Category Archives: People Pleasing

Being Comfortable

Lately, I’ve become a LuLaRoe addict! If you don’t know what LuLaRoe is, you can be adventurous and get sucked into the amazingness that is LuLaRoe or you can trust me that it is the most comfortable thing you will ever wear. They are leggings, tops, skirts, dresses, and vests that are honestly ridiculously comfortable. I’ve been wearing them for a while–on weekends–but always solid color leggings or something with a small pattern when I’m going out in public. Today I decided to wear one of my Valentine’s leggings with a long top (to cover the back end of this oversize body). As I walked into Starbucks to pick up my mobile order (LOVE that option–but off topic), two women were sitting outside. I could hear them say that someone my size should not be wearing leggings. Well, actually, I didn’t HEAR them say it–I said it for them in my head.

Why do I worry so much about what other people think? My body was covered, I was comfortable, and I was fashionable. And damn it, I’m getting old, so I really don’t care what other people think. Or at least that’s what I tell myself–but obviously I do care. Is it guilt for saying those same kinds of things about other people? It could be. Is it my take on society’s body shaming people who are a different size than they are? Probably. Is it that I really didn’t look good and shouldn’t be wearing that out in public? I don’t think so.

I decided that if people are comfortable in whatever they’re wearing, more power to them. If you think I shouldn’t be wearing it, or you’re uncomfortable looking at me, don’t look. But please don’t stare and feel the need to make judgments in your mind because you think I should not wear whatever it is I decide to wear. You’re not me, I’m not you, I get to make my own decisions. As long as I’m happy with myself at the moment, it’s my decision. I realize I could stand to lose some weight, I realize I could get healthier, I realize I should exercise more, I realize the change would be good, but I also realize that I’m just not entirely ready for that right now. One thing I’ve learned in my 60 years is that until I’m really mentally ready to make a change, it doesn’t matter what I think I’m attempting to do, I won’t be successful.

So to the women today for whom I put words in their mouth, I’m sorry. To anyone I’ve ever mentally said anything negative about what you were wearing, I’m sorry. And to anyone I’ve actually verbally said anything negative about what you were wearing, I’m honestly and truly sorry. People are not what they are wearing–it is just decoration. While we each have a say in our decoration and it just may say a lot about who we really are, it is not another person’s task to judge that decoration. Let’s let people express themselves in any way they want to, so if I want to wear leggings in public, I will. It is so much better for my attitude to be comfortable than to be squeezed into something that might be more socially acceptable, but is uncomfortable for whatever reason. When I’m not comfortable, I’m worried more about the bulges over the top of the jeans and whether the t-shirt is covering it or accentuating it, so I’m not listening or paying as much attention to you as you deserve. That really isn’t fair to anyone. So let me be comfortable and spend some quality time with some quality people.

Here is the picture of my outfit today. Like it or not–I don’t care. And that’s new for me. But today I made the choice to live my life for me and not necessarily for anyone else–and that’s a really comfortable place to be.


The Worst Bully I Know!

STOP BULLYINGI HATE BULLIES! I hate that children think they need to be cruel to other children. I really hate when adults are cruel to other adults. But what I REALLY hate is the worst bully I know–ME!

I am harder on myself than any bully would ever be. When I screw something up (which does happen and with a fair amount of frequency), I tend to beat myself up hard . . . and for a very long time. I think I’m pretty good at “forgive and forget” except when it comes to myself. I “relive and dwell” which certainly helps no one–ESPECIALLY me. You would think that after all this time I would learn. The problem is that I know I need to get over it, but I haven’t developed that skill yet. I do eventually get over it, but it is always there in the back of my mind taking up very valuable brain space (that gets even more valuable every day!).

I also tend to bully myself when I’m trying to decide what to wear (“That doesn’t fit because you’re too fat!”), whether to read a particular article (“You won’t understand it anyway, so why bother?”), whether to accept a social invitation (“You don’t have time for that. Look at your overfilled calendar! Don’t you ever say ‘NO’?”), or whether to play Monopoly with my grandkids or mop my floor (“The house is disgusting. Don’t you ever clean?”) My inner voice is a real bully sometimes. Other times, that same voice must be having a good day because all I hear is “You should go out with your friends. The housework can wait! You won’t get this chance again!” It is obviously a psycho inner voice!

So what do I do to tame that bully? Sometimes I go through my Pinterest quotations board or immediately stop my brain bully and change the voice to something like “Think how much you learned from that error today and now you know you won’t do it again.”

I think I bully myself because I am more worried about disappointing other people than about disappointing myself. I really dislike when people are depending on me and I blow it. I feel like my reputation is at stake. It doesn’t matter that the last gazillion things I did were OK, it’s that one thing . . .

But when my rational mind thinks about it, it probably is not the end of the world, it can probably be fixed, and hopefully they will eventually forget about it (or perhaps the next big screw up will take its place!).

So what do you do when your brain bully wants to beat the crap out of you? Please share your tips below so I can beat my bully back into submission . . . at least for a while.



Live And Love With Your Whole Heart


Live and Love With Your Whole HeartI saw this on Facebook today:

”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: ‘I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”’
~ Brené Brown

Most days I don’t read things on Facebook not posted by good friends or family that are that long, but today I needed to read it. It really does sum up what happened to me as I approached 40. That was when this lifelong people pleaser decided that if people didn’t like me, that was their problem, not mine. I was done doing things to please other people and was going to work on pleasing me.

I have to admit that I still do a lot of things to please other people, but now they are people that matter and are an important part of my life. I also have to admit that I still slip into those habits from time to time. Always wanting to be the one to “save the day,” always wanting to be the one people can count on, always being the reliable one, always being the first one with my hand up when someone is looking for help.

I heard something interesting the other day about volunteering. If you are always the one people can count on to fill an empty position and you always say “yes” because you think no one else will do it and it has to get done, you need to stop. You could be depriving someone who hasn’t yet garnered the courage to step forward from doing so. Someone who is eager to do that job, someone who will find pleasure in doing those tasks, someone who might have the time to devote to it, someone who just might be better at it than you will be because they actual WANT to do it and you are just doing it because you think people need you to. By all means, if you want to volunteer, do it. But only if you have the time and desire to do the kind of job necessary for that position. If you are only doing it because someone asked you to because no one else has volunteered or because you think it will make you (or your resume) look good, think long and hard about whether you can do the kind of work the job demands or if you will be doing everyone a disservice by just accepting the position with your head and not your heart.

I have just recently figured this out. I am always humbled when people seek me out to ask me to volunteer for specific things. But the feeling that I get when I don’t do the kind of job those things deserve is not a good one. So I have cut back. Instead of being on a committee that meets once a month and stresses me out because work conflicts and I don’t take the time to do the things that need to get done in my “free” time, I volunteer for the day of the event. One day. Actually just a few hours (early ones to be sure, but just a few). It has made a huge difference in my feeling of giving because I’m giving them a much better version of myself than they were getting before. Someone else stepped in to do the job I was doing on the committee and I’m sure made huge strides for the event.

My gifts are many but the time I have available is very limited. I am trying to keep that in mind when those well-intentioned people are seeking me out. It is working much better so far. Driving to the event telling myself that I swear it is the last time I will volunteer is not the right attitude to have when you are volunteering. Driving to the event telling myself that I am making a difference with the gift of a few hours of my time and knowing in my heart that I will do it again next year is priceless.

I am trying to be done worrying about what other people think and am moving on to the many unexplored adventures that I already have planned (and many, many more that aren’t planned yet). This crazy life truly is made to be lived and loved with your whole heart, not a distracted, overcommitted, guilty heart. So let’s make a pact to get our whole heart in gear and live and love with that sucker for as long as it is still beating. Are you in?