I truly love my friend and was worried about her. There was no “people pleasing” ulterior motive involved. But, now I am currently going through a medical scare myself (not ready to address that yet) and this friend knows about it. I told her what was going on a week or so ago and I am yet to hear from her since- no text to see how I am, no phone call to get the latest updates. My boyfriend says that I expect too much from people…that I think people will do the things for me that I do for them. And yes, I do. When one person is making all the effort and it isn’t mutual, then that is not friendship. I don’t think I am wrong for feeling that way! Yet, I am disappointed a lot because my expectations are too high. But I don’t want to stop doing the things I do because then I feel like I am not being a good friend. So, I guess I am trying to find the right balance of how much effort to put into friendships where I feel like it is not reciprocated.